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Critique Please!

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  • #21
    What a cutie! You two look like a great team
    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

    The Grove at Five Points


    • Original Poster

      Someone said I was putting too much weight in my stirrups...

      Any comments? Is that possible?

      Is my upper body loud?



      • #23
        You are a lovely rider, very brave! Im jealous!


        • #24
          That video just made me smile! What a lovely ride - you two make a great team and I LOVE your horse! Look at that expression and those ears - really looks like he loves what he's doing!

          Kudos to you all! And very cool you are doing H/J with an unorthodox breed. I thought he was Irish

          My friend Events her TB x Percheron, but I admit you don't see that cross in H/J land as often......

          Lovely! Thanks for sharing!
          Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
          **Morgans Do It All**


          • #25
            I again will say you look great. Your not loud with your upper body IMO and i don't know what she means by to much weight in your irons? You'd have to be more specific with that one. Like I said the only thing I see is I'd give a bit more of a release to him but you guys look great.
            Hunter derby, well he is not really the type in movement and way of going IMO. Agree with above poster. His jumping style isn't what they really look for and he is a little quick at the jumps IMO for derbies. I do think you guys should do some eq classes though.
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


            • #26
              You two are a lovely team! You do a great job of letting him do what he needs to do...

              Originally posted by ponyjumper525 View Post
              Also - question, I do the hunter derbies on him in a stronger bit and he's not fast, just a little quick to the jumps. Any idea why he wouldn't place well? its pretty obvious he loves his jobs, but we rarely score over a 60
              i guess our competition isnt the easiest to beat haha
              That said, he's just not a hunter type. He's quick, he looks strong and doesn't have the type of jump they are looking for in the hunters. I remember you posting a video asking about derby potential (before your 1st one, I think?) I'm pretty sure there was some good feedback on that thread. I don't think you need to stop doing derbies, as they are good practice, but it's going to be a struggle for this horse to be successful in them. I would say it's a good that you are doing the jumpers and that is where this horse seems to belong.
              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


              • #27
                Do you have a video of a trip where you feel you put in a pretty good trip but scored low? I will say he is really quick off the ground, and I agree with the poster who said he sort of rabbit jumps with his back end. Not that big of a deal in the jumpers but not ideal for a hunter. Also you said he speeds up towards the jumps? Even if he isn't grabbing the bridle it can look that way. Consistency is everything in the hunters and if he is changing his pace 7 times in a course it can really ding you.. His expression says he loves his job but he is definitely better suited to the jumper ring


                • #28
                  Wow, what a cute and super enthusiastic horse! You ride him quite well. Since you say you do eq/hunters occasionally, the only thing I might change about that round is a bit more balance in the turns; he seems to just float through them and uses it as an opportunity to build.
                  As for the hunters, I remember a video of a 3' derby you posted and I believe the main issue was that he was just a little too quick rather than the relaxed canter preferred in the hunters these days. As the above poster said, the speeding up before the jumps will really bump your score down.


                  • #29
                    I think your horse is very cute.

                    I think you're riding very well right now, but because you asked for critiques, I'll offer one for you to consider or dismiss as you see fit...

                    First "study" Margie Engle as she rides Indigo in this video:

                    Pay close attention to Margie riding on the flat, and notice how deep she sits at times to get Indigo to listen, collect, and prepare for the next jump.

                    Then when she jumps, notice how soft and non-interfering her release is.

                    Next, really take a good look at how Indigo uses himself over the jumps, and pay very close attention to how Indigo uses his head and neck to affect his trajectory (bascule) as he goes over each jump.

                    Now compare what you learn from observing Margie and Indigo, to what you can observe from watching yourself in your own video.

                    What I think I see, is that you could improve your position to employ a deeper seat so that you might build a more "influential" connection/communication with your horse rather than the more tentative one that I think I am seeing in your video.

                    Watch yourself and your horse going through the triple combination using this link that will put you on the 1:34 time marker of your video:


                    Notice how much softer your release looks in the first jump in this combination and how your horse uses his neck here! See how much rounder his jump can be! Then look at the last jump in this same combination and look at what your doing with your reins, look at how this effects your horses head, and how much flatter he jumps that last jump.

                    Of course, because your horse is a draft cross, he's built bulkier up front and has a shorter neck, and this combined with how capable and fit he is in his haunches, will influence the overall ability he can achieve as a jumper.

                    But I think if you become a more technical rider, and your horse can learn to use himself more efficiently (with training and your help). You might start to feel as though you're riding with a higher lever of communication, and if your horse has the ability (mentally and physically), you may find he has more to offer, as you both come closer as a team.

                    Last edited by alterhorse; Feb. 27, 2013, 11:52 PM.


                    • Original Poster

                      @alterhorse - I'm not sure what you're saying I need to improve, more release? sit deeper? In all honesty, when I see Margie go, it seems like she's pushing Indigo - I could be 100% wrong. Please explain further!

                      Thanks everyone for your input!!


                      • #31
                        I see a very cute, jumper-y horse who loves what he does. I second the thoughts that he's not a hunter type, he's too fast and too snappy with his legs. BUT he obviously does well at the jumpers!


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by ponyjumper525 View Post
                          @alterhorse - I'm not sure what you're saying I need to improve, more release? sit deeper? In all honesty, when I see Margie go, it seems like she's pushing Indigo - I could be 100% wrong. Please explain further!

                          Thanks everyone for your input!!
                          Describe how you think Margie's seat and body position might be effecting how Indigo is going in this section of the video. I set the video to start at 0:45 Seconds.


                          Describe what is she doing from about five strides out before the green and yellow liverpool...... keep watching to the next jump..... what is she doing, just before, and while, making the turn, in front of the green and white triple bar?


                          • Original Poster

                            She's sitting behind the motion and asking him forward... that's what it looks like to me! PLease correct me if Im wrong!


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by ponyjumper525 View Post
                              She's sitting behind the motion and asking him forward... that's what it looks like to me! PLease correct me if Im wrong!
                              That's a fair observation.

                              Many, many, people simply ride well without being able to explain how they ride in technical terms. This is perfectly fine (if not preferred), because even when one does gain insights into the "whys" of how a horse and rider work together well, that knowledge does not serve them unless it's converted into body memory, and can be utilized on the same level as any other thing a person might do from one's sense of "instinct".

                              For example, like any other form of art, one does not generally think about all of the details that may be involved in the creation of that art, but rather, one who is applying an art, simply focuses on the desired result, and preforms the art from a sense of "feeling".

                              To bring this concept into a perspective where it might provide some benefit. We have to provide some sort of level of reference where both an instinctive rider or a technical rider might both examine a highly talented riders performance, and then find a method of explaining the elements of that performance in ways that might be easily understood.

                              If we then observe Margie Engle in the video with an interest in learning what the purpose might be for what we observe her doing. We might best find out by asking her... But without having her input, the next best thing we can do is to observe the behavior of her horse in response to what we may believe it is that we are observing her do.

                              Thus what I see in that video, is that when Margie sits back in the saddle, and gets behind the motion of her horse, I see her horse slow and shorten his stride, he rocks back more onto his haunches, reaches further under himself with his hind legs, and his withers elevate to a higher position relative to his croup (a more uphill balance).

                              In essence I think she is "rebalancing" her horse, saying to the horse through her aids "listen to me and focus on me", preparing her horse to be ready for the next fence several strides before, by engaging the horses energy and collecting it in preperation for the next jump.

                              In essence I feel what she is doing in these moments, is something similar to what a Dressage rider does when they put a horse on the aids, and into a frame. By riding the horse from their leg and seat, creating impulsion from the hunches, and having that energy travel through the horses body, and into the riders hands. When we see a well ridden dressage horse going, we can see how the rider balances that energy they create with their aids, and the horse steps further under from behind, rounds his back, and lightens his forehand. When watching a dressage horse going in such a frame, it's easy to imagine that the horses entire body is being compressed or shortened like a coil spring, and all of that energy stored in that spring is available for the rider to "channel" in any direction they desire, as long as the horse responds obediently to the riders aids.

                              Let's then apply this dressage analogy to Margie in the moments of the video that we observed. Can we think of how moments of riding a show jumper similar to a dressage horse might be helpful in accomplishing the job required of the horse to jump a course?

                              If we observe her entire ride we might see a pattern begin to emerge, and it might be described something like this...

                              The jumper rider looks ahead towards the next obstacle seeing in their minds eye the distance to the next fence, and foreseeing how to bring their horse to that fence with the proper strides and preparedness to best be able to jump that fence successfully.

                              The jumping of the last fence excites the horse so that as the horse lands, he is more on his forehand and thinking thoughts of forwardness in his excited horse mind.

                              The rider upon recovering from the landing, using effective aids, then brings the riders aids back to the attention of the horses mind.

                              As the rider asks the horse to rock back to rebalance, the horse becomes obedient to the riders aids again. The rider has now prepared the horse to follow the riders instructions and guidance, and put the horse in a suitable frame for jumping, as they make their way to the base of the next jump of the course.

                              We might then describe the jumping process as sort of an equation....

                              *Rider gets horse on the aids.
                              *Rider guides horse to jump.
                              *After jump, rider gets horse on aids again as soon as possible.
                              *Rider guides horse to next jump.

                              Another way of thinking about it could be....

                              *Horse is listening.
                              *We Jump.
                              *On landing, horse is excited and not listening.
                              *We do a strong half halt to put horse back on aids and rebalance horse.
                              *Horse is listening again.
                              *We need energy for next jump so we prepare the horse by collecting and engaging before takeoff.
                              *As we takeoff we get out of our horses way so as not to interfere with the horse jumping and make the horse mad at us.
                              *We land and start the process over again.

                              Some key points in our observations might be....

                              Upper level riders may,

                              *Get their mounts under control as soon as possible after a jump.
                              *Plan well ahead as they ride.
                              *Prefer to make large adjustments in stride or obedience well before a jump.
                              *Try to bring their horse to the base of the jump in a frame, pace, and location suitable to make that jump.
                              *Try not to make adjustments that can disturb the horses preparedness in the last strides before a jump.
                              *Try not to do anything while the horse is jumping that might make the horse upset.


                              • #35
                                Geez, alterhorse, I feel like I ought to pay you for that lesson.
                                Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


                                • #36
                                  Agreed with alter. She is bringing her horse back on his rear and making him use his self at the jumps with a driving seat also. It's a very useful tool ESP as you move up the levels and is something you should be working on at home as well. Just like when you take a sharp turn or rollback, you will sit up and deep reason being to get the horse back on his rear to properly make the turn. Again though I believe you did an excellent job ESP with what I've seen in the jumper ring at this level. You have technical aspects of your ride but as you go further you should be learning to be even more technical in your ride because the courses ask more questions and become harder.
                                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                  • #37
                                    Great advice Alterhorse!!! You are very good at explaining and using examples!!


                                    • #38
                                      Great post, alterhorse!

                                      Love your horse and you make a fabulous pair. I don't have the knowledge to add substantively to the technical advice you've received, but I'll throw in a little observation from my own experience as I also ride a big, strong enthusiastic horse with a big strong neck . My horse has the tendency to rabbit jump and jump a bit flat, but my coach has me really working on softening my hand in the approach, giving a generous release and not coming back too quickly in the saddle. I find my mare is really using her neck a lot more and her jump has become much rounder and slower in the air . (In fact I really got jumped out of the tack in our last lesson -- wasn't used to her giving such a bascule!). Just my 2 cents . Anyway, it's fun to watch you two -- great to see a well matched pair who love their job
                                      I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.


                                      • #39
                                        I didn't read all of the responses so my apologies if I am being repetitive. First, I think you are a good rider and your horse certainly loves his job and is good at it . I love that your leg stays under you all the time and you are with your horse. You guys look great already, so my suggestions below are just tweaks.

                                        I am assuming that the video shows a jumper course. I think you could improve your time and the overall flow a little more by tidying up your corners. I would recommend sinking into your saddle after the jumps, when you are entering your corners to help your horse rebalance and get on his hind end. If he is more on his hind end, he should be able to turn more economically. I use the term sink because I don't think you need to sit hard and drive, just bend your knees, have your leg there in a supporting (not gripping) way, sink your seat softly into the saddle, and hold your stomach solid to stabilize your lower back, all while opening your shoulders. You may find you also want to bend your elbows and raise your hand a little for the turns, but keep following with your hand, don't raise your hand and hold. The goal is for you to be solid and supportive through the turn, not rough. I think you could try shortening your stirrups a hole or two also, but you don't have to if you find that uncomfortable or it puts you in a chair seat.