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Correcting a "Floating" Release

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  • Correcting a "Floating" Release

    I recently have picked up the habit of a "floating" release, my hands hover just above the horse's neck instead of coming down on either side. Though it works and I never catch the horse in the mouth it is not correct.

    Anyone have and tips, trick, hints, or advice on correcting this? Or is it just force of mind and practice?

    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    I did this for a while (like a week lol) a couple years ago. What did it for me was first my trainer who wanted to hit me over the head with a crop and forcing myself to shove my knuckles in the horses neck. I think the reason I did this was because I was riding with too high of hands. Lower your hands a bit and think of pushing your hands down and not making a big motion with either your body or hands. Just let your horse close underneath you! I'm not sure what level you are riding at but I would probably stick with the crest release again for a while rather than attempting an automatic release.


    • #3
      Tell yourself "F I N D T H E N E C K".
      It's what I say to my students as they leave the ground when they have "floater" problems.
      You are not alone.... if that makes you feel any better.


      • #4
        You are going to have to do this OVER and OVER Again to get it to be more automatic in your mind/body. Practice over some small fences and as you move your hands forward and up the crest of the horses neck make a CONCIOUS EFFORT to NEVER LET YOUR KNUCKLES LEAVE THE NECK. As you "Slide" forward and up press knuckles into the muscles of the horses neck alongside NOT on top of the crest. Usually a floating release also means the rider is not clsoing the hip angle properly, but "Standing up" and throwing their upper body up the horses neck, the two often are hand in hand so you may be needing to correct more than just your release
        Last edited by shawneeAcres; Mar. 29, 2009, 02:49 PM.


        • #5
          make your self press your knuckles into the neck. I have used it with several students who also float their releases and it has fixed it well


          • #6
            You can bridge your reins, too. This was how my trainer taught me to do a release when I first started jumping. Bridge your reins with about 4-5 inches between your hands, and then rest the bridge across the top of the neck to "support" your hands. It automatically puts your hands in the right spot. My suggestion would be to mix in bridging with non-bridging releases, because I had trouble losing the bridge--it got to be a habit that was hard to let go of.

            Whatever you end up doing, it's more about making a concious effort to really pay attention to where you put your hands. You just have to create a new habit.


            • #7
              Another &quot;I don't know&quot; question..........

              If you are not catching the horse in the mouth and it works for you..........
              What is "wrong" about it?

              You mentioned nothing about compromised stability, so I don't get it.

              Medical mike
              equestrian medical researcher
              soon to be equicision.com


              • #8
                Originally posted by medical mike View Post
                If you are not catching the horse in the mouth and it works for you..........
                What is "wrong" about it?

                You mentioned nothing about compromised stability, so I don't get it.
                I have the same problem sometimes, and though it "works" it is not technically correct, especially for someone who plans on showing in the medals or equitations.
                Last edited by Whimsically Smart; Mar. 29, 2009, 10:49 PM. Reason: Spelling


                • #9
                  kind of in the same vein as Mike's question, what's the difference between a "floating" release and an "automatic" release? Is it that a floating release is on the crest and not "following" the mouth exactly and an automatic release follows along the sides of the neck? I just want to clarify, even though I'm sure this is a really dumb question....


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Parker_Rider View Post
                    kind of in the same vein as Mike's question, what's the difference between a "floating" release and an "automatic" release? Is it that a floating release is on the crest and not "following" the mouth exactly and an automatic release follows along the sides of the neck? I just want to clarify, even though I'm sure this is a really dumb question....
                    Well, an auto release is supposed to be a straight line from elbow to bit, and its purpose is to keep rein contact over the jump. A floating release creates a seriously broken line from elbow to bit, and doesn't maintain any sort of contact whatsoever, and doesn't do anything, unlike an auto release. Besides being incorrect, it tends to (doesn't always) encourage other faults: upper body instability (because your body isn't supported by your hands) such as getting left behind or ducking, hitting your horse in the mouth, etc. etc. Check out pictures. If someone uses a floating release, many times they also have other problems. They duck to one side, they lie on the neck, do that elbow pointed to the ground thing.


                    • #11
                      Flip the buckle of the reins under the horse's neck. The bite (sp?) being under the horse's neck will keep you from having the slack to float your hands.
                      friend of bar.ka


                      • #12
                        I have the same problem. For some reason, it's much more likely to happen over cross-rails and in the ring, not so much over more solid obstacles or out cross-country. Go fig I guess it's a good thing I don't do show hunters!
                        Snobbington Hunt clique - Whoopee Wagon Fieldmaster
                        Bostonians, join us at- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Boston_Equestrian
                        NYC Equestrians- http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/urbanequestrian/


                        • Original Poster

                          you can kind of see my floating release here - http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php...7&id=510596242 .

                          It's really not terrible, basically for me it works like an atomatic release so I never give up the soft contact and have complete control throughout the jump and the landing. It is not a problem with small jumps or with a horse that jumps flat but it can cause problems over larger fences or w/ horses with large bascales(sp).

                          Also of course it is just not "correct".
                          “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                          !! is the new .


                          • #14
                            Try grabbing mane and telling yourself to push the side of your pinky and hand into the neck until you get used to the feeling. Then try to stop grabbing mane but keep thinking about pushing your hand into the neck and see what happens. If you start floating again go back to grabbing mane. Eventually you will train your body and mind to push down on the neck.


                            • #15
                              Try holding the reins as though you are driving a horse. In other words, hold the rein as it comes from the bit, up and over your first finger and thumb, with the bight of the reins falling down through the rest of your fingers. This is a method described best in Anne Kursinki's book.


                              • #16
                                From the picture you posted, my previous suspicion in my post appears to be correct, your base of support is not strong enough. The release is wrong in the photo and is "floating, but what is worse is you are coming back down onto the horses back over the top of the fence. This is where your problem lies, you aren't closeing you hip angle and using your leg for support at all. You need to work on developing a stronger base of support, lots of two point and working without REINS to develop balance and strength. Rarely is the "release" the whole problem and from this pic I see that it is stemming from your position problems

                                FYI Is that Quail Roost FArm? Looks like it!


                                • Original Poster

                                  I agree that I do need a stronger base support though I think it is a little bit better than the pictures lets on. You can see the pony took off long and I was left behind which left me a bit loose.

                                  I posted the rest of my pictures from that day here for critique, you can see in most of them I do have a combination of floating reins and slightly jumping up the neck (because I am not solid enough in my leg)
                                  Last edited by *JumpIt*; Mar. 31, 2012, 08:18 PM.
                                  “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                                  !! is the new .


                                  • #18
                                    Flip the buckle of the reins under the horse's neck. The bite (sp?) being under the horse's neck will keep you from having the slack to float your hands.
                                    Interesting exercise, just don't drop the reins!


                                    • #19
                                      I think you directed us to your worst photo. The others aren't really bad. Your leg is pretty decent, though you are turning your toes out and getting "grippy." (Not as bad as kicking, but almost.)

                                      You should be able to fix your release without too much effort, but you should practice jumping first with no hands, through a grid, on a very steady horse. Practice with hands in various positions, till you don't depend on them for balance at all (it doesn't look like you depend on them very much in the pics.)

                                      Then pick up the reins, and just relax your arms, letting your contact with the horse's mouth take your hand forward over the jump, the same way that you maintain contact with the horse's mouth at the canter. Continue to balance on your legs, and don't change anything else, except for using the inside of your legs, rather than the back to communicate that you want to go forward, or over.


                                      • #20
                                        easy to fix..........

                                        I'll go with the "o.k." for the floating release. As there is a technical definition of it to distinguish it from the automatic release, I'll say they are different, but w/o motion, hard to say from those pics.

                                        Now base (leg), that is another story. Correction is clear at least IMO.....
                                        as usual I have to caveat by saying "stability and scoring points are two different things".

                                        Heels are down. The mechanism used by your lower extremity to keep your bodies center of mass over the horses is probably very compromised. Hence your trouble with larger obstacles.

                                        The turn out is and lower extremity posture is classic imbalance between the muscles that control pull in and out. Hence the knee block.

                                        So standard exercises to start:
                                        Heel raise in two position
                                        Slideboard squeezes
                                        Standing Row and Press with bungee

                                        I like your foot position in the stirrup.

                                        With a little strengthening and progression to some advanced hip strengthening exercises, your problem should go away in 1-2 months.

                                        Medical Mike
                                        equestrian medical researcher
                                        soon to be equicision.com