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getting the right lead when landing a jump

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  • getting the right lead when landing a jump

    I have some questions about jumping, I realize answering these could take a bit of time so | wonder if there is a book I could get.

    For now my questions are:

    How do I get the right lead when I land a jump.
    How do you learn distance and how many strides to take.

    thanks

  • #2
    As for landing the right lead, some horses just naturally get the lead, while others you sort-of have to 'bend them'. What usually helps me is when at the base of the jump turn your head (or even the horses very slightly) and use leg aids on the side you want them to pick up on. If it's the left lead, then use your left leg aids, if its the right lead, use your right leg aids. You can also open your shoulder and reins as to make an open door almost. Granted others probably do this differently, but this helps. Practice also helps.

    As for distances, count to yourself after cantering a pole or over a fence. Ask your trainer what strides you should get in the line and count to yourself how many the horse is taking. Eventually you'll learn whether you should slow down or move up to the next jump. It's all about practice and doing it consistently. Once you land a jump and the horse takes a stride, start your count. Either backwards from whatever number you're supposed to get, or forward as in 1,2,3,4.... Eventually you'll get the hang of it
    Last edited by Phototoxicity; May. 11, 2013, 12:00 AM. Reason: Spelling

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      OOH the P word! practice..... Ok I will try what you said about getting the lead, makes sense. thankx

      Comment


      • #4
        You know, unless you are very accomplished rider? Anything you do with your body over a fence can get in the way of the horse and create something the judge can see.

        There is no deduction for a properly done lead change after landing, especially if you can get it done on a straight line before the corner. Even if you are almost in the corner, it would only be a minor deduction as long as the change is clean.

        If you are still mastering the step and getting over the center of each fence? I would wait on worrying about changing over a fence. No great benefit and too much could go wrong.

        Keep your head up and look where you want to go next, aim for the center of the fence and just LOOK for the center of the next fence or around the upcoming corner from 3 stride before the first fence. You might be surprised what happens with no further input from you, especially as the horse gains miles on courses.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Phototoxicity View Post
          As for landing the right lead, some horses just naturally get the lead, while others you sort-of have to 'bend them'. What usually helps me is when at the base of the jump turn your head (or even the horses very slightly) and use leg aids on the side you want them to pick up on. If it's the left lead, then use your left leg aids, if its the right lead, use your right leg aids. You can also open your shoulder and reins as to make an open door almost. Granted others probably do this differently, but this helps. Practice also helps.

          As for distances, count to yourself after cantering a pole or over a fence. Ask your trainer what strides you should get in the line and count to yourself how many the horse is taking. Eventually you'll learn whether you should slow down or move up to the next jump. It's all about practice and doing it consistently. Once you land a jump and the horse takes a stride, start your count. Either backwards from whatever number you're supposed to get, or forward as in 1,2,3,4.... Eventually you'll get the hang of it
          I actually do this a bit differently. i lead over the jump with the OUTSIDE hip and add OUTSIDE leg (opposite of the lead I want to land on). I do look towards the direction I want the lead on, and lead with my outside shoulder. And yes, it can ruin your jump if you do not know what you are doing

          i cant help with distances...they come naturally after years of jumping, and each horse is a bit different. Some i have had like to do it themselves, some like to be stuffed to the base, and some like to leave long. at this point, i would focus on keeping a steady pace amd moving up out of your corner...makes for a more natural distance. Leave your horse alone...most often, unless they are green, they do better without us fussing for a distance.

          Jumping a single fence on a circle can encourage your horse to land on the inside lead and unless you are doing a handy course, that is generally the route of a hunter course. practice with the leading rein, head turning and outside leg (ir inside...whichever your horse likes) on a circle jump.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Silk View Post
            I actually do this a bit differently. i lead over the jump with the OUTSIDE hip and add OUTSIDE leg (opposite of the lead I want to land on). I do look towards the direction I want the lead on, and lead with my outside shoulder. And yes, it can ruin your jump if you do not know what you are doing


            i cant help with distances...they come naturally after years of jumping, and each horse is a bit different. Some i have had like to do it themselves, some like to be stuffed to the base, and some like to leave long. at this point, i would focus on keeping a steady pace amd moving up out of your corner...makes for a more natural distance. Leave your horse alone...most often, unless they are green, they do better without us fussing for a distance.

            Jumping a single fence on a circle can encourage your horse to land on the inside lead and unless you are doing a handy course, that is generally the route of a hunter course. practice with the leading rein, head turning and outside leg (ir inside...whichever your horse likes) on a circle jump.
            This is the correct. You put your weight in your outside stirrup and have a slight inside bend looking the direction you want to go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PonyPenny View Post
              This is the correct. You put your weight in your outside stirrup and have a slight inside bend looking the direction you want to go.
              if you watch videos of some of the top hunter riders, you can see them trying to get their horses (esp the greener ones) to land on the correct lead by stepping into the outside stirrup and using their inside rein. I make sure Im straight to the jump, and always think "land left/right", and Im lucky enough that the horse I ride will usually do this, but I have to make sure shes straight to and over the jump.

              To learn distance, my only advice is to watch other riders and count when they get close to the fence and see if your stride count matches theirs. When you're riding, if you keep a constant rhythm in your head around the ring to each jump. Cavaletti work at the trot and the canter. If you do this, eventually you will start being able to see where in your rhythm the jump is going to fall. It takes a lot of practice.
              "to each his own..."

              Comment


              • #8
                For landing the lead I usually shift my weight to whichever side I need to (not dramatically) and cue with the leg I would use to get that lead; I usually do this as soon as we're off the ground.
                As for finding the distance, my trainer didn't have me do poles but instead she had me get the right pace first and then she would count out loud as soon as we were three or four strides away from the fence. She made me count with her too. She also let me do most of the work when it came to finding the right pace--she would let me know when I had a really good pace, but for the most part she would let me figure it out on my own even if that meant getting long spots or chips. This way I could get a better feel of the pace we needed to find our spots. It helped a lot because now I'm better about figuring out when I'm 3-4 strides out from the fence and can adjust our pace accordingly.
                If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                If I smell like manure, I tripped.

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                • #9
                  for strides I usually see them but if I don't I just look up and literally say "I see it, I see it, I see it" and then when I don't see it I take my half seat this works because the thing that creates a bad jump isn't getting a bad distance its riding to the bad distance/ riding poorly at the wrong distance.
                  My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

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                  • #10
                    I have a horse that has a sticky left lead (before I knew he had problems with the tendon in his shoulder which limited him).

                    These are the few things I used to help us out. Say we're coming up to a fence on the quarter line. I would first focus that we have a comfortable, relaxed, and even pace. I would also focus that we are straight. A stride before the jump, I would lean back slightly with my outside shoulder and step down a little heavier on my outside stirrup. This is not to be overdone -- otherwise you can interfere with the horse's jump (namely their evenness).

                    If you are COMFORTABLE and INDEPENDENT with your hands, you can also do an automatic release of sorts and open your inside rein wide over the jump, ensuring straightness from your elbow to the horse's mouth, but keep the outside rein straight back (almost like a short crest release). The inside, open rein is not a pulling rein, but a guiding rein. You are to keep your body ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT. Do not, I repeat, do not lean or twist your body to the inside. Do not duck to the outside either.

                    The purpose of leaning your shoulder slightly back before the jump and stepping down in your outside leg is to point your horse in the direction of the rail. The horse is more likely to see the rail and think to land on the correct lead. If the horse doesn't land on the correct lead, it will land more likely with it's haunches to the inside, which will set you up nicely for a lead change.

                    The problem, which I admit I used to be guilty of, with jumping leaning/twisting your body to the inside, is that if the horse doesn't land on the correct lead, you set yourself up to cut the corner, the shoulders are to the inside of the haunches, and you will not get your lead (easily). It also is not very pretty or good equitation.

                    As others have said, jump your horse on the circle. Practice using the guiding rein. Jump your horse diagonally over a fence on the quarter line heading to the rail.

                    ------

                    As for your pace and distance to the fence, this is something that takes a good deal of practice! Practice over poles, or very low fences, so you can do it regularly without taxing your horse. When you don't see a distance, your automatic inclination may to sit back, pull on the reins, and "clamp up", which will make your horse slow down. This really inevitably causes you to run out of horse, which will definitely not give you a distance, and you will create a viscous circle. Take the advice that others have given you here. All that I can add is that when you don't see a distance, allow the horse to keep a natural rhythm. Unless your horse is green, he can see the jump better than you and most likely will adjust himself accordingly.

                    Distances really are about having the right pace. You have to find that sweet spot for that horse. That is also why jumping over poles or low jumps will give you an advantage because if you don't find your distances, no big deal! It's a small jump, the horse will be alright and it won't mess with your conscious either.

                    Sorry for the book. It's just two issues that I've had personally and are my own, adult amateur-rider solutions.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      You are right, I do still need to just focus on rhythm and basics but I wanted to know. You never know when it will all come together and you could try out a new step.
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      You know, unless you are very accomplished rider? Anything you do with your body over a fence can get in the way of the horse and create something the judge can see.

                      There is no deduction for a properly done lead change after landing, especially if you can get it done on a straight line before the corner. Even if you are almost in the corner, it would only be a minor deduction as long as the change is clean.

                      If you are still mastering the step and getting over the center of each fence? I would wait on worrying about changing over a fence. No great benefit and too much could go wrong.

                      Keep your head up and look where you want to go next, aim for the center of the fence and just LOOK for the center of the next fence or around the upcoming corner from 3 stride before the first fence. You might be surprised what happens with no further input from you, especially as the horse gains miles on courses.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have my riders work on their leads over fences by having them weight the inside stirrup and squeeze outside leg and of course LOOK for the next fence. Have to be careful that it doesn't throw you off the center of the jump though.

                        A good exercise would be to set up two crossrails or cavaletti next to each other about 30 feet apart and do figure 8s over the jumps. Practice the signal you want to give and each jump will result in a lead change to the next jump.

                        I was taught to look for distances by setting up crossrails about 60 feet apart (IIRC) and I had to do 5 strides repeatedly, then I had to push the horse into larger strides and go for four, then had to collect and go for six.
                        Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                        Bernard M. Baruch

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          On all questions, I'd focus on going straight and getting in the habit of counting strides.

                          If you try to land the lead before you're ready, you can easily end up teaching your horse to drop it's inside shoulder & cut the corner, making landing or changing the lead a nightmare. If your horse doesn't have a strong favorite lead, a very straight ride over a course with predictable turns will set them up well to land the lead. So your need for changes could be limited to roll backs just by going really straight.

                          Even in if you're just repeating 1-2-3-4, it will help you to learn your horse's stride and you'll start to see a distance that comes out of the consistent rhythm. Once you really understand that rhythm, you'll also find it easier to adjust it to find the add our leave out. Whatever you do, don't count down! If you know the # of strides a line is supposed to be, when you count down, you'll be up the horse's neck when you hit zero, no matter how many strides you still need to take. I speak from experience on this one!

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