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Question For Gymnastics Gurus

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  • Question For Gymnastics Gurus

    I had written some gymnastic exercises on a piece of paper that my daughter decided to use for scissor practice and though I've taped it back together as best I can I'm still having some difficulties figuring it out.

    What I have is 3 bounces set at 9' and then 28' to an oxer and then 28' to 3 more bounces. Does this make sense? Is 9' enough for a big-strided horse and isn't 28' a little too long?

    The exercises are specifically to get the horse to pick up her knees and round through the back and neck.

  • #2
    I am not a guru, but those numbers are correct and will get those knees snapping. Have fun, and be glad that she practiced on paper and not her hair like mine did!
    Trinity Farm LLC
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    • #3
      Originally posted by EAY View Post
      I had written some gymnastic exercises on a piece of paper that my daughter decided to use for scissor practice and though I've taped it back together as best I can I'm still having some difficulties figuring it out.

      What I have is 3 bounces set at 9' and then 28' to an oxer and then 28' to 3 more bounces. Does this make sense? Is 9' enough for a big-strided horse and isn't 28' a little too long?

      The exercises are specifically to get the horse to pick up her knees and round through the back and neck.
      Is the 28' supposed to be a 2 or a one? I ask because a one should be 18 feet, which could have been easy to mistake when piecing back paper, while a 28 would be mighty short for a 2 (a normal one stride is 24 feet)

      My rule of thumb is that you take 6 feet off of the normal distance if trotting in or if following a bounce, 3 feet off if cantering in or if it is the second section of a gymnastic.

      In this case I would likely set that 9 feet for the first set of bounces, 18 feet or 30 feet for the one or two stride, 19 or 31 feet for the next one or two stride (I would keep this tight since you're coming up to bounces again) and I might lengthen the bounces to 10 feet on the way out.

      You could set this with all the distances the same so it can be approached either direction, but it definitely would ride more technical. With a greener horse or rider or one new to gymnastics, I would probably set it as described above so it rides a bit smoother. I would tighten it up later.

      Hope that is helpful!
      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

      Comment


      • #4
        I was wondering at what height the jumps start (bounces and oxer) and how high can you set them.
        "Common sense is so rare nowadays, it should be classified as a super power."-Craig Bear Laubscher

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Nikki^ View Post
          I was wondering at what height the jumps start (bounces and oxer) and how high can you set them.
          I'm not sure how high you can set them but when I was taking a lesson with an event trainer, by the end he had us doing a cross-rail to two 3' bounces to one stride to a 3'9 oxer, though we didn't have any bounces on the other side. I'd say when we started the bounces were set at about 2'3 and the oxer at 2'9.

          I guess it would depend on how athletic the individual horse is and it's a good reason why it's best to do these sorts of exercises with a competent trainer. I'm sure on my own I never would have set the jumps this high as I had never really done much over 3' with my green horse but she did really well with the exercise.

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          • #6
            yeah, 28' sounds long, if for no other reason than the gymnastic standard is a 1 stride to 1 stride gymnastic is 18 followed by 21 (trot in to the 18, of course). And a 1 stride on an open course could range between 25'6 and 27', with the 27' being for an open gallop at 4'0.

            BUT jumpers like to create some package and get to the base, so you could crate that with a 28' 2 stride maybe? Not so much for a hunter though...
            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're not entirely sure, a good place to start is by setting ground rails or x-rails instead of actual jumps and adjust as needed.

              This will also give your horse a chance to figure the exercise out before it gets tougher. Once you've built up all the elements you will be able to just go straight throught it but if your measurements are off, skipping through a set of x-rails won't be that big of a deal (and will train her in handling a bad distance too! LOL)

              There will be some variations in how you set your exercises depending on the horses stride and experience.
              Even with a known plan, I like to sometimes just balance the rail on the cup so it comes down easy, speacially if it's a less experienced horse. That way he won't get in too much troubble if he doesn't figure it out right away.
              Timothy, stop lurking

              Comment


              • #8
                generally you adust the distance when the umps get above 3'6"... 28 is a two stride. (18 ft is a one, 28 is 18 + a 10 ft stride... yes it's short, but the bounces will take away length of stride.) To be safe have a helper there and build the exercise as you go. Start with just the bounces. Then add a small verticle at 28 ft. (or even a pole on the ground the first time). Adjust the distance if necessary, add the first element of the second set of bounces, and then, finally build the bounces. Finally make the oxer bigger. (remember if you make it wider, you have to adjust your distances.

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                • #9
                  I can tell you that doesn't sound right to me at all.

                  As an example I presently have this set,

                  bounce, 2 SHORT strides to an oxer, 1 stride to a vertical.

                  It is set at 12', 26'.6", 19' and the heights are 3' vertical, 3' vertical, 3'6" oxer, 3'6" vertical.

                  This is on a big strided horse as well and you better get in slow!
                  Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

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                  • #10
                    You can even ride my gymnastic if you like.... on the helmet cam! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvSa8ERlo9w

                    LOL.
                    Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by tidy rabbit View Post
                      bounce, 2 SHORT strides to an oxer, 1 stride to a vertical.

                      It is set at 12', 26'.6", 19' and the heights are 3' vertical, 3' vertical, 3'6" oxer, 3'6" vertical.
                      I trust your measurements but that last distance seems awfully short. I'd be worried that my mare might try to bounce it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If your mare bounces it you're not riding it correctly.
                        Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm riding this exercise on a 5 y.o. 17.2 hand WB, he has no trouble with it, nor does my 17 hand TB.

                          We did this same gymnastic at the GM clinic in April and all the horses did it fine in all the groups, at different heights of course.

                          The only way you're going to bounce that is if you do a 1 in the 2.
                          Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

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                          • #14
                            however, I'm guessing you would not ride that gymnastic like a flowing hunter gap type ride. The 18 to 21 is about encouraging basic jumping skills or tuning up on hunter form, but some gymnastics can be to teach the horse to find the base and rock back. If you ride them the wrong way, you may well get the wrong result.

                            So I guess the most important question you should ask yourself is "what do I want the gymnastic to teach my horse or the rider?" Then you will probably find the gymnastic or measurements might change! Tidy's gymnastic would be bad for my older hunter, but was exactly what the other - now sold - horse needed.
                            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by DMK View Post
                              So I guess the most important question you should ask yourself is "what do I want the gymnastic to teach my horse or the rider?"
                              These exercises are for a hunter so tuning up hunter form is definitely a prime objective. She can be a bit lazy so I like doing bounces to encourage her to pick up her knees. Unfortunately with my current trainer we rarely do bounces so I'm on my own as far as they go.

                              At the same time I also want exercises that encourage her to rock back and compress her stride as her default mode is long and low.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Is the difference between Mac123's 9' or 10' and TR's 12' the difference between trotting and cantering in?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EAY View Post
                                  Is the difference between Mac123's 9' or 10' and TR's 12' the difference between trotting and cantering in?
                                  I tend to set 9'-10' for trotting in and 11'-12' for cantering.

                                  IME, setting at 11 or 12 for trotting in takes away from the point of the exercise.

                                  On Saturday for a student's horse that leans, leans, leans on his shoulder after fences, I set 9' to 18' to 9' - Bounce One Bounce. That second bounce was quiet, but wow did he stand up afterwards!!!
                                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Most likely, but I will even push a trot in closer than 9' if I have a horse that likes to cheat with that canter/hop stride at 9'0. Then again, if the horse is a bit of a klutz and easily scared, that might not be a good idea.

                                    For a hunter, let's just say most people believe they have good form and if they don't you are not significantly going to change it. But if I had a horse that I wanted to tune on for tightness and being a bit tidier with the front end I usually choose very steep Xs with 9 foot take off/landing poles. Think Xs with poles in the top cup and the standards pulled in so the lowest part of the X is at least 2'6. And sometimes an X to an oxer - 18' but use a super skinny oxer with the front element about half as high as the back (this is more for an out at least 3'0. Not so much an oxer as a vertical with a bit of a cheater pole to help them get the front end up. I might mix both these in while riding the adds on the line and being very supportive going out the oxer so he has a chance to rock back. Then I would hope and pray he remembers all that when we ride on down to the gappy forward "huntery" one.

                                    Now that I said all that, that's assuming the horse is not sharp with his front end even when he gets there correctly. If he is not sharp with his front end because he ends up on his forehand at the base, then there is a whole 'nuther set of things I would add to the mix, probably including Tidy's gymnastic and a slew of flat work.

                                    LOL, so now we will add - what do you want out of the gymnastic and what is the root cause of the problem?
                                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I recall a video, I think of a Jimmy Wofford clinic, with a similar set up, though I didn't know the distances. I remember thinking that whatever rhythm and pacing issues you horse might have, that would cure it.

                                      As a help for snapping knees, I am not so sure. That many jumping efforts is about controlling pace. Decide why his knees aren't good. Mine tends to jump up with his neck, so I like low wide oxers as the question. I do a step rail to an x, then 17' to a wide oxer. The shorter distance forces him to the base, while the wide oxer makes him stretch.

                                      If it just takes him longer to get his knees up DMK's rampy oxer would be the question. If his lack of straightness allows him to dangle his legs, DMKs big Xs and swedish oxers are the question. If the rest of him is good and he just dangles his knees, give him a different job, because that's his jumping style.
                                      *****
                                      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Midge View Post
                                        If the rest of him is good and he just dangles his knees, give him a different job, because that's his jumping style.
                                        BTDTBTTSTH ... been there done that, bought the t-shirt, sold the horse.

                                        But damn, I tried for a very long time to change the horse.
                                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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