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Smoother stadium rounds, video

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  • Smoother stadium rounds, video

    Hi guys, it's almost warm enough to be thinking about showing again. I'm mostly an eventer, but I do dabble in some hunters as well.

    I used to get super nervous at shows, my horse used have some show ring nerves so we just fed off each other. I've taken lots of lessons, and showed a good bit and I'm feeling more confident in the show ring and my horse is much more relaxed as well.

    One of the things I'd like to improve is my ride between the fences, it's a bit umm zig zaggy. If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course! I'd like to move up in height this year a few inches or so. As you can see, I tend to stand in my stirrups and get left behind a bit. I always slip my reins but then I have to gather them back. I don't do this on wider horses, or horses that jump flatter.

    Over fence two she jumped it huge so I got jumped loose. The entire round felt super fast to me, I've done lots of trotting fences in the past, but it doesn't look fast in the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ybBHAETPs
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
    Hi guys, it's almost warm enough to be thinking about showing again. I'm mostly an eventer, but I do dabble in some hunters as well.

    I used to get super nervous at shows, my horse used have some show ring nerves so we just fed off each other. I've taken lots of lessons, and showed a good bit and I'm feeling more confident in the show ring and my horse is much more relaxed as well.
    Both you and your horse do look more relaxed than I've seen in other videos. Good for you!

    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
    One of the things I'd like to improve is my ride between the fences, it's a bit umm zig zaggy. If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course! I'd like to move up in height this year a few inches or so.
    Yep..you do get zigzaggy. I couldn't tell where you were going a few times. Think about long flowing lines using all of the arena. Don't be in a hurry. Once you turn and get straight to the line, look for something outside the arena at the other end...maybe a tree or even a post of the arena fence as a guide for straightness and ride to it. Use the WHOLE arena. Even though you're an eventer, you should first know how to use every inch of available space and then work on taking a more time saving path. If you're jumping striped poles, look at the center stripe and aim for it. Remember to steer with your legs AND hands. It looks like you're just pulling your horse to tell her where to go and that gives you the zigzag. Think of making a funnel for her between your legs and hands.

    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
    As you can see, I tend to stand in my stirrups and get left behind a bit. I always slip my reins but then I have to gather them back. I don't do this on wider horses, or horses that jump flatter.
    I hate to break it to you, but your horse is not a round jumper. She's actually pretty flat. I think one of the main reasons you are getting left and jumped loosed is because you lack pace. A weak, slow canter is one of the hardest things to jump from and it's what you are consistently using. The slow canters you see in the hunters are from extremely athletic horses with long strides who are balanced into a powerful canter. Your mare is adorable, but she's not going to have that canter naturally and you will need to create some pace and impulsion in order to get a better jumping arc. You've got to get used to a faster pace...and it will feel faster to you because she's got a little stride.

    I would also suggest A LOT of time in two point and doing things like up, up down posting. You don't have an independent seat and hands. Your hand bounce up and down when you post, a dead giveaway. Your leg position is nice, but I'm also guessing that it doesn't really act as an anchor for you.

    When you're jumping, you've got to let your angles absorb the motion. It's like skiing...if you try to brace against the bumps, you end up sore, and usually on your back. Think of a mogul skier and how their knees and hips bounce with the moguls but their heads tend to stay level. Jumping a horse is very similar. The angles, knees and hips flex and extend to absorb the motion while the upper body stays still. You're not flexing/extending and therefore are getting popped up and over at each jump.

    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
    Over fence two she jumped it huge so I got jumped loose. The entire round felt super fast to me, I've done lots of trotting fences in the past, but it doesn't look fast in the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ybBHAETPs
    She didn't jump huge over fence two...she deer jumped it...straight up, straight back down. It's a hard motion to stay with. She doesn't have much bascule...and your hands aren't encouraging her to reach down at all. You do a lot of balancing on her mouth. I would start doing gymnastics with you grabbing mane and progressing to no hands.

    You've got to develop the independent base of support and the flexibility to move with your horse. Once you figure that out, you'll be so much further along.

    Don't be discouraged, I see a lot of improvement. There was nothing frantic about this video and you do both look relaxed and unworried with the task at hand. Just keep practicing and it will come.
    Last edited by RugBug; Mar. 23, 2011, 09:36 PM.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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    • #3
      If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course
      There's always something to focus on. It's called the next jump.
      You need to develop your plan when you walk your course. That means planning the approach and landing to each fence.
      Fence two, she jumps big and you get jumped loose because both of you were looking at the railing on the approach and not the fence. It's a bending line, not a dog-leg turn. You don't get straight to any of the other fences, which you can fix by walking the turns and then riding the same path that sets you up for straightness. You seem very indecisive about the lines. Pick a number when you walk, watch a couple to be certain, and then stick to the plan. That is the number of strides you are doing, you will ride the in to make the out work in that number. Same thing with trotting or cantering. If you are going to trot the fence, trot all the way to the fence. If you are going to canter it, get your canter before the turn.
      Your horse will go where you are looking, so make a plan and then look where you are going and everything will work out much more smoothly. You can practice all that by riding "courses" on the flat and working on having your horse follow your eye, following a bend, and not falling in or out.

      Comment


      • #4
        The above post is SPOT on. Take it to heart! And with my lesson students, we practice LOTS of twisty courses with POLES. I would work on establishing much more canter, and practicing your course work over poles for now. Super cute horse! Keep practicing!
        http://tailsoftheottb.blogspot.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/20892581@N04/5554668424/

          Here's a picture of her jumping the second fence.

          I walk my courses 4 or 5 times, but it seems once I'm going it all goes right out the window! Getting a bit better though. This is a video of last year! Pretty horrible to watch, I felt and looked like a total idiot.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjW4UdJ5KM
          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/20892581@N04/5554668424/

            Here's a picture of her jumping the second fence.

            I walk my courses 4 or 5 times, but it seems once I'm going it all goes right out the window! Getting a bit better though.
            It's not how high she's jumping...it's the up/down of how she's jumping it that's the issue. If she had a better arc, you wouldn't be having so much difficulty. (Also note that you are balanced on the reins...that's not encouraging her to jump anything other than up/down)
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

            Comment


            • #7
              You really need to get your issue of losing your balance and catching Nikki in the mouth under control, because I don't know how much longer she'll put up with it. That is such a good mare for not pitching you into the dirt.

              Shorten your stirrup at least a half hole, maybe even a whole one. You've got too little angle in your knee, which I think is contributing to your bad habit of simply standing in the stirrups over fences. Once your leg is secure and elastic, you can 'break' slightly at your waist and keep your upper body either parallel or slightly above parallel with her neck.

              The best remedy I can think of is to set 2-3 crossrail bounces and tie your reins in a knot. With your hands on your hips, you can't rely on the reins to keep you in the saddle. Then I suggest learning, living, and loving the basic crest release. It is your friend here
              Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

              Comment


              • #8
                It seems you don't have much of a 2 point honestly. As far as I can tell you're pretty much just standing up in the irons before her back feet haven't even finished jumping over the pole.

                I'm working the exact same thing of 2 point, letting the horse fold me, and staying over until the back feet touch the ground and the horse starts to canter away.

                The bounces with no reins will REALLY help you not jump ahead and feel where you're standing up and sitting back too soon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                  It's not how high she's jumping...it's the up/down of how she's jumping it that's the issue. If she had a better arc, you wouldn't be having so much difficulty. (Also note that you are balanced on the reins...that's not encouraging her to jump anything other than up/down)
                  I don't know much about your history so I will only comment on the video and photo you provided.

                  I quoted RugBug (and find it always funny that I agree with her "way" too much)

                  You really need to spend A LOT of time on the flat working on the stability of your leg and creating an independent hand that can "follow" your horses mouth. Not to sound mean, but if you keep wrapping your horse in the mouth and balancing yourself off your hands things will not go so well in the future.

                  She is being an extreme doll to go over those jumps for you. You have a GREAT horse!

                  What I say to myself about riding - I love my horses enough to be a better rider for their sake!
                  Live in the sunshine.
                  Swim in the sea.
                  Drink the wild air.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I always say that I hope to ride well enough one day to deserve him. Or to rise to the level he expects of me. He pushes me harder than any trainer ever could. The more I ride him well, the more he pushes for me to go bigger, ride quieter, etc. He's a saint.

                    Most of the time......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HRF Second Chance View Post
                      It seems you don't have much of a 2 point honestly. As far as I can tell you're pretty much just standing up in the irons before her back feet haven't even finished jumping over the pole.

                      I'm working the exact same thing of 2 point, letting the horse fold me, and staying over until the back feet touch the ground and the horse starts to canter away.

                      The bounces with no reins will REALLY help you not jump ahead and feel where you're standing up and sitting back too soon.
                      I love doing bounces because it makes my horse do the work and I work to do "nothing" but sit in a two point and allow my hand to be soft...

                      And I find the more stable my lower leg and weight through my heel the easier it is to have a following hand.
                      Live in the sunshine.
                      Swim in the sea.
                      Drink the wild air.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had them over and over and over again with the jumps getting bumped up higher and higher. I crawled up his neck once and he slammed on the brakes so hard my momma felt it! LOL!

                        But the more I did it the easier it got. Now I can go through with no reins, hands on my hips, hands on my head, hands out to the side and it's very ho-hum. Amazing what a strong base can do for you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just love your horse. If you can stabilize your seat over fences, I think the most of the rest of your problems will smooth out. First, I would suggest that you shorten your stirrups a hole. This will allow you to stay off your horse's back easier. Second, I would get a jump strap to help you stay over better and longer while jumping. Third, I would suggest working on gymnastics with the jump strap. Very simple gymnastics, set to your horses stride and set low. Then your goal is to keep ahold of the jump strap all the way through the gymnastic, all the while pushing your belly button toward the pommel and letting your weight stay dropped into your heel. Your hip angle is opening and this exercise will really help you get the feel of what a closed angle feels like. It should also give you more confidence as your horse should start jumping more consistently.

                          To help with your pace, I would suggest that you establish a more forward pace, perhaps going around the entire ring at that pace and then take a single fence. Then slowly add fences as you become more comfortable at a better pace. You don't want to try to speed up coming to the fence.

                          Have fun.
                          Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are. - King Soloman (970-928 B.C.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Release First View Post
                            To help with your pace, I would suggest that you establish a more forward pace, perhaps going around the entire ring at that pace and then take a single fence. Then slowly add fences as you become more comfortable at a better pace. You don't want to try to speed up coming to the fence.

                            Have fun.
                            This is a good reminder and comment. I think to myself when on course; get my pace and balance in the corners that I want - then when approaching the jump, chill easy to it not speed up to get to the jump.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Ouch, some harsh critiques there. I thought we'd made quite a bit of progress over last year with a long way to go. My horse used to run backwards out of the arena or bolt toward the fences then take off at a dead run after them for the barns so she's not quite the saint she appears to be. I've probably spent more time doing dressage on the flat then jumping to get her more rideable between fences then I have working on my position over fences. It's hard carrying that baggage and trying to stay relaxed and give her more rein when she used to be mostly uncontrollable at shows.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Do you have the opportunity to take lessons on a more schooled horse who knows his job? That is what I'd suggest so you can work on your own issues without having to worry about your horse. It is really hard to make progress when you are inexperienced and your horse has issues, in addition to being inexperienced. One of you has to be the teacher.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  How is she at home? I wouldn't take her out unless she's consistently listening to you. Otherwise you're setting her up for failure, and reinforcing your fears. Once she's responsive take her to some local hunter shows where all you have to remember is outside diagonal x2. Your goal isn't blue, it's a calm controlled round even if you have to circle after every single fence.
                                  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                  Phoenix Animal Rescue

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                    Ouch, some harsh critiques there. I thought we'd made quite a bit of progress over last year with a long way to go. My horse used to run backwards out of the arena or bolt toward the fences then take off at a dead run after them for the barns so she's not quite the saint she appears to be. I've probably spent more time doing dressage on the flat then jumping to get her more rideable between fences then I have working on my position over fences. It's hard carrying that baggage and trying to stay relaxed and give her more rein when she used to be mostly uncontrollable at shows.

                                    I didn't see anyone being harsh? I watched your other (second) video - your earlier ride - you posted and did see a horse that looked fresh and in need of miles along with the rider. Yes, you have come a long way with the horse. So much so; since I watched the after video first, thinking what a nice horse!

                                    If your not ready for a show and need to build confidence maybe spend the show money on more lessons. I'm again not trying to be mean - I know for a fact because I'm doing the same thing right now. I was going to do more shows but felt I need more time in the saddle and more lessons.

                                    I hope you don't think I was being harsh - you posted a video for thoughts.... and you are pulling on your horses mouth. I noticed there were some extremely "careful" posts - extremely nice I thought. Those posts that talked about balancing off your hands; I didn't think anyone was being harsh at all.
                                    Live in the sunshine.
                                    Swim in the sea.
                                    Drink the wild air.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      It's just discouraging to see people say that she's going to start stopping or dump me in the ground. It makes me feel bad. I'd never want to do anything to hurt her confidence in me or kill her joy for jumping and I'm really aware of my position. I've had a devil of a time trying to iron it out. It's like I have a more solid position at home in lessons but then I forget half of it at a show, and usually I look at my photos and go home to take more lessons. I know what I'm supposed to look like, and what getting jumped loose, left behind, feels like, and what doing it right feels like, but it's hard to make my body do that.

                                      I don't really think much out on course, but I am actually having fun and I don't feel like barfing sitting at the ingate anymore.

                                      People used to say "well don't feel bad, I had a ride like that once." Now they say "you have such a quiet nice horse. She's so well trained."
                                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Not meant as a disrespect to hunters since I"m currently doing the hunters....

                                        But I would suggest that for mileage you should go to some hunter shows until you're both confident and quiet. While you may not ribbon in them, this will give you confidence by not going "OH CRAP, WHICH FENCE NEXT?" It's a straight forward course where you can work on rhythm, pace and impulsion. You won't have to get flustered over sharper turns or corners. Or a course that zigs and zags a bunch.

                                        Then for your schooling towards the jumpers you can do the equitation courses. When you feel safe and comfortable there you can return to the jumpers and be very forward, focused and ready to kick some butt!

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