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Equitation AND Hunters = non existent?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by skippy60 View Post
    I think this thread is actually pretty interesting. I was wondering the same thing. Could we please not turn this into a "ummm, why are you asking this?" Thread? If all you want to do is criticize the OP then just don't look at the thread.
    People are groaning because this type of thread comes up after every single big hunter class.
    Originally posted by JSwan
    Prove it....Otherwise, you're just coming off as a whackjob.
    Founding member of the "Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine" Clique

    Comment


    • #22
      Did you watch the class (it was streaming live for free online) or just look at the photos?

      And yes...read the other threads. This topic is well-covered and then some.

      Comment


      • #23
        Yes, this has been "done to death" just like Rollkur got "done to death". The reality is that riders can win classes without riding perfectly. There are extremely talented riders with abnormally good balance and timing, and with these riders it really does not matter what their seats are over fences. For all us lesser mortals, however, it DOES matter to the horses.

        I am noticing that horse professionals are treated as gods, never, never, never to be questioned or criticized, always defended no matter what, always taken as the heighth of riding or horsemanship not matter WHAT they do to their horses. This has happened for centuries. You would think that every horse professional was the son of God with divine revelations that can erase centuries (or just over a century for FS) of riding standards just-like-THAT.

        If the professionals put themselves in a show before the whole world why shouldn't we criticize them? People who are not professional actors rate movies, people who are not professional musicians rate orchestras, people who can't play sports critique professional sport teams, and I bet none of these critics could act or play instruments or do as well in any sport as the performers they criticize. Yet it happens all the time and some of those non-professionals get paid to give their opinions. Why are horsemen the only professionals that no one (except maybe the judge) is allowed to critique?

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post
          Yes, this has been "done to death" just like Rollkur got "done to death". The reality is that riders can win classes without riding perfectly. There are extremely talented riders with abnormally good balance and timing, and with these riders it really does not matter what their seats are over fences. For all us lesser mortals, however, it DOES matter to the horses.

          I am noticing that horse professionals are treated as gods, never, never, never to be questioned or criticized, always defended no matter what, always taken as the heighth of riding or horsemanship not matter WHAT they do to their horses. This has happened for centuries. You would think that every horse professional was the son of God with divine revelations that can erase centuries (or just over a century for FS) of riding standards just-like-THAT.

          If the professionals put themselves in a show before the whole world why shouldn't we criticize them? People who are not professional actors rate movies, people who are not professional musicians rate orchestras, people who can't play sports critique professional sport teams, and I bet none of these critics could act or play instruments or do as well in any sport as the performers they criticize. Yet it happens all the time and some of those non-professionals get paid to give their opinions. Why are horsemen the only professionals that no one (except maybe the judge) is allowed to critique?

          Not only that, but all that's required to become a "professional" rider, at least here in the US, is that someone pay you for riding. No credentials, no particular skill set needed. And as long as you win and you know the right people, even questionable training and business practices will be overlooked. Hell, even jail time won't make much of a dent in your career.
          The attitude that professional riders are somehow "untouchable" is in part to blame for much of the corruption in our sport. I say have at them. If you choose to comport yourself as a professional athlete, equestrian or otherwise, you open yourself up for critique.
          "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
          http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            bjd2013 - could you maybe better explain the little details? I'm trying to understand why I was taught that good equitation helps a horse jump better, but I'm not seeing it. I agree that the horses still look fantastic. I guess this goes back to function coming from form?

            Offset - I didn't mean to imply everyone was great back in the day. It just appears to me that there are now less riders with good form than there were.

            Trixie - if you read my posts you will see I am asking questions and hoping people with more knowledge and insight than me can answer them.

            Long Spot - thanks, may I ask what you searched?

            I guess it looks my my questions are narrowed down:

            Is form no longer essential to function?

            Are good hunters so much nicer now that no one can keep a lower leg on them?

            I've definitely ridden a horse that worked hard to kick my lower leg back, but he wasn't anything spectacular. At the time I just figured he was a weird horse to jump.

            Also a thought from peeking at the other threads: the auto-release is no longer pinned well in the hunter ring....right? If so I could see how the crest release with less good instruction going around would lead to a swinging lower leg...Does that make sense at all?

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by JustMyStyle View Post

              Long Spot - thanks, may I ask what you searched?
              For the first one I searched a famous riders name and "equitation" because I remembered that is what got that thread to the train wreck proportions. I'm not going to mention the name here, but it's in the thread.

              Then I didn't have to search any farther because on the first page of that thread, someone else had already listed the last three I posted here. You can tell by the ending of the links that the person who posted them to that thread searched "hunter rider's position".

              "Aye God, Woodrow..."

              Comment


              • #27
                Yes, JustMyStyle it makes sense.

                Comment


                • #28
                  I don't want to go look up the old threads. I think the riding we see today is incorrect and ugly. Yes, if you can get the horse to jump around and win, good for you. But it's still incorrect. The top people win because they're gifted riders, in spite of REALLY BAD FORM over fences. They're brave, they have an eye for distance, and they work very hard. They are then given rides on really good horses, which perpetuates the cycle. Then the other riders who are not talented but have the same bad form, feel justified to keep riding in bad form, and the cycle continues. I will absolutely defer to George Morris and Jimmy Wofford as to form and function. Fads are fads. Jumping ahead, ducking, throwing yourself up the neck, and pivoting off your knees are stupid, unsafe mannerisms. Can't ride? Put on a shadbelly and a tophat, that'll class you up. Ugh.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    OP brings up an excellent point, why, when, and where did this happen and who said, "O.K. this is acceptable now?" JustMyStyle, I promise, you aren't the only one wondering. I don't see why everyone is trying to hang OP by his/her toes, but as you carry on with that, I shall ponder.

                    Yes, many of the top junior hunter riders are also top junior equitation riders, BUT, why on earth does their eq go to $#!+ when they mount a hunter? Are we really trying that hard to convince the judge that your blind grandmother could ride this horse? Hunters and eq horses are two totally different rides, I understand this. However, since when do the fundamentals change from a hunter to an eq horse? Most of all, where has posture gone? That irks me senseless. Whether you are walking on foot, riding a jumper, eq horse, hunter, green bean, I was always taught to have good posture.

                    Although, at the George Morris Master Horsemanship clinic, almost every clinician hammered the riders to do the exact opposite of what they do in the hunter ring. They nailed everything that irritates me about today's hunter riders.

                    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by JustMyStyle View Post
                      Also a thought from peeking at the other threads: the auto-release is no longer pinned well in the hunter ring....right? If so I could see how the crest release with less good instruction going around would lead to a swinging lower leg...Does that make sense at all?
                      The release isn't pinned at all in the hunters (or the jumpers for that matter). The judge doesn't care what kind of release you are using - whatever the horse goes best with is fine. There is plenty of good instruction going around. Instead of focusing on these pictures, you should go back and watch the archived videos of the GM Horse Mastership Clinic earlier this year. There's a lot to learn, and some of the same kids are in the Clinic as were riding in this class.

                      These are 99% professionals and top top juniors in the Hunter spectacular classes. In the hunters, equitation isn't a priority, but I still can't follow how a crest release would to a swinging lower leg.

                      FWIW - swinging lower leg or whatever other fault you want to pick on, Scott Stewart, Lillie Keenan, or any of the others is welcome to ride my horse any day! No matter how much work w/o stirrups I do or how still I try to keep my lower leg, I would guarantee they could get a much better jump out of my horse than I will ever be able to, and in the hunters, THAT is what matters.
                      "A canter is the cure for every evil."

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        No one is holding these people up as untouchable. They're only saying that the topic has been done to death. And it seems like it's always done by people who seem to assume that these professionals - in general, some of the best riders in our sport - aren't as "educated" as they are (from their reigning throne as Monday morning quarterback). And it's always in some disdainful tone about how their predecessors were so much better.

                        Any leg slip from a rider like Scott is not because he doesn't have an educated leg. Really.

                        Because if we're going to judge from a few photos, I'll throw in Ronnie Mutch. Bernie Traurig. Kenny Wheeler. (nice release, but, OH MA GOD!!!! his leg slid back). And Rodney Jenkins. And the lovely Charlie Weaver. Charlie again - just because he's awesome. Frank Chapot - beacon of perfect equitation, in my book - has even had a leg slip before. It happens. And it's not because their base of support sucks or because they're crappy riders.

                        Every one of these I would consider a beautiful rider. Most of these photos are pretty old - so lets please not delude ourselves that in the days of yore, everyone was a perfect equitator all the time.
                        ---
                        They're small hearts.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Honestly, when I ride/show a good hunter, the last possible thing I am thinking about is my equitation. I am focused on the horse. I am focused on how well the horse is jumping, pace, rhythm, straightness, balancing around the corners, getting smooth changes, and arriving at the correct distance. There is no time to think about whether my leg slipped an inch further back then it should have.

                          Everyone has their own riding style, I have seen riders with textbook perfect equitation who could not ride their way out of a paper sack or find a distance to save their life! I have also seen riders with less than perfect eq put in consistent winning rounds. Having a good feel for the horse and a natural eye for a distance is what really matters! As long as you get the job done and the horse is going at its best.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by loshad View Post
                            Trixie, she probably wouldn't let Richard Spooner ride her horse.

                            I still ride like a coked up lemur, so I'm not going to judge.
                            Nooooo, it's giving me flashbacks to fuzzy nosebands, two dressage whips, inability to find a hunt coat or saddle and - drum roll, please - all horses being crooked because of mama's womb!

                            Edited to say that Trixie and I seem to be suffering from the same flashbacks. So I'm in good company.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by JustMyStyle View Post
                              Why is it that no one seems to be able to keep from pinching with their knee and swinging their lower leg back over a fence in the hunter ring? How is it that Louise Serio had the only picture from the Hunter Spectacular that had a decent base of support?

                              I understand at the lower levels that many riders are still building their foundation and muscle (not that in my very personal opinion you have any business jumping if you can't hold your position over a fence). I just don't understand why you are jumping over 3ft if you can't even keep your heels down let alone keep your leg in place.

                              Yes, I know the rider isn't being judged. It just seems that back in the day the hunter riders had beautiful positions to go along with their beautiful horses. What are we missing? When did be okay for just the horse to look good?

                              Are we seeing that form does not lead to function anymore? Are the horses so much nicer that a good position doesn't need to add to the picture?

                              On a side note I do recognize that there are good hunter riders out there. I'm just wondering why they aren't the majority. And I'm trying to start a thoughtful discussion, not an argument
                              Oh good grief. This is ridiculous. You started this thread just to criticize some of the country's most talented and successful hunter riders. Get off your soap box. Who cares if someone's heels are down? Some of my favorite horses are the ones who canter around 3' or 3'6" with their riders hanging off one side or another. And anyone who has ridden a talented hunter knows that when they jump up hard (at any height -- 3', 3'6" or 4'), you might get popped out of the tack a little in order to let the horse jump up unimpeded. If you don't get either of these points, then you don't appreciate a great horse and what it takes to ride one, whether you're the little old lady hanging off the side of the horse OR the one grabbing braids when one jumps up high over the oxer.

                              Rest assured, there is as much "bad" equitation by the hunter riders now as there was "in the day." And there are just as many beautiful riders in both rings today.

                              There are some hunter AND jumper riders with incredible equitation: McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, etc. And there are others with unconventional form who know how to win despite your criticism: Aaron Vale, Todd Minikus, Scott Stewart, Liza Towell. The list could go on and on.

                              Really, other than you (and the others who have started these trainwreck threads) who cares?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by LH View Post
                                Oh good grief. This is ridiculous. You started this thread just to criticize some of the country's most talented and successful hunter riders. Get off your soap box. Who cares if someone's heels are down? Some of my favorite horses are the ones who canter around 3' or 3'6" with their riders hanging off one side or another. And anyone who has ridden a talented hunter knows that when they jump up hard (at any height -- 3', 3'6" or 4'), you might get popped out of the tack a little in order to let the horse jump up unimpeded. If you don't get either of these points, then you don't appreciate a great horse and what it takes to ride one, whether you're the little old lady hanging off the side of the horse OR the one grabbing braids when one jumps up high over the oxer.

                                Rest assured, there is as much "bad" equitation by the hunter riders now as there was "in the day." And there are just as many beautiful riders in both rings today.

                                There are some hunter AND jumper riders with incredible equitation: McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, etc. And there are others with unconventional form who know how to win despite your criticism: Aaron Vale, Todd Minikus, Scott Stewart, Liza Towell. The list could go on and on.

                                Really, other than you (and the others who have started these trainwreck threads) who cares?
                                AMEN

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Acceleration modifies the orientation of a gravitational vector.

                                  If I've got my science correct.....

                                  Objects on the earths surface fall at a rate of 32 feet per second, per second.

                                  In other words, an object in free fall, will travel 32 feet per second faster during any given second, as measured from any point in time along the trajectory of the fall.

                                  So if the object is already falling at 200 feet per second, then one second later it would be falling at 232 feet per second.... and so on...

                                  An object in free fall is essentially weightless, so if you went sky diving with your horse and omitted the the friction of the atmosphere, you could assume any orientation relative to your direction of fall, and it would all feel the same to you and your horse.

                                  Let's do an experiment...

                                  Image you are sitting on your horse, and your horse is standing in the top of a flat bed railcar, facing in the direction of travel, being pulled by an incredibly fast train along level track in a straight line.

                                  Let's match the acceleration of the train to be the same as the earths gravitational pull.... In other words the train will accelerate at 32 feet per second, per second.

                                  As you sit on your horse on the car of the accelerating train, you will notice that straight down is no longer your center of balance. So in order to remain balanced on your "standing" horse, your feet in the stirrups will begin to shift backwards until the train reaches the max acceleration of 32 feet per second, per second, and at that point you stirrup leathers will be at a 45 degree angle backwards from where they began (and so will your horse's legs).

                                  So, keep that in mind when you do your calculations for jumping perfection. Because a horse does not always accelerate at the same velocity over every jump.

                                  There is also a factor of equine orientation to consider as the horse essentially rotates around it's combined rider/horse center of gravity as it arcs up and over a jump on it's arc of trajectory.

                                  Combine a steep angle of takeoff trajectory with a strong force of acceleration, and the riders feet may move very far backwards, and still be in perfectly centered, balanced position.

                                  The analysis of jumping perfection is a difficult science to perfect. For in order to discovery that true perfection is being adhered to, one must have all the variables necessary to create the perfect calculation.

                                  But except for cases of obviously consistent backwards leg syndrome, one needs to at least have a high frame rate video taken at a perfect perpendicular angle to the arc of the horses jumping trajectory to do the adequate calculations to discern that a true variance from perfection has truly occurred.

                                  Also fitting the horse and rider with accelerometers and gyroscopic attitude sensors would be the preferred method for collecting definitive data.

                                  So I'll suggest for the sake of scientific accuracy, that all references to infractions of backwards leg accompany the computations and the data sets utilized to arrive at the opinion, so that they may be scrutinized for absolute accuracy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Be good or be good at it.


                                    AKA



                                    Be good = Ride like you are supposed to.

                                    Be good at it= You are good enough to ride outside of the box.
                                    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Really, other than you (and the others who have started these trainwreck threads) who cares?
                                      Be good = Ride like you are supposed to. Be good at it = You are good enough to ride outside of the box.
                                      Can I get an AMEN from the church???

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Flashy Gray VA View Post
                                        Can I get an AMEN from the church???
                                        Amen! And tossing one out for Trixie's last post too.
                                        "Aye God, Woodrow..."

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I'm kind of feeling the love for alterhorse right about now, too. That's certainly a new twist on these threads.

                                          And, unless my eye deceives me, I am seeing a certain amount of ducking in the old hunter photos Trixie put up. The horrors!
                                          According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

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