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First show at 2'6", critique please

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  • First show at 2'6", critique please

    This past weekend I showed for the first time at 2'6". We didn't place in any of the over fences classes, I understood why and didn't expect to place. It's a large division and we only wanted to move up at the end of the season to get used to showing bigger for next year. We did place 6th in the last hunter flat of the weekend which made us all so ecstatic because even back in long stirrup we rarely placed in hunter flats. My pony isn't a great mover, especially amongst so many large, nice moving horses. I was really happy with the way the weekend went, I didn't forget any courses and my pony was great with the bigger jumps. PS. I know my pony needed to be body clipped, there was confusion before the show whether or not I was going seeing as I flipped my truck earlier that week.

    I would love to hear what you guys think!


    Just because my pony is adorable, you don't have to critique I have no idea what I'm doing in the photo lol.

    Thanks for any advice!

  • #2
    Does he get a little quick? like it better if everything were softer here, more relaxed and more release.

    But good job overall, just tone it down.

    I just went back and looked again...if you could shorten his mane, it would visually clean him up a little more and take some of the excess motion out of the total picture.

    In one of these, he has a bit of a split front end but not the others...long spot off a too open step? Maybe you are opening up to make the lines here?

    These are just details but, as they say, the devil is in those details-so's the judge.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #3
      Overall I think you look very good. The only thing I see is that you're not quite letting him fold into you, and you're still tipping forward a bit.

      I'm glad you're ok after flipping your truck. That's pretty scary.


      • #4
        I think you guys look great. Agreed about appearing a little tense. Love your pony though!!


        • Original Poster

          Thanks guys! I'm 100% positive that I was more tense than usual. Showing bigger, plus getting sick at the show and everything else that happened that week just made for a nervous me. But I got through all the courses without dying, so I think next time I'll definitely be more relaxed. I'm not really sure about the front end. He wasn't being himself that weekend, we couldn't establish one pace, we were either going too forward and I'd chase him past the distance or we'd go in too slow and chip. I'm sure that had a lot to do with it. We're not normally such a conundrum.


          • #6
            [quote=theroanypony;4423810] I'm not really sure about the front end... we couldn't establish one pace, we were either going too forward and I'd chase him past the distance or we'd go in too slow and chip. I'm sure that had a lot to do with it. [quote]

            Bingo, and it showed. When you get a little farther along, you will learn to hide that a little more. You know, act like that was what you wanted all along and not let it bother you or broadcast you aren't sure what's going on. Make it look like you are in control, even when you are not so sure..

            And, you know, when it falls apart a little like this? The ADD is your friend, you do not HAVE to make the lines. Better to just plan that add in there as soon as you see you are screwed anyway and make that jump look as good and relaxed as you can. That will help both of you relax and really concentrate on making a good and balanced jump happen.

            An awful lot of people plan their first round with all adds, especially in a warm up class. If they feel confident, they will go ahead and get the numbers in the next classes. If not? They will just do the nice, relaxed adds. Better for you, better for the Pony to build confidence and relaxation, not race around.

            Pony's front end is fine...but you can see what that rushed pace to a long spot does to jump style-he is reaching, has split his front legs a little and he is flat as a board. You were long and weak my friend, and he bailed you out, may not be so lucky next time.

            Work on your style and making each jump as perfect as possible by letting him stay on that consistent pace...and if you lose that pace? ADD. Never chase, the mistake is already made, don't compound it with a crappy jump or that dangerous long and weak spot that can get you hurt and/or him stopping.

            And the chip is your friend when you miss, you sure would not want to leave from where you were instead of that chip. Sounds like a good Pony.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • Original Poster

              Find8, it's scary how much you sound like my trainer! I'm actually really excited about having these new things to work out! We were no where near perfect in long stirrup, but we definitely weren't being challenged anymore. My pony is a master at saving me when I get a dumb idea in my head, I wouldn't be near the rider I am today without him. He's like a parent and I'm the kid, he's taught me so many things that I shouldn't ever try. Doing a course without any adds is one of those things.


              • #8
                Sometimes you have to hear it from more then just your trainer...and see the photos that show exactly what happens when you don't listen to them and go rushing around sacrificing all semblence of style to hitting the numbers no matter what pace.

                Um...is this really a Pony? Like 14.2 or under? It is perfectly acceptable to do those adds in most of these 2'6" divisions on a Pony or even a much smaller horse then the rest-in most cases it's preferred over running to get them.

                Can you win with them? Who cares, that's not the point...but you will do fine and can win depending on the competition. Normally place directly under the best trips on the numbers and ahead of those that get the numbers right but screw up most of the rest of it. It is a good technique when you have just moved up, add until you are perfect and bored with them then just let the Pony open up a little.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                • Original Poster

                  He's 13.2 3/4hh. We sometimes have to ADD to the adds. I'm definitely not worried about placing, just getting used to the height. We're moving to jumpers when we're able to handle things really well. I really love reading critiques, it really makes a difference when you read it out, go back and look, and say "oh, that's what she meant!". At least, it helps me because I'm a big visual learner. Thanks again, Findeight!


                  • #10
                    let the weight drop out of your knee and down into your heel. You're pinching and standing on the ball of your foot. Drop your hand a little also.
                    Bit long in the first photo. Try to think of having your girth over the jump as your horse reaches the top of the arc of his jump. Like this: http://www.detroitequestrianclub.com/DEC/renderby.jpg
                    relax your back and don't push him down the lines so much. I can tell, especially from the first photo, that you were pushing him to get the spots (from roached back, pinched knee, and long spot). Slow down, add, and let it be a learning experience. Then you'll start to find the steps as you get more comfortable and he isn't backed off as much by the jumps.
                    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


                    • #11
                      The second photo does look a tad bit like you're standing on your toe, but not bad. I'm guessing it's one where you ran past the distance, which would make sense.
                      I can't do anything other than echo what Find8 said. She hit the nail right smack in the middle of the head. Good for you for being so receptive!
                      "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


                      • #12
                        No critique, just wanted to say I think your pony is lovely! You look really good too!
                        "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


                        • #13
                          How big was the class? I must say I really liked you guys and kind of surprised you didn't get in the top 6???


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks guys!

                            Originally posted by EquineRacers View Post
                            How big was the class? I must say I really liked you guys and kind of surprised you didn't get in the top 6???
                            It was 12 people both days. It's a tough division, and everyone was having a really, really good weekend, except us of course lol.