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"Melanie loves the over-rider with a soft touch." what exactly does that mean?

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  • "Melanie loves the over-rider with a soft touch." what exactly does that mean?

    For the uneducated (namely myself).. what is an over rider vs an under rider? Just something that was said during the EAP clinic but I don't really understand what it means. Does anyone know or can anyone explain or give examples of an over rider and an under rider.

    thanks....
    The ultimate horse mom

    http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeB110

  • #2
    An over-rider does more than the horse needs to get the job done. An under-rider trusts or relies on the horse to do the job without providing as much reinforcement as necessary, or 'being there' to support the horse along the way.

    I guess an over-rider with a soft touch would do more than is necessary to ensure the task is performed (whatever it may be), but is soft in how they get it done. A crude analogy, but... a soft over-rider is sitting tall, a little behind the motion, with the leg on, maybe a few clucks at the base of the scary liverpool - a regular over-rider is going to the stick every stride on the approach.

    Comment


    • #3
      I rode in the zone seven clinic... and the way I understood this was that she's looking for a rider that's more likely to over-do than underdo.

      If a line is long she wants to see you land and move up down the line, and if you get there in a 5&3/4 in a long six she'd much rather see that than someone jump in, knowing it's a long six and get there in a 6&1/4 or even an even 7.

      If she says it's short she'd like to see you add an extra. If she says lean back hard, lean back at least 45*, not a hair.

      She used that exact phrase in zone seven too.
      friend of bar.ka

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        My daughter just did the eap clinic this last weekend and she used my daughter as an example of an over-rider. I did understand that she wasn't really fond of under-riding (although I didn't really know what she considered under-riding) but wasn't sure if the opposite was true since I didn't exactly understand what an over-rider was.
        The ultimate horse mom

        http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeB110

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm an over rider.

          At worst, it means both micro-managing the horse, making aids all too strong and being willing to go from asking to yelling to punishing very quickly.

          I think being a soft version means 1) Continuing to take responsibility for how the horse goes, 2) Having some high standards about purportedly subtle things like the horse's balance and responsiveness to aids, but 3) Always looking for the opportunity to use the physically most subtle aid possible.

          In addition (at least for me), it means absolutely leaving the horse alone and praising him when he's doing it right. You can get a tremendous amount of training done by micromanaging a bit and creating a distinct contrast between that and the peace of no requests when the horse is in the right place.

          This way, horses learn that they should always be thinking and listening because, sure as God made little green apples, the rider *will* ask for something and want a prompt "yes ma'am" in reply. But they also learn to *look for* those moments of being left alone. Pretty soon, those last longer and longer. The correction's you'll make to the horse's balance, frame and direction will come from your leg, seat and body position. Hand won't do much.

          Good times when you have one this broke or when you learn to ride in a way that means you are training the horse each time you go out.

          The under rider creates the opposite problem in a horse, and it sucks for both.

          He or she may ask for something, but does not insist on it. That means the aids become a form of nagging.

          For the rider who doesn't evaluate balance and adjustability until there is a big problem like a fence or a turn, the horse is not given the physical therapy kind of ride that helps him get strong enough to actually do better.

          The horse is also not taught that staying in balance always is what the rider after, so he can't figure out a way to earn the softer ride.

          At worst, riding from the horse's perspective will look alternately annoying and terrifying.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            She sure does NOT mean over use of the aids-too much hand, leg or body.

            She is referring to a rider who errs on the side of producing too much versus one who just sits there. Like overcompensating up a line when you land dead and getting to the out a bit too strong versus just sitting there and adding one for an equally dead out fence. Or, the opposite situation, landing dead and realizing there is no hope and overpackaging to that deliberate add instead of paddling along on a weak step that results in no impulsion to a long and weak distance and the add is the only way to avoid disaster.

            One kid she used as an example totally missed on a single oxer and took it down. The next try the kid gunned it and really rocked him back to fire way over and landed with no chance for the corner 4 strides away...and she said "too much...but I loved it. Now find something in the middle and get the corner too". Kid did just that.

            So, you need the context of what was happening when she addressed this, not just pull a sentence out of her remarks.

            But this was a good question and worth discussion when you start looking at the elite levels of the sport.

            BTW, I found MST refreshing and with a different approach then the other major clinicians. Did not always agree but she certainly makes you think about rider choices as you watch these kids work for her.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

            Comment


            • #7
              My guess is what she means is "if you are going to make a mistake, make it GOING FORWARD"!
              The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                BTW, I found MST refreshing and with a different approach then the other major clinicians. Did not always agree but she certainly makes you think about rider choices as you watch these kids work for her.


                My daughter really liked her and her style of teaching as well. One of the first clinics that she actually enjoyed. And when asked what my daughter thought of MST she said she was nice.. which raised a few eyebrows but my daughter was sincere when she said it.
                The ultimate horse mom

                http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeB110

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that's kind of a silly mantra to have. For some riders, I certainly would rather have them take the passive ride for the horse's sake, and safety purposes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
                    I think that's kind of a silly mantra to have. For some riders, I certainly would rather have them take the passive ride for the horse's sake, and safety purposes.
                    It is not silly when an elite rider is evaluating advanced riders who would like to advance into the International arena. EAP is designed to recognize the exceptional young rider already competent to about 4' and suitably mounted.

                    The program helps these riders advance and get sharper, faster and more accurate over substantial fences. And MST is not known for the warm fuzzies-she is known for raising the bar for wannabes and turning them into contenders.

                    Now, for beginners, novices and mainly recreational riders? Yeah, the over ride would be silly and inappropriate. But they are not looking at a 1.4 meter triple combination after open water either-and under riding that will get you in a world of hurt.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
                      I think that's kind of a silly mantra to have. For some riders, I certainly would rather have them take the passive ride for the horse's sake, and safety purposes.
                      I disagree. Riders should be the ones in charge, not the horse. Making a mistake is better than passively sitting there and leaving it up to the horse's good nature to figure things out, because it is part of the learning process. If all the rider knows is how to sit there passively, they are going to be up a creek without the necessary paddle when the horse needs guidance or decides to be a little naughty - and that is a safety issue. Even sainted schoolies can have an off day, get spooked by something unexpected, etc. They aren't machines.

                      A properly mounted rider who makes a mistake will simply learn from it and do better next time. "Properly mounted" means that rider will be on a horse that can tolerate that mistake without coming undone or punishing the rider for it on the next try.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I, too, disagree that the rider should be passive. (esp at the upper levels!!) One would HOPE that the person is the smarter one in the partnership and getting tentative or weak heading down to a four foot jump can really cause a wreck. If you believe, then so too, will your horse!
                        The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Apparently she has said this at multiple clinics though, and surely they aren't all elite upper level events. I have seen plenty of people at big clinics that probably shouldn't be trusted to go for the gusto. It can end horribly for horse and rider. I certainly support riders being go-getters when they have the experience to make an educated choice, but I see sooooooooo many people out there that would do better to just stay out of the horse's way until they learn more about appropriate responses. I tell students that I want to see them make a decision, and even if its the wrong one that's better than doing nothing - BUT that's not all riders, and doesn't only exclude "beginners". Definitely more case by case, for me anyway.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
                            Apparently she has said this at multiple clinics though, and surely they aren't all elite upper level events. I have seen plenty of people at big clinics that probably shouldn't be trusted to go for the gusto. It can end horribly for horse and rider. I certainly support riders being go-getters when they have the experience to make an educated choice, but I see sooooooooo many people out there that would do better to just stay out of the horse's way until they learn more about appropriate responses. I tell students that I want to see them make a decision, and even if its the wrong one that's better than doing nothing - BUT that's not all riders, and doesn't only exclude "beginners". Definitely more case by case, for me anyway.
                            Melanie is one of the principal clinicians for the EAP - the emerging athletes program. It is meant as a scouting/training opportunity to identify riders who may one day become upper level riders. They are all fairly experienced young riders.
                            **********
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                            -PaulaEdwina

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As you can tell from my post above, I disagree even for the almost beginning rider.

                              Once the rider and kind of W/T/C and steer, it's time to start talking about the fact that every ride teaches the horse something. If you don't instill the sense of responsibility for how the horse goes and the logic of the "conversation" between horse and rider, I think it bodes ill for the rider and horse.

                              If all riders were taught that they were trainers, there wouldn't be so many people dependent on trainers and sometimes unhappy with that. There wouldn't be so many trainers with a certain amount of contempt for the clients who never seem to get better. It wouldn't be news to an EAP kid that they needed to get their horse broke in order to be either competitive or safe.

                              The funny thing is that Parelli et. al. scratch the itch of riders-- well groundlings-- who do want to learn to influence their horses. Were there not this need, those a-holes would be able to rush in to fill it.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
                                I think that's kind of a silly mantra to have. For some riders, I certainly would rather have them take the passive ride for the horse's sake, and safety purposes.
                                I disagree as well. The passive rider can create all sorts of problems, including stopping. A passive rider can ruin a horse faster than an over-rider, IMO.

                                Someone who makes a decision and rides to that decision is better than a passive rider

                                Someone who makes a decision, rides to that decision, can see if they made a wrong decision and can change their ride to make it a better decision is the best type of rider.
                                Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  First of all EAP is designed for the upper level junior/young adult jumper riders who are tweeners (between child adult jumper and 1.40m levels). Melanie wants to select those that are tough riders and not recreational riders who want to evolve to the next level. Her famous quote is "Set your horse up for success!" which instills a positive rider.

                                  For example, at the EAP we attended, one rider gave her horse a little growl when it started backing off a 4 foot oxer (over rider) while another rider got to the base of the jump, dropped her eyes and hands (and took a praying positive such as "Please God help me over this jump") and proceeded to twang the horse in the mouth over the jump and land in a heap on the other side....UNDER RIDER.

                                  So I have always understood her to want that positive, I am here to get it done mentality over the "gee I am cute and my mommy bought me the best horse so I will just sit up here and let him do the job, why get involved"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I guess I'm not making my thoughts clear, since a lot of you seem to be taking them the wrong way. I'll leave it at that.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Feel free to clarify. I certainly don't get what you are saying. In order to be an effective rider, you need to be pro active, the herd leader, if you will. Horses are followers, not leaders, by nature. Any horse that is "allowed" to lead soon becomes unmanageable. I am not discounting a brave, bold horse (good) but it certainly has to be "biddable".
                                      Last edited by Jumphigh83; May. 26, 2010, 02:35 PM. Reason: spelling and typos
                                      The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        For example, at the EAP we attended, one rider gave her horse a little growl when it started backing off a 4 foot oxer (over rider) while another rider got to the base of the jump, dropped her eyes and hands (and took a praying positive such as "Please God help me over this jump") and proceeded to twang the horse in the mouth over the jump and land in a heap on the other side....UNDER RIDER.



                                        I think I get it now. I remember a class I once watched - USEF 3'9" Jumper Talent Search. Scariest. class. I. ever. watched. As the girls went around the course you could see who was positively not going to be able to make it through the triple combination long before that combination came up. I had to actually walk away a few times - never saw so much carnage in a 3'9" class before. I'm guessing there was a lot of under-ridering happening in that class if I'm understanding correctly.
                                        The ultimate horse mom

                                        http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeB110

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