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backside of the fence

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  • backside of the fence

    I was wondering if anyone had any good exercies or ideas on how to improve response time on the back side of the fence. I am just slow to respond to whatever it may be that my horse is doing....too fast, too slow, falling in, falling out, changing the lead, etc. I can do the things but I feel like it takes me too many strides to get it done. Any ideas on making my response time faster?

  • #2
    Stop thinking OMG A JUMP!!! and start concentrating on what comes next about 3 strides out from take off. You are letting your mind dwell too much on the jump and you are getting stuck there and trying to play catch up with where you are/what's next after landing.

    Kind of mind over matter here and you need to concentrate on that to fix it, no "magic bullet" type of excercise is going to fix it.

    Have to realize that what you got 3 strides out is what you got over that jump, too late to change anything so think AHEAD to what's next.

    Gymnastics can help you a little. So can avoiding jumping just lines, mix it up so you have to think more about what you are doing and have no time to think about the jump itself. Excercises like the Wheel of Death where you jump in a circle also diverts your attention to steering to the point of almost forgetting you are jumping.

    More time jumping also helps this, make it ho hum another jump in your mind. Borrow or lease for the day (if you can) something else or ride a school horse or different school horse so you can jump more without beating yours up.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #3
      I like doing lots of turny jumper stuff to help. I cannot NOT think about the next fence - it forces me to look at #4 while in the air over #3.
      A proud friend of bar.ka.


      • #4
        Try doing things like Findeight suggested that require you to think immediately after the jump like the circle of death. If that's kinda tough right now or if you can't set up jumps for that for every time you ride, try just doing broken lines and roll backs, both of which can be done on a regular hunter course.

        Also try thinking of the jump as just part of your path. Don't think, "oh a jump!" think of it as just a slight variation in how your horse is moving towards its destination. Always be looking ahead and plan before you act. Think about what you are going to do to continue on along your path before you even get to the jump. Don't anticipate and start adjusting unnecessarily, just think and plan.
        I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
        Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
        Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


        • #5
          Lots and lots of intense flatwork with a very good trainer (if you can use a Grand Prix trainer, they know how to flat and understand how important it is). You need to learn to make adjustments within one or two strides; transitions, collecting, lengthening, lead changes, straigtening, bending. If you can't get it done on the flat it's not going to happen over fences. Flatwork teaches you to feel your horse, use your aids and really connect. These adjustments become intuitive.


          • #6
            Um can someone please explain the "circle of death"? Maybe not a Canadian term???


            • #7
              Originally posted by HazelG View Post
              Um can someone please explain the "circle of death"? Maybe not a Canadian term???
              Basically, you set up jumps in a circle and jump them as a course. You want to have to keep bend going throughout the circle and not turn it into a box. After you get good, you can add more jumps, make the circle smaller etc. It makes you think ahead, because if you don't, you'll miss your next jump.

              It's also sometimes set up as a "corner of death" which is when the jumps are around the turn in a corner of the ring. Same concept, tighter turn, but it's easier to do a short small turn than an entire tight circle.

              Trainers often have riders do this drill when they fell like no stirrups and gymnastics are not enough torture
              It's a lot of work and can get annoying, but it really pays off, even after just one lesson of it.
              I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
              Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
              Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


              • #8
                You can isolate the "landing zone" by taking the "jump" out of the picture entirely, and working over rails on the ground instead. Work in two point and three point, at all gaits, including a walk, with lots of transitions. Along the way, you'll certainly uncover your weak areas; without the distraction of the jump, you can work to improve them.

                Then, use gymnastics to work on your jumping technique, until your position is solid.

                Then, practice the two skills together over very low jumps. Always stay in your comfort zone, and work with a trainer.
                Inner Bay Equestrian