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Video critique...what do you see? Jumpers. **Devon Videos Added**

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
    I like the hands up (If I can stop the picking) and keeping my shoulders off the front end of the horse's balance.

    I am not the demographic of your post (those with more experience, etc) but the thing that stood out to me the most was your hands. I could see a BIG difference between the April and Today video in your trying to pick them up. I really liked the last oxer in that video where you were able to give him a little more room. Your hands/arms looked quite stiff and low to me in the April video, Better in the Today portion. You move our elbows...but to accomodate your shoulders/upper body coming forward, not to follow the mouth. Overall the impression is one of stiffness in the hands.

    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
      PNWjumper Thanks so much. I agree with everything you said. If I could love your post I would!

      A few points:

      1) Not enough no stirrup work but I have been gradually increasing it. What I need to do is make myself do it only in my jump saddle, not my dressage saddle.


      Emily
      This stood out to me as a former (at heart) DQ trying to be a jumper (and who dabbled in low horse trials). Just based on my own experience - ditch the dressage saddle completely for awhile and do all flatting in your close contact saddle, on all horses. Switching back and forth might be contributing to your comfort level with a length that seems a bit long for over fences.

      For the pinching knee/ sometimes loose lower leg - super basic exercises you might be doing already - but my coach had me post trot "up for two beats down for one", as well as post the canter on a very regular basis and it really, really helped my lower leg.

      Comment


      • #23
        Wow, what a lovely horse!

        One of the things I saw in the video (because I am practically a professional at this) is a rigid elbow and a tendency to land in your pinched knee instead of your heel after the fence. You end up opening up your hip angle early and roaching your shoulders on the back side of the jump, which puts your seat back in the saddle early and sometimes catches him in the mouth. He looks like he gets a little scooty after the fences because of it, and it looks like it takes a couple strides to get everything organized after the jumps while you get your balance back. It's more noticeable on jumps where you look like you want to turn quickly afterwards, so the turn is not as smooth as it could be. It'll also start leading to hind rails as the jumps go up.

        He's gorgeous and looks like a blast to ride. Everyone else said more eloquently what I would have said regarding flatwork. I agree with Dags about making it look like an eq round, and by that I don't mean slow - think how broke those horses are to make those kinds of handy, smooth turns with invisible aids. He's made good progress between the two videos, so I can only imagine how nice he'll look after another few months!
        "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx

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        • #24
          One thing that I noticed that I don't think anyone has commented on is how you are generally just on the tipping point of being in front of your balance with your shoulders. It's such a minute detail that it wouldn't seem like it would make a difference but speaking from personal experience it takes a lot of a strength away from your core.

          By lifting your chest and attempting to ride taller and longer with your leg I think you will find a difference in your balance over the fence and particularly on the backside of the fence.

          The split second loss of balance after the fence is what really interferes with a smooth seamless round and keeping a good quality balanced canter and keeping those rails up. Ask me how I know.

          You can also try turning your toes out to help loosen your knee and land in your heels. This will also keep your leg on through the fence. This is what I'm currently doing to help fix my own knee pinching problem.

          As others have mentioned. I think you need a strong base canter at this height and the become more comfortable riding with a greater degree in the length of stride and adjustability with the same balance. I don't think Gymnastics can be over utilized in this situation. Especially ones that really force him to sit and jump up and around, rather than across.

          Comment


          • #25
            Love your horse and you are a very nice rider. But several things will make you smoother.

            FIRST: Look at the huge difference between your position when you jump into a combination, than when you jump individual jumps. ALL your bad habits go away. I think it is because you know (consciously or instinctively) that you need to hold your position so you will be ready to deal with the "out" coming up in 1 or 2 strides. I bet you NEVER have a rail jumping into a combination... (because you do not unbalance your horse, who is trying to do his job.)

            THAT is what you want to do over every fence. --- Do you ever go in Adult Eq. classes? You should. Those classes will make you be quiet with your body because you know that is what the judge wants to see.

            Remember these truisms: #1: Your upper body is the mirror image of your lower body The faster and farther your upper body moves forward = the faster and farther your lower leg swings back. Slow one down and the other will slow down. Yes, you need a stronger core and yes you need to work without stirrups. But for us weekend warrior ammies, that is hard and boring. So 'fake it till you make it' --- by following these rules, your body and legs will have to get stronger.

            Truism #2: What goes forward, must come back. If you throw your body at his ears, your body will then snap back at the same speed it went forward, and you will hit the saddle before your horse has landed. And a corollary to this is: The horse has not landed until all 4 feet are on the ground. You need to stay off his back until his hind legs land. Let-him- finish- the- jump- without- getting- in- his- way.

            So, if you imprint the picture of you jumping into an in and out and force yourself to do that over every fence, you will solve 90% of your issues.

            Another truism that will help you: Your shoulders should NEVER be in front of your hands. Never ever. Not on the flat. Not over jumps. Committing this concept to memory will also help you a lot. Again, look at yourself over the "in". You do not throw your upper body; it stays behind your hands. And your legs stay underneath you (more).

            In the air, do a real crest release. Move your hands forward and keep your shoulders behind your hands. See what happens. You will be amazed.

            Keep sending updates. If you follow these simple (HA!) rules, you will see a huge difference in both yourself and your horse.
            "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

            Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

            Comment


            • #26
              overall I think you look pretty good and can definitely see improvement!

              I can tell you are trying to stay back and hold your shoulder but about 2 strides out your shoulder looks like it's starting to tip forward (I struggle with the same thing!). The jump I thought you were the best with your body at is the one he looked to be peaking at - try having that feeling at every fence. What's helped me is to try to feel as if I'm almost getting left in the air and really focus hard on holding my body. I do bounces 3x a week, it helps me with my body, helps strengthen my horses hind end, and teaches good reflexes - all of which I think could help you and your horse. I also usually do a gymnastics day once a week which also helps and I think your horse will definitely benefit from this as he gets quick in the air and drops his hind end early.

              I definitely agree with working with no stirrups in your jumping saddle! Start really working on lateral work and lengthening and shortening with no stirrups.

              Keep up the good work! You seem to have a great athletic horse!
              He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots

              Comment


              • #27
                I'd suggest flatwork as a strong focus, because I agree with the out of sync comment made by PNW up thread. The head flipping is (to me) a horse who isn't accepting the bridle, so I agree with those who have advocated LEG LEG LEG. It is much easier to adjust between and within the gaits if one has Steps 1-3 of the Training Pyramid down- rhythm, relaxation, and then connection (evenness in both reins). Without those, your horse will go on and off the bit, on and off his balance, and your job will be constantly made harder because you have to keep fixing those things while trying to put in a clean, fast round.

                I also agree with the idea that you are still a bit heavy in the saddle and rigid with your arms, although certainly this improved from one to the other video! As a mid-40s rider myself, I understand the challenges we face, but until you are able to work more sympathetically with your horse, you will also be working against his jumping form. My young horse is a big, bouncy ball and it is nearly impossible for me to make him jump badly (and believe me, I've put some effort into it!), but my older guy, a big, old school TB, can have his lovely, classic jump ruined (or at least made less nice), by his rider very easily. Lots and lots of leg but hands that steady instead of grip are two of the most important keys to him. We jump him like a German horse, with a deeper seat, because he likes the security and consistency of contact, but never driving, because that makes him hot and jump flat.

                Good luck- there are a lot of moving parts to consider, especially when the jumps go up, but if you simplify things for yourself and your horse by introducing more and better flatwork that you carry over to the jumping, it all gets a ton easier.
                You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post

                  THAT is what you want to do over every fence. --- Do you ever go in Adult Eq. classes? You should. Those classes will make you be quiet with your body because you know that is what the judge wants to see.
                  Came here to recommend this. In my personal experience, I became a much better and more effective jumper rider after spending a couple seasons also doing the Adult Eq and Medal classes. I became much more aware of what I was doing with my body and my "stride-by-stride" as well as "big picture" course riding, which you often have to do simultaneously in some of these tough medal rounds...ie planning how to ride a single jump in the bigger context of the upcoming rollback, bending line, short 3 stride, etc. Obviously you also have to do that in jumpers but there's no requirement to look good and ride quietly while doing it. My horses' rideability and adjustability also improve a great deal after spending time doing equitation courses.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Side note, I just found heaven online. While looking up equitation ideas for how to set up my ring I found a pinterest account that is FULL of old course maps for eq finals and derbies and the like. https://www.pinterest.com/markieblom/jump-courses/

                    This is awesome for my creative ring schooling side. Course I found this today and I set up my ring last night.

                    In the meantime I am attaching a pic of how my ring is setup now, and we'll school in it tonight. May rain a bit but we'll be out there practicing.

                    The idea was to make it a place where we can flow either around turns or to singles to practice the short approaches to oxers and the longer approaches to verticals that will require a turn on landing. This was also to work on getting Gin to step to the stride and get in front of my leg with less pumping. At least in theory.

                    The gymnastic and cavaletti are intended to package him a bit. Max went through the cavaletti last night at trot and canter and was very good about understanding that he needed to wait a bit.

                    I'm all ears for any ideas you guys may have for patterns to try.

                    Emily
                    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Well, using jumps strategically can certainly help a horse who isn't as tidy with its front or back end, or one who needs to be backed off, or whatever, but I don't think you can depend on the jump to balance your horse. This is why I suggested more focus on flatwork, so you can easily do transitions within and between gaits, without dealing with resistance from your horse.

                      My jumper has more trouble to the right than the left, but we are getting to the point where in both directions he can sit and nearly canter in place by me using my legs and seat, and then zip forward within a second into a much more open, yet balanced canter. This has taken me the three+ years I've owned him to accomplish, and it remains something I work on all the time. No amount of jumping is going to develop the strength and understanding a horse needs to be able to work from behind, at least not without the flatwork coming first.

                      I also second the equitation focus- I grew up doing hunters and eq., and say what you will about that subset of eq. riders who perch, the truly effective ones manage to combine grace with skill. On a daily basis I ride pretty much always with eventers, and I've been to a lot of events, both big and small. What I've noticed is that those who come to the sport without a good focus on equitation very often have a harder time in stadium, even at the lower levels.
                      You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Some adjustability exercises I find challenging (and sometimes enjoyable when I can do them right):
                        1. Set up a line of poles in a normal 4 strides. Practice doing it in 3, 4, 5, 6 strides and back down again. The goal is to get the canter in the turn to the line and not change the canter between the poles. How many strides can you fit in?

                        2. Set up 3 poles in a 3-stride to a 3- stride combination, but move the middle pole so that one 3 stride is long and one is short. Ride it in both directions and see how responsive your horse is. Can you ride it in the long to short direction so that you are starting to whoa going into the middle pole? Can you ride it short to long so that you are beginning to lengthen to the middle pole? The tendency would be (if you're going short 3 to long 3) to still be pulling to fit the 3 in, then you don't have enough and have to gun it down the long 3. This was actually the first line in one of the national eq finals a few years ago and very few people did it well, so I started adding it to my flatwork because I like to torture myself.

                        3. Set up 3 or 4 poles in a fan pattern (like what you have posted in your image above). Do them at the trot in the middle, then take the inside track, then the outside track. Feel what needs to change (or not) to make the trot fit without changing the trot in between the poles. Do the same at the canter (make sure the poles are set fairly for your horse, so they'd be a bounce or 1 stride on the inside track, 1 or 2 strides in the middle, and 2 or 3 strides on the outside track). Do them on a continuous circle, making the circle perfect and keeping the canter the same throughout.

                        4. Cloverleaf: set 4 poles kind of like you would for a circle of death, but turn to the outside of the circle then come back through. (like here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/361202832591117771 ) How tightly can you turn using your outside aids while making it look like an eq course?

                        I started following Luciana Diniz' Instagram account a while ago, and she posts neat exercises she does with her horses. I particularly like the Butterfly exercise: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKtgVqIABmH/ You can do the pattern just with the top 5 poles like you would do the cloverleaf. Also by looking for things like "cloverleaf poles exercise" I found a million Pinterest pages with hundreds of really cool exercises that require very little equipment!

                        I also just like doing transition work. Every 10 strides, change the gait (or change within the gait). 10 strides working walk, 10 strides canter, 10 strides collected sitting trot, 10 strides extended trot, 10 strides collected canter, 10 strides walk, etc. I like doing this while adding circles as well. It keeps you and your horse very mentally engaged.

                        A variation on that is to pick a transition (say, trot-canter) and do 10 strides trot, 10 strides canter, 9 strides trot, 9 strides canter, etc until you get down to 3 or 4 and then go back up again to 10. I find doing these transition exercises makes me really aware of how long it actually takes me to prepare my transitions, and how much more prompt I should be doing them (and how prompt we can really be when we're both focused).

                        You can do all of the above with small jumps instead of poles, but I usually screw them up enough over poles that I don't need to add jumps to them.
                        "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others." --Groucho Marx

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by foursocks View Post
                          Well, using jumps strategically can certainly help a horse who isn't as tidy with its front or back end, or one who needs to be backed off, or whatever, but I don't think you can depend on the jump to balance your horse. This is why I suggested more focus on flatwork, so you can easily do transitions within and between gaits, without dealing with resistance from your horse.

                          My jumper has more trouble to the right than the left, but we are getting to the point where in both directions he can sit and nearly canter in place by me using my legs and seat, and then zip forward within a second into a much more open, yet balanced canter. This has taken me the three+ years I've owned him to accomplish, and it remains something I work on all the time. No amount of jumping is going to develop the strength and understanding a horse needs to be able to work from behind, at least not without the flatwork coming first.

                          I also second the equitation focus- I grew up doing hunters and eq., and say what you will about that subset of eq. riders who perch, the truly effective ones manage to combine grace with skill. On a daily basis I ride pretty much always with eventers, and I've been to a lot of events, both big and small. What I've noticed is that those who come to the sport without a good focus on equitation very often have a harder time in stadium, even at the lower levels.
                          I may have not described well what I was meaning. Allow me to try again. I set shorter distances than I have set recently so that it's not a default thing that we land and have the full/max stride length to work with in a combination. I want to make the jumps exist at a place/distance so that the exercise of jumping them helps both of us remember to wait and push.

                          We do have a show both this weekend and the next so there's not a whole lot of time at this moment to skip doing some jumping over course like elements. We're doing more flatwork with the components suggested in this thread (no stirrups, lengthen, shorten, lateral work, into leg, and such) and we can work on exercises with poles and the like as well. But I (me personally) need to practice a bit before shows or else my anxieties can eat us up whole and spit us out as a quivering blob of wasted entry fees.

                          Emily

                          "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                            But I (me personally) need to practice a bit before shows or else my anxieties can eat us up whole and spit us out as a quivering blob of wasted entry fees.
                            Ha! Not really a comment on the content of the thread...but this just perfectly described my show prep...and experiences. Love it.
                            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Good luck this weekend! My boy is just coming off an injury, which followed me injuring myself, so I barely remember this thing you are calling "showing." The last time we showed was a tiny one in January, in between injuries, and we jumped about half a foot lower than my usual height because only a couple of people were left after the puddle jumpers. But, any experience in the ring is good, so it's great that you are going out and putting your practice into use.

                              Certainly you have to be comfortable jumping what you are going to be competing over, and your explanation of the jumping exercises makes sense. Have a great weekend with your boy!

                              You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Hi everyone... I schooled both Max and Gin yesterday. Max continues to be a star and is relenting more and more that he just can't go fast when he wants, which is a lovely thing. That said he did bunny hop and bounce at an oxer a couple times.... but with how he jumps.. I was giggling and not caring.

                                His video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWhbod4nFpw

                                Gin and I had a rougher day. I can feel the weakness more and he's getting frustrated that I am 'on to' him. IE, making him work harder on his weak areas. Meanwhile I am frustrated because I can feel/see my own weaknesses and I don't want them. I want to be back where I was strong and competent. The video of my ride is all shades of ugly. I am not posting it here but if you go to Max's video you can find it.

                                It's really hard to pull the blinders off and see the issues and try to work on yourself at the same time. And feel your best friend be frustrated with themselves and trying to do what you're asking but they're tired and sore etc. So while it's not the best day.. I feel like some bits of good will come out of this and next spring (when his hind end is much stronger) we'll look back and laugh/grimace that we were ever this bad. The long view is the only way to go at this moment.

                                Em
                                "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Em, don't be too hard on yourself. You only came on the forum here asking for advice less than a week ago. These things take practice and time. Give yourself a LOT of credit for coming her and seeking advice and being willing and eager to learn and improve. I think that, in itself, is awesome. Changing form and style is difficult. But you seem very persistent so I know you will get there!
                                  “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                  ¯ Oscar Wilde

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Ditto Paradox, don't overthink this It's always a process. Always a long game.

                                    I think what foursocks points out is valid. You can force them into situations that make them compress but that does not mean that they will rock back, or that their hind end is any further under them. You are going to have to build a really big "out" fence to actually force him to rock back, and he'll likely quit before you get to it. In the meantime, he can still get by at this height by just bending his hocks, but without the base strength he literally cannot do what you want correctly.

                                    I did go find the video (you offered! ) In the trot-in one-stride he looks really hard to stay with over the oxer, like his back is disappearing out from beneath you (or wasn't there to begin with). You end up using the rein a bit to try and stay with him, which further encourages the hollow back. As a coach, I would be hesitant to school exercises that encourage landing and whoa-ing, as opposed to landing and adding leg.

                                    It's also worth noting that both horses toss their heads I get it when the fences are big and we're trying to get shite done in the show ring, but you should be able to trot into a gymnastic without such nonsense.

                                    The single simplest most transformational thing I've ever learned was a proper, forward-ridden downward transition. I generally have to install it on anything I get on and it almost always fixes any bridle issues. This video is magic. If you're impatient FF to the 1m5s mark. That is rocking back, and it does not come from the rein.

                                    You've got a very nice horse there, but you know today's big jumper (not stadium) courses favor the power of the WB. It's going to take some time, smart methodical training, and, for sure, "wasted" entry frees (ie: going for experience not ribbons) to get there with a TB and limited professional help. It surely can be done, but you'll need to step away from the emotions and any thought of a timeline.
                                    EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Hi, love all your horses! Gin,reminds me of my OTTB, yours is farther along than mine but they seem similar to me at the stages they are currently in. He looks a bit rushed to me, almost like he gets a tad nervous a few strides out. He has all the ability and then some, but I am not convinced he is 100% positive he can do it. Once he jumps and you are on a turn or lining up for another fence he softens and relaxes quite nicely. I think as mention above, stick with this height for a while until he gets bored and is confident in himself. I agree with all the above posts and think they all have great ideas, but I didn't see the nervousness mentioned.

                                      Some gymnastics are in order here, get him really confident in expanding and contracting his strides, and it will also give you confidence that when you put him in the right spot you can leave him alone and let him do his job. I also have to tell myself when I ride to not overthink or over ride my course.

                                      Your before and current videos definitely show progress so that's always a good thing.

                                      Good luck and continue your awesome progress!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by dags View Post
                                        It's also worth noting that both horses toss their heads I get it when the fences are big and we're trying to get shite done in the show ring, but you should be able to trot into a gymnastic without such nonsense.
                                        Even though I knew this my brain kind of fired on an old memory so I went delving into my YouTube account and low and behold a previous Tb of mine, who looks like Gin, but is most definitely NOT Gin, is on there.... tossing his head. In 1999. Ugh. I would say that maybe there is an issue with me not having my horses in the bridle..... hmmm. Damn.

                                        https://youtu.be/C6cX9JJ9a0g


                                        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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                                        • #40
                                          LOL! But that's why you are here. It's hard to see this stuff when you're so close to it.
                                          EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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