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Automatic Release vs. Crest Release

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  • Automatic Release vs. Crest Release

    Can we have a little discussion about the two? With pictures? I'm not clear why you would use one over the other and when and how exactly do them. I tried looking on the archives thread but most of the pics were deleted.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Here is an auto release on XC:

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625jxmGjH

    Here is an auto release in stadium:

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625jncppr

    Here is a crest relsease on the fence right after I had the auto release on XC:

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625JIQHFU


    In other words, a release is a TOOL that you use when you need it. You do not use the same tool every time. I tend to use the auto when I want my horse to come up around the fences and the crest when I want them to flatten out (e.g. like a steeplechase jockey).

    Reed

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by RAyers View Post
      Here is an auto release on XC:

      http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625jxmGjH

      Here is an auto release in stadium:

      http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625jncppr

      Here is a crest relsease on the fence right after I had the auto release on XC:

      http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625JIQHFU


      In other words, a release is a TOOL that you use when you need it. You do not use the same tool every time. I tend to use the auto when I want my horse to come up around the fences and the crest when I want them to flatten out (e.g. like a steeplechase jockey).

      Reed

      Excellent! That's the kind of info I'm looking for. I'm returning to jumping after many (many!) years away, and I need to relearn everything. Of course, it's going to be a while before I actually get to test this out for myself.

      Comment


      • #4
        oh dear.

        I hate to quibble with reed, but I don't think any of the pictures there show either an auto release/following hand or a crest release.

        My ride to dinner just pulled up, so details are trumped, but maybe others will gently pick up the thread???
        http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

        http://cantersgutenberg.wordpress.co...g-quiet-goose/

        Comment


        • #5
          The crest release is generally used by novice riders who need the upper body support while in the air. In a crest release, the rider presses his/her hands alongside the mane on either side of the neck, into the crest. Pressing the hands down prevents the rider from catching the horse in the mouth over the jump, either from a lack of stability or from falling back in the saddle.

          A crest release may be either "long" or "short", and novice riders are often taught the former as their default release. In the long release, the hands are considerably forward of the withers, though not beyond halfway up the neck. This gives the most generous amount of rein to the horse over the jump. In a short release, the hands are rested in front of the withers, but not so forward as in the long release. This restricts the rein given to the horse but still anchors the hands and gives support to the rider's upper body. Forgive me, but I'm far to novice to say when to use each crest release.

          The auto release is for more accomplished riders with solid, secure positions in the air. In an auto release, the hands are removed from the crest, dropping a few inches alongside the horse's neck. There will be a straight line from bit to elbow when using the auto release. With this release, the rider is able to keep a light feel for the horse's mouth in the air, as required (IMO) for more technical courses and a more polished ride.

          The hands MUST be pressed against the crest in order for it to truly be a crest release. George Morris is quite critical of those with 'floating hands', which neither give the rein and feel of an auto release, nor the security of a crest release.

          Please, anyone, feel free to pick this apart. I'm defining based on many years of reading and a few years of practical application. Correct me if I've made any mistakes.

          Comment


          • #6
            crest releases:

            http://www.photoreflect.com/PR3/Orde...=0&c=&a=292260

            http://www.photoreflect.com/PR3/Orde...=8&c=&a=438293

            auto:

            http://www.photoreflect.com/PR3/Orde...=8&c=&a=373518


            not as good shots as Reeds....but to me, a crest release is when you press your knuckles into their neck. I only have event shots handy, so my crest release are not as obvious (since you need too support the horse over the fence more when jumping at speed)...probably would be called a short crest release I think. In the hunters....I would want a loop/slack in the rein to show off that the horse is on its own. An auto release should still have a following contact and there should be a straight line from your hand elbow and their mouth. It still allows the horse freedom of movement but the rider is still connected.

            An auto release is generally more sophisticated and only something to use if you are stable in your position. It let's you have quicker communication which can be very important in jumpers and eventing when turns and other questions can come up very quickly.

            But I agree...they are both useful tools.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

            Comment


            • #7
              I also hate to disagree with Reed--but agree with the former ponygirl.

              An auto release must have a straight line from the bit to the elbow and have a light feel of the horses mouth. The pix that bornfree posted fall more along the lines to the actual description that Paragon posted.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                oh dear.

                I hate to quibble with reed, but I don't think any of the pictures there show either an auto release/following hand or a crest release.

                My ride to dinner just pulled up, so details are trumped, but maybe others will gently pick up the thread???
                Unfortunately, I agree. Those aren't true auto releases. An auto release is maintaining a straight line from bit to elbow while KEEPING the contact. The idea is that you have complete control during the whole jump, beginning, middle and end. You should go buy George Morris's Hunter Seat Equitation book. There are beautiful examples of auto releases by some of the greats as well as detailed information about all types of releases (short, long and auto).

                Comment


                • #9
                  A true Auto Release

                  http://www.geocities.com/heartland/m...78/jimkohn.jpg

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                    The crest release is generally used by novice riders who need the upper body support while in the air. In a crest release, the rider presses his/her hands alongside the mane on either side of the neck, into the crest. Pressing the hands down prevents the rider from catching the horse in the mouth over the jump, either from a lack of stability or from falling back in the saddle.

                    A crest release may be either "long" or "short", and novice riders are often taught the former as their default release. In the long release, the hands are considerably forward of the withers, though not beyond halfway up the neck. This gives the most generous amount of rein to the horse over the jump. In a short release, the hands are rested in front of the withers, but not so forward as in the long release. This restricts the rein given to the horse but still anchors the hands and gives support to the rider's upper body. Forgive me, but I'm far to novice to say when to use each crest release.

                    The auto release is for more accomplished riders with solid, secure positions in the air. In an auto release, the hands are removed from the crest, dropping a few inches alongside the horse's neck. There will be a straight line from bit to elbow when using the auto release. With this release, the rider is able to keep a light feel for the horse's mouth in the air, as required (IMO) for more technical courses and a more polished ride.

                    The hands MUST be pressed against the crest in order for it to truly be a crest release. George Morris is quite critical of those with 'floating hands', which neither give the rein and feel of an auto release, nor the security of a crest release.

                    Please, anyone, feel free to pick this apart. I'm defining based on many years of reading and a few years of practical application. Correct me if I've made any mistakes.
                    Thanks all! This is all very helpful.

                    I guess what I was taught as a kid was a long crest release, and I seem to remember something about the angles matching but I can't for the life of me figure out what 'angles'.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                      oh dear.

                      I hate to quibble with reed, but I don't think any of the pictures there show either an auto release/following hand or a crest release.

                      My ride to dinner just pulled up, so details are trumped, but maybe others will gently pick up the thread???


                      Better? Same round.

                      http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...99705625NzPTCx

                      Here is another round, a very wide triple bar but now with a bit more contact, same release.

                      http://image64.webshots.com/564/3/21...5FqDlXL_fs.jpg

                      I believe there is no true "auto"/"crest" as defined by the icons of the sport. They present what they see but also realize that reality rarely ever duplicates itself. Yes, there are pictures of the "ideal" but how does one know that the person was NOT hanging in the face?

                      Yes, I don't have perfect eq as in my elbows are not at my side, which may lead to the appearance that the elbow is not following. However, it is the effectiveness of the ride and not the style that gets one across a fence.

                      To me, this idea that something "MUST HAVE" is a fallacy. In my experience with this horse, he does not need any contact in the air and by following the "automatic" form he comes out of the bridle easier off the ground and I can easily create contact upon landing across an oxer. If I had a horse that wanted contact I would take it. This guy is horrible the more you hold his face.



                      Reed

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hedmbl View Post

                        Much better picture then mine....my horse was only jumping 3'3" so it really isn't a big enough fence to show it well.


                        There are many schools of thoughts on releases....study pictures, watch others ride and work on your balance and feel...it will start to click with experience.....IME, not only does it matter about the specific situation...but also the horse. It becomes a matter of feel.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great

                          Excellent example Hedmbl of the true auto release. Classic style.
                          I believe that photo is a young George out of his book.
                          Bravo.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                            Much better picture then mine....my horse was only jumping 3'3" so it really isn't a big enough fence to show it well.


                            There are many schools of thoughts on releases....study pictures, watch others ride and work on your balance and feel...it will start to click with experience.....IME, not only does it matter about the specific situation...but also the horse. It becomes a matter of feel.
                            I thought yours was quite nice for the size of fence! I was just posting an example of the pics from George's book, I love studying the masters position.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Underdog View Post
                              Excellent example Hedmbl of the true auto release. Classic style.
                              I believe that photo is a young George out of his book.
                              Bravo.
                              yea, I couldn't quite remember who it was...either george or maybe rodney? I'll have to go dig out my copy and reread it for the 100th time...::sarcastic tone:: o darn!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                An "auto release" is also referred to as "following hands and arms" - basically, contact (as much or little as is called for) is maintained across the fence. As with any contact, a straight line between bit and elbow is required, and the rider should not be touching the horse's neck at all. It does require a strong position, since the temptation is to balance on the contact rather than follow the horse's head and neck. It's not clear to me that one can execute the auto release with a loose rein.

                                Crest releases can be used in all sorts of situations - they're not _just_ for beginners. But, since the rider is using the crest of the neck to support themselves, there is usually (always?) less direct contact with the bit over the fence than in an auto release. One of the easiest ways to mess up a crest release is to rotate backwards with the hands and catch the horse in the mouth.

                                Wikipedia's article about this looks fairly good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_position

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't have any pictures w/ me but personally I much prefer the auto release. If you can do the crest release the way GM would like you to do it then it's fine but I see so many done incorrectly and they look horrible. Most people start out learning the crest release and once their seat can be independent from their hands, move up to the auto release. I am one who does the auto release and will continue to do that - just is easier for me and more natural .
                                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The picture is Jimmy Kohn, not George, but it is an excellent example of an auto release.

                                    The auto release takes NO support from the horse's neck, which is why your base of support must be very strong, and your hand independent. The purpose of this release, an advanced release, is to maintain contact with the horse's mouth so that, in a jumper class, valuable seconds aren't lost regaining contact after landing and attempting to turn, and to always have control, or communication, with the horse's mouth. It is up to the rider to teach the horse to accept this contact, and not to fear it, by ONLY using this release once you are a strong, secure rider. Hence, the crest release being used at the beginner and intermediate levels.

                                    In a hunter class, although IMO the auto release looks much better, it isn't as necessary to always maintain contact. In fact, right or wrong, the fad today is to "throw the reins" at the horse to indicate how rideable they are, and to accentuate the marvelous bascule. I don't personally agree, but the crest release is perfectly fine for hunters. Paragon's description of the two crest releases were spot on. The bastardized version you see so often in pictures is the hands floating above the horse's neck with rounded, puppy paw wrists. Ugly.
                                    Laurie

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Auto release is necessary when your horse is putting in a big effort or if you are riding an extremely technical course, otherwise it's easier to do damage than good. It should come pretty naturally for most riders in a situation where it is necessary. Not that I am any kind of ideal (hence why this situation occured), but I got into an "oh crap" situation and this was the result:
                                      http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/39...600x600Q85.jpg
                                      -Grace

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I've expounded on this quite enough in the past, so I think I'd best just post a link. Post 110 on this page.

                                        http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum....php?p=2416213

                                        Jason Laumbach
                                        VI Riding Academy, LLC

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