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If you can't feel your leads, you shouldn't be jumping??

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  • If you can't feel your leads, you shouldn't be jumping??

    is this just a general concensus??? I know i cannot for the life of me feel my leads, but i'm a fairly capable rider other than that, and i know my faults. But i just can't feel my leads for whatever reason.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Aerial View Post
    is this just a general concensus??? I know i cannot for the life of me feel my leads, but i'm a fairly capable rider other than that, and i know my faults. But i just can't feel my leads for whatever reason.
    It's obviously not a hard and fast rule or anything, but I feel like learning to feel your leads is a pretty basic skill/part of a solid riding foundation. While you're schooling it's not the end of the world to look down and get your lead/look at your lead, but in the show ring it can become a bit problematic if you need to keep looking down and checking, especially if you need to focus on making a tight turn (in the jumpers), or are in an eq class or something.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm guessing this is in relation to what I said on the other thread.

      Not necessarily that you shouldn't be jumping as in you are not capable, but as in that should be taught and learned before you start jumping, when you are learning to jump.

      I know when the beginners at my barn are learning they are not allowed to canter a jump if they can't feel their leads. Looking down shifts balance and hinders a turn.

      Although, I will say, that people who plan to show, need to be able to feel their leads, it looks bad, really bad, and throws horse and you off balanace.
      Just my two cents.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have no problem with someone learning to jump before they can feel their leads, but I certainly think its important. How can you influence your horses canter properly without being able to feel which leg is where at what time. If you want to do a lead change, or leg yield your horse out onto a line that you cut short or just flat effectively- you need to know whats going on under there.

        Comment


        • #5
          You're going to get a bunch of different answers on this one. It's something that some people feel yes, some people feel no.


          Some people feel like you should be able to w/t/c before jumping, some feel like w/t is fine for x's and that it's easier to learn how to canter if you trot in, canter out.

          It's more of an opinion thing, although some will diagree with that.


          IMO, if you can canter, you should know your leads, by looking at least, if not feeling. Flat or over fences.

          So maybe you can't feel them yet, but you should be working on it. As long as you can see what lead you're on, you're ok in my book.

          Comment


          • #6
            As long as you are safe and having fun, I think you should be doing whatever you and your trainer decide you should do. Others will vehemently disagree though. You'll see.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Seven-up View Post


              IMO, if you can canter, you should know your leads, by looking at least, if not feeling. Flat or over fences.

              So maybe you can't feel them yet, but you should be working on it. As long as you can see what lead you're on, you're ok in my book.

              I agree with that

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think most riders feel their leads before jumping, but I do feel that a good rider will easily feel where their horse's legs are eventually.

                Can you move up the levels while still looking at the shoulder for leads? Absolutely.

                Will you beat the natural rider that, among other things, can feel a lead? Probably not, but you are more than welcome to compete against them.

                The better question is, 'How might I improve my ability to feel the lead?"
                My answer is land and pull your inside rein, as in towards a small circle, one lead should feel dramatically more comfortable than the other. Recognize this fluidity under your inside hip, and mentally apply it upon each landing/as approaching each turn. When trying to turn, the lead should be abundantly clear.
                EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                  You're going to get a bunch of different answers on this one. It's something that some people feel yes, some people feel no.


                  Some people feel like you should be able to w/t/c before jumping, some feel like w/t is fine for x's and that it's easier to learn how to canter if you trot in, canter out.

                  It's more of an opinion thing, although some will diagree with that.


                  IMO, if you can canter, you should know your leads, by looking at least, if not feeling. Flat or over fences.

                  So maybe you can't feel them yet, but you should be working on it. As long as you can see what lead you're on, you're ok in my book.
                  agreed! i've been riding for almost 13 years, jumping (and showing o/f) for a pretty long time, and there are STILL days when i have to glance down and double-check myself. i don't think this is really a hard-and-fast situation. and for a rider who is just beginning to jump, it's not quite as necessary to be able to feel the lead, as they aren't going to be making any kind of crazy tight turns where quick thinking and a good swap are necessary.
                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                  PONY'TUDE

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                  • #10
                    Some horses are much easier to feel them on than others.
                    How much time have you spent trying to learn the feel of your leads and nothing else? Plan one ride where that will be your goal, then stop worrying about it.
                    Like the others say, it is much easier to be able to ask to changes of any kind if you don't have to glance down.
                    Second pot of coffee is needed today.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with most of what's been said. And, to take this a step further...

                      It IS hard to learn to "feel" for things like leads and diagonals, etc...and it should be encouraged before we start jumping, but I agree it's not a necessity. I do think it's a big hole in some Hunter rider programs that don't teach people to use their seats.

                      I struggled with feeling my horse until I started working with a trainer that stressed dressage basics. That's when I discovered my "seat." We feel our horses through our seat -- even if you use it lightly, as most American jumping riders do, it is still a VERY important tool -- even for a hunter rider.

                      I remember reading in one of Bill Steinkraus' books about how he used his seat to find distances...this was also a HUGE light bulb for me!!!

                      Seb
                      Aca-Believe it!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Confession: I can feel my leads/diagonals through a corner...on a straight line, where a lead change needs to occur, not so much. I can feel a wrong lead on a crooked horse on a straight line. But a straight horse on a straight line? nope. I've just never been very good at it.

                        But, I can also check for leads without moving my head at all. I don't even have to drop my eyes. I use my periphereal vision and that's it.
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't agree with the "no jumping if you can't feel your leads" rule, but I do have this rule:
                          No "training" on a horse's lead changes if you can't feel your leads. That kinda drives me nuts. The whole looking down and yanking, leaning, twisting to get the horse to swap. If you can't sit up, look up and feel what's going on down there- you don't need to be tinkering.
                          http://patchworkfarmga.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I waited until I could feel my leads on my horse I would never jump . Other horses I ride I can tell right away and don't have to look. Many feel like a broken washing machine to me. But my own horse is so darn comfortable at both the trot and canter that not only do I not always feel my leads but I can't always feel I am on the wrong diagonal!! With his dressage background his counter canter feels just as balanced and smooth as his canter on the correct lead. The only time I can really feel it is if he lands off a jump and goes into a corner on the wrong lead.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You should be able to do both at some point, and like someone said though, some horses are lot easier to feel it on than others. While I can usually feel it, I still always check---you should be able to do that without throwing your horse off balance.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well I'm probably going to be in the minority here but I think people should learn how to ride before learning how to jump...period. Because hunters or jumpers...90% of the course is flat work and not fences. And if you can't master the flat, you shouldn't be leaving the ground yet. Including all 3 gaits, lead changes and counting/rating the strides...all with independent hands, leg and seat.
                                But then...that's probably fantasy speaking today.
                                You jump in the saddle,
                                Hold onto the bridle!
                                Jump in the line!
                                ...Belefonte

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I can feel my leads and diagonals on most of the horses I ride.....except my own. No, I lie. I can't feel diagonals very well but I can feel his leads. He's not all that great at picking up his right lead (yet) so if it feels too easy he's on his left lead!

                                  I don't think you should necessarily be able to feel leads before jumping, but you should know WHAT leads and diagonals are. I have come across this issue with a few students we've gotten in that were jumping at their previous barns. One was even competing at 2'9-3'! My little w/t and w/t/c kiddies can tell what leads and diagonals are!
                                  I love my Econo-Nag!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm pretty good at feeling my leads, but it took me a while to learn how. I learned how to walk, trot, canter, and jump without being able to feel my leads for about 4 years. IMO that's a pretty difficult thing for beginners to be able to do, and it takes a bit of experience to be able to feel leads and diagnols.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                                      Well I'm probably going to be in the minority here but I think people should learn how to ride before learning how to jump...period. Because hunters or jumpers...90% of the course is flat work and not fences. And if you can't master the flat, you shouldn't be leaving the ground yet. Including all 3 gaits, lead changes and counting/rating the strides...all with independent hands, leg and seat.
                                      But then...that's probably fantasy speaking today.
                                      I'm pretty sure I can do all that: Better than some...worse than others. But if I closed my eyes, I'd have a 50/50 shot of guessing the correct lead/diagnoal unless I was in a corner. I also have a hard time with right/left...maybe I should've stayed in kindergarten until I mastered that.

                                      Who gets to decide what mastering the flat is? Is it being able to w/t/c, do lateral movements, do collection, extension, etc? That can take a lifetime and is different for each discipline.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks guys. =) Right now, i can for sure see my leads, but can't feel them. I worked on it the other day on the pony i ride and i think i can kinda feel them a little bit, but i'm still getting it wrong a lot lol. so i'm going to work on it some more, along with diagonals.

                                        Comment

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