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steering over jumps

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  • steering over jumps

    I just heard a coach tell her student to keep her hands wide, wider than shoulder width to steer her horse over a jump.

    It seems to me this would make the rider very unstable. is this a correct method for steering a horse that might want to duck out?

    I am not just being picky, wondering because my youngster doesn't have the best steering so was listening for tips.

  • #2
    Uh, no. I can think of pictures of very top riders doing something along those lines over BIG fences, but as a general rule? Your assumption is correct, it would make most riders unstable.
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    • #3
      You've never had a trainer tie a knot in your reins and have you go through a low gymnastic with your arms out to the sides? < good for developing balance over fences.
      I've used the wide-hands for jumping with young horses that are very green over fences, and it works well. But they quickly graduate from that.
      If you must choose between two evils, choose the one that you've never tried before.

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      • #4
        Wide hands are great for guiding a greenie or a dirty one to the jumps. Once they take off you close the gap and release as you would normally. When you land open up as needed to get up the line, combo, grid, etc.

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        • #5
          That's just it--IF you are a solid rider who doesn't need their hands, yeah, you can do it. I can't see asking anyone who wasn't already pretty advanced and never as a matter of course.

          (Nope. Never had a trainer do that. I don't ride with one now, and with my old one, you couldn't have let go of the reins and trusted either my horse to go straight forward over the fence or me to stay on. He was always hot even when he wasn't green and with the show trainer, I was jumping WAY before I had any leg to speak of so I'd never have stayed on or been able to steer. Later two trainers, I still couldn't jump without panic attacks. IHSA trainer never had me do it. Current horse is still working on remedial steering with the legs. And while I'm now fine jumping, he's not big into it.)
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          • #6
            I use this approach on skinny jumps and anything my horse deems "scary."

            From my understanding, it gives the horse more "lateral support" and direction than having the reins closer together, but you have to have independent hands or you will face plant into your horse's neck.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by danceronice View Post
              Uh, no. I can think of pictures of very top riders doing something along those lines over BIG fences, but as a general rule? Your assumption is correct, it would make most riders unstable.
              It shouldn't...

              Hopefully by the time they are riding a greenie or fixing a 'ducker' as OPs post implies they have an independent seat and can go over a jump without relying on their hands for support.

              I much prefer an opening rein over a jump than a pulling back rein, IME.
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                ok thanks

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                • #9
                  I have seen and read about this being used. Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't George Morris use this to make riders rely more on their core strength and balance?? Don't know if I would use it for turning, but it does seem to have its place
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                  • #10
                    If creating a chute with the reins makes a rider unstable they probably should not be jumping at all and rather working on their leg and seat in two point and without sturrips then maybe jumping small fences on a good schoolie until they are more secure.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Eventer007 View Post
                      I have seen and read about this being used. Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't George Morris use this to make riders rely more on their core strength and balance?? Don't know if I would use it for turning, but it does seem to have its place
                      It is a way to teach the auto release (although not with hands wider than shoulder width).
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                      • #12
                        As stated above, it's a great tool. You literally 'funnel' the horse to the jump without ever pulling back and disrupting the forward motion. Works well on the flat in some circumstances as well.

                        And I agree with the above - short of going through a grid without reins - you shouldn't be doing this (or riding something that needs this) until you're solid and strong in your base and core.
                        The truth is always in the middle.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                          It is a way to teach the auto release (although not with hands wider than shoulder width).
                          Ahh, that must be what i'm thinking of
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