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How does your ride change from 3'3" to 3'6"?

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  • How does your ride change from 3'3" to 3'6"?

    An eventer here, wanting to pick the knowledgeable brains of you H/J guys!

    I've been prepping a bunch of Pony Clubbers for their upcoming B tests this summer and have found that while most of them are solid at 3'3", as soon as the fences go up to the 3'5" - 3'7" range everything tends to fall apart! The biggest thing that I've noticed is that their canter tends to be underpowered- as soon as they shift up a gear and get the horse more in front of the leg... voila! What are some helpful hints and advice that I can pass on to them for riding the slightly bigger fences?

    (Also, do you find yourself dictating the distance more or less as the fences go up? I fall into the camp of riding your quality canter and the fence and the correct distance finds you.)

    Thanks!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Anyone?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd agree that it is all about that quality canter

      A lot of riders I see (mostly moving from 3' to 3'6" which is a bigger step up than you asked about) seem to get a little worried about the distance, and over ride it on too long a step, confusing speed for impulsion. Teaching patience at 3'6" takes a little time and getting comfortable with the canter that works.

      Doing exercises which focus on adjusting the stride can help - so that the rider builds confidence that they can maintain the correct impulsion while adding or leaving a stride out; for those that really get fixated on the height, try gymnastics.
      **********
      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
      -PaulaEdwina

      Comment


      • #4
        If my horse makes a good clean easy jump the distance finds us. The higher the fence the farther out (in theory) your horse lands so the less distance you have to make up. So in theory if you have the impulsion to make it to the spot and get a good distance the 12' stride should be a breeze and the second jump should be as well if you keep the impulsion and your horse in front.

        Of course this is all in theory

        Comment


        • #5
          3'3" to 3'6" should not be a big jump for a capable 3'6" horse, so my guess is that there was some patty caking going on at 3'3".

          It seems to me that frequently when riders become intimidated by height change the first thing they tend to do is sit and hope. Which generally means they get a few strides out and all the aids turn off, they perch and hope the horse is able to figure everything else out for them, not that the horse should not be able to, but once the aids go the horse is going to be confused about what the plan is.

          I would really work on balance at the walk, trot, canter, and gallop. Let’s face it up to 3' or so impulsion is a minor factor, almost any horse can lope down to 3'-3'3" on their front end and pull it off. Unfortunately the problem with that is that a lot of riders moving up in height do really understand what impulsion is, or more specifically what impulsion feels like and how that translates to a specific horse and their ability.

          However it is sometimes easier to get riders to understand balance and what that feels like first on the flat, once they understand the balance factor it is easier to translate the idea of impulsion.

          A simple exercise my father used to make us do when I was young was, at the walk to ask the horse to walk with as much pace as possible without breaking into the trot, using just a soft feel of their mouth and some leg, and ultimately finding that spot where they would walk into your hand at pace without thinking lets trot. When you have achieved this, you have achieved balance, and the same goes at the trot, canter etc.

          Let them know when you see the horse properly balanced at the canter so they can feel what you see.

          Generally once riders get this balance feel they can easily understand impulsion as it is related to jumping, because all impulsion is is the balance required for a specific horse over a specific fence.

          Grids can work well too just to give them confidence and to reinforce the feelings of balance and impulsion.

          You can set up a grid with a 3'6" vertical just as easy as you can a cross rail. Simple ground pole a stride before and after. After all when we are training younger horses etc. and we use these grids that is exactly what we are trying to teach the horse, balance and impulsion, and it can also help the rider feel them as well. Plus it has the added benefit of slowing things down a bit for the rider, and thus removing some of the intimidation of the extra 3".

          After this I would work over small courses 2'6" or so with a focus on balance until they look balanced and then jack the fences up again. Once they have done it right once over 3'6", call it a day, and tell them to think about how that ride felt.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
            I'd agree that it is all about that quality canter

            A lot of riders I see (mostly moving from 3' to 3'6" which is a bigger step up than you asked about) seem to get a little worried about the distance, and over ride it on too long a step, confusing speed for impulsion. Teaching patience at 3'6" takes a little time and getting comfortable with the canter that works.
            I agree with the first part; it is all about that canter, for sure. I seem to have had the opposite experience in that everyone I've seen who is moving up comes into the 3'6'' divisions with not enough canter. They seem to stick with that little canter that is perfect for the 3' division lines, but makes the 3'6'' lines too long to get down comfortably. Once they get into trouble, they start running.

            Hauwse had some great suggestions as for what to do.
            http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
            Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Ok, possibly a dumb question, but what does "patty caking" mean in regards to riding?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                I agree with the first part; it is all about that canter, for sure. I seem to have had the opposite experience in that everyone I've seen who is moving up comes into the 3'6'' divisions with not enough canter. They seem to stick with that little canter that is perfect for the 3' division lines, but makes the 3'6'' lines too long to get down comfortably. Once they get into trouble, they start running.

                Hauwse had some great suggestions as for what to do.
                This issue is magnified at 3'6" because aside from a little more height, the oxers usually get a little wider, and more impulsion is needed so that the horse gets all the way down the line to the base of the oxer so it can comfortably jump up and over a little bigger and somewhat wider fence. If the horse lacks impulsion and power down the line, it gets to the oxer long and weak and have trouble leaving the ground for the oxer.

                The idea is to have the same canter around the turn into the line that you would need down the line. If you go and watch the good 3'6" hunters (and jumpers too), you will definitely see more of a gallop. Also, in the hunters the 3'6" courses will generally be set on a 12'6" or 13' stride, whereas the 3' courses are almost always right on the 12' stride.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Duramax View Post
                  An eventer here, wanting to pick the knowledgeable brains of you H/J guys!

                  I've been prepping a bunch of Pony Clubbers for their upcoming B tests this summer and have found that while most of them are solid at 3'3", as soon as the fences go up to the 3'5" - 3'7" range everything tends to fall apart! The biggest thing that I've noticed is that their canter tends to be underpowered- as soon as they shift up a gear and get the horse more in front of the leg... voila! What are some helpful hints and advice that I can pass on to them for riding the slightly bigger fences?

                  (Also, do you find yourself dictating the distance more or less as the fences go up? I fall into the camp of riding your quality canter and the fence and the correct distance finds you.)

                  Thanks!
                  3incches in mind is bigger fences -- try working them
                  through grids and spreads upping the back rail so they dont notice --
                  as its in there minds horse can jump the jumps but can the riders
                  most peeps only jump upto 3ft only some jump 3ft 9in most peeps are happy at 2ft 9
                  so its a mind thing they look - then pull the horse out and then balme the horse when its themselves so you have to be a bit sneaky and do loads of gridsadding last pole up on last fence then add a second pole up in the grid until you hav a line of three at 3ft 9 and they happy doing it

                  so its bit like xx xx xx so back rail goes up on the last one then 2nd to last then 1st last so you doing it graually then have a small jumping course mixed from 2ft 9 to ge them happy then 3ft 3ft tthen 3ft 6 to 3ft 9

                  but you got to work on the grids to build confindence with thehorse and the rider so they can learn the striding and see the strides - if horse rushes put a pole at the end of the grid iin a canter position

                  it takes time once they working the grids and you have them jumping a small course then they will be able to jump a good height and hold there own
                  but will say remember a verticle jump isnt the same as a spread so you need to know where to place them for take of and jumping and landing
                  also they are half pints remember that to, as in kids so havent the strenght or leg to hold if a horse is abit sharp or quick as they arnt all like u that have a calf then an ankle
                  half pints have an ankle only at the end of a saddle flap -- so section them off to size of horse or pony and size of kids but work the same method babies 1ft -2ft novice 2ft -3ft imtermediates 3ft - 3ft 9in+ in gridwork

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