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Starting to school Training SJ - more "rolling" canter stride?

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  • Starting to school Training SJ - more "rolling" canter stride?

    Hey everyone!

    So, I am (finally) sucking it up and schooling training level at home... signed up for my first training CT (also at home, so no biggie) in two weeks.

    I learned in my lesson yesterday how different the canter is between N and T. Wanted to hear other's thoughts on what I noticed... please share with me so I can learn and be better to my sweet pony! (He's so patient with me while I figure this out)

    I discovered (the hard way) that a particular line we did a few weeks ago at Novice height rode nicely in 5 strides. I came into this same line at Training height (it was an outside line, vertical to vertical) and tried to "fit" 5 in... and my horse nearly jumped sideways to launch himself over the 2nd fence. After my coach had finished discussing what I did (and basically letting me figure that one out) I came in with more "pace" and got this nice rolling canter ... land, sit up, 4 strides and out... and it was PERFECT. Like - just perfect. I'm normally fussing with him to put in that extra stride at novice. This time, it just came right out of that stride like ... buttah.

    It felt so easy - like doing LESS is actually doing MORE, and that this pace is actually nicer for him (he's a pretty big guy anyway). Does that make ANY sense?! It felt like he was able to jump so much "tidier" (he's a bit of a back-cracker and usually clears novice fences by a mile)... this felt smoother, and the pace was definitely "bigger" but not rushing or faster. He also can really toss his head, and during our lesson he did not raise his head to toss it - not once. I may be a bit dramatic here in saying this, but it felt like he was saying "jeez, I'm so glad you finally started figuring this out mama, it's about damn time!"

    Anyway, would love to hear more from this crowd if this little ephiphany I'm experiencing is just a momentary lapse of sanity or if it's really something I should look forward to as we start thinking about moving up!!!

    Training CT here we come!

    Mandy & Joy the Rockstar!

  • #2
    Congrats on your move up! Sounds like your having fun, which is the main reason we exhaust our wallets doing this

    My only words of wisdom to you would be to be careful that you don't start confusing speed (and flat, strung out jumping) with increased engagement and impulsion. There really is not a huge size difference between Nov and Tng. Though we might gawk at a fence 3 inches larger, I'm not sure the horses really notice. The thing that changes the most is the technical difficulty and the expectation that you can enter a double or triple combination in the proper balance, with the proper engagement, required.

    Have fun and good luck at your first CT!!!!
    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

    The Grove at Five Points


    • #3
      My horse has an extremely long stride, and definitely prefers the slightly longer distances as the fences go up--but don't depend on this always being the case at events. You definitely need to be able to adjust and get the really short bouncy canter back, very quickly.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks ladies - it was definitely a new experience for me that I really enjoyed... something to work towards!

        Highflyer where in MD? I travel to Columbia regularly for work, always wondering if there's a place nearby I can come get a pony fix or watch a show sometime if I'm ever there over the weekend!!!



        • #5
          what up girl!
          Glad Joy the Rockstar is running well for you.

          But yes, there should be no difference in N vs. T. Sounds like you were under paced at Novice and getting away with it. A 4 stride is a 4 stride is a 4 stride and measures the same throughout the levels.
          The only time you really need to make a decision is when the CD sets a 1/2 stride in which case you base your plan on type of fence fence/footing/approach/next fence/ and type of horse.

          Joy was probably bored out of his mind at Novice. lol. He's a talented fellow.

          Hidden Lakes is having their Summer Nights Series every Friday night for the next 3 weeks. They have jumpers from 2'6" to 3'3". Three different divisions. These would help you A LOT!!
          You get a chance to jump 5 rounds back to back (3 + 2 jump offs) and they really teach you how to keep the ball (or your horse) rolling.

          The Las Colinas shows are even better because that indoor really demands a forward moving horse.

          Or, if you have trouble with finding pace and distance the 2'9" hunters are always there too. : ) Mandatory strided lines.
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


          • Original Poster

            Hey Purp

            Bored out of his mind indeed. I swear he was LITERALLY jumping for joy when we started raising the fences He's seriously easier to ride!! Perhaps it is just a more "powerful" pace that I could have used a long time ago, I'm just getting more comfortable with now!

            we'll be at HL this Fri. We were going to go last week but the 3pm start time didn't work out for us, will be there this Fri for sure and I'm doing the high schooling jumpers!!!

            Training CT is 6/27 at home! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


            • #7
              I'm a good 90 min. north and east of Columbia, near Fair Hill, but I think Waredaca and Seneca would be really close, and also probably the stuff in northern VA--Difficult Run and Loudon and CDCTA and possibly even Morven Park. Lots of events within 2 hours of there if you have a car, anyway!


              • #8
                Active, engaged, and "underneath" is so much more important than velocity.

                Having said that, however, one good way of opening up the canter is to gallop. (Not the only way, ONE way) Let the horse roll, bring it back, let it roll, bring it back. Transitions within canter do as much for the quality of canter as transitions within trot do for the trot.

                One of my favorite clinicians is fond of quietly asking, as you approach a line or begin a course: "do you like that canter?". He already knows what the answer's going to be, and if it's "yes" you are going to have a great round or trip through. If the answer is "no", well, you have a choice--fix it, or resign yourself.
                Click here before you buy.


                • Original Poster

                  So I guess what I was feeling (that I didn't articulate that well) was more of a POWERFUL step - more engaged, more active as you said Deltawave, not necessarily faster. That I didn't feel the need to "mess" or "fuss" as much because I was coming in a little more assertively with more pace... and hence getting a lovely, lovely jump out of stride that just felt WONDERFUL ... so perhaps I should have tried the Novice line in 4 strides to beigin with! LOL

                  Either way I'm having fun!!! WHOOO HOOO! Loff my pony!