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Long crest releases are when the horse requires the greatest freedom of rein from the rider in order to clear the obstacle. Usually when the horse needs to fully engage all of his rear quarters in empowering he and his rider over an obstacle. The hands are usually almost armslength, and pressed into the Crest of the neck of the horse.
To improve the strength of the lower leg, practise 2 Pt. exercises. Stand in the stirrups (while the horse is standing). Stretch your heels low with your hands pushed into the neck at the withers. Bend the hip and knee slowly as though closing an accordian. Now bend forward at the hip (pretending you are going over a fence). Sit back into the saddle, WITHOUT MOVING YOUR LOWER LEG POSITION~! After doing this several times at the stand still, practise at the walk, then trot, eventually the canter. Progress to posting for 10 strides, then 2 Pt. for 10 strides. Progress from here to adding a couple of cavalletti's.
You should always use a neck strap on your horse when:
you are uncertain for ANY reason.
you don't know the horse.
you lack full confidence.
you lack upper body strength.
the horse is prone to running off.
the horse is hot.
the horse is hard mouthed.
you are attempting fences for the first time.
you are attempting a particular type of fence for
the first time.
you are unseasoned jummping walls or large boxes.
the horse is known to jump "big".
the horse rushes his fences.
the horse is prone to "chipping".
Start off simple, a X pole of 18" if the horse is 15 hands, or taller. Under 15 hands, make it 12". It will only help the horse to put out trotting poles, if they are used as a "lane way" effect to the jump.
Once the horse is comfortable going over the first X pole several times; then construct "bounces" at 10' apart....let's start with 6.
Start off with all odd fences, with the right standard set at 18". The even will have the left standard set at 18". Use your trotting poles to line the "lane way" effect perpendicular to the outside rail, but on the inside of the arena, between the fences.
As the horse becomes more comfortable in going through this grid alone; raise the second pole at each fence to form X poles at every fence. Again, start easy, 18". Progress to 24", then 30", followed by 36" in a X Pole Jump.
Once a horse is comfortable with this bounce grid, he is ready to learn to balance over the same grid, but with a rider.
Beginner Hunter/Jumper Course 18" to 2'3": Enter at the in-gate, ride a lap around the outside of the arena, setting your pace of impulsion, at the "F" turn to "H" and trot to "X". First fence at "X" and a 18" Crosspole. Canter to "H", turn right on track, continue to "C". Second Fence a 18" vertical of 2 rails. Continue on track to "M" where there is the third fence, a small vertical of 2'. Continue on track to "F" where fence #4 is, a double oxer crosspole of 18". Continue on track to "A", where there is fence #5, a Crosspole of 2'. Continue on track to fence #6 (located at "K")a small vertical of 2'3" of 3 rails. Continue on track to "H" where there is another double crosspole oxer of 2'. Continue on track to "M" where you change rein through "X" to "K", trotting "K" to "F" and back over fence #1 (for finish up at Fence #8).
The length of the stirrup for Jumping is the shortest of the English Disciplines. Only Racing Jockeys have shorter stirrups. Pull the stirrup on the leather full length. Let your leg hang strait and loose down the side of the horse. With your toes up, heels down, the bottom of the stirrup iron should touch the top of your ankle bone for a correct jumping length of stirrup.
Top Show Temperments must include the following:
willingness, cooperative, agreeable, sensible, reliable, consistant, bold, confident, athletic, energetic, enjoyment of the work being done.
Equal balance between confidence, relaxation & stress is the basic foundation of showing success.
Course “C” Advanced (but not Open) Level
All Fences CAN BE MOVED INSIDE OF track to increase difficulty in control.
2 Change of Rein
Place Timers between “A” and “F” ON TRACK (only if Fences are pulled to inside of track).
Course Changes From Course B to Course C:
Course B: Fence #1-#7/now Fence #5;
Fence #2-stays the same;
Fence #3-becomes a 4 pole vertical w/NO GROUND POLE;
Fence #4-becomes #9 and changes to a 3 rail fan jump
(place the single standard with 3 cups on it, to the inside, with the 3 standards
each 1' apart to form the fan. Standard first in the approach to the fan, on the outside of the jump is set at the lowest height of the 3 standards; next higher,
and final highest. Usually it runs at first set @ 2' @ center standard/ground on first outside pole; next @ 2'3” on center standard w/outside standard at 18”; final center standard cup at 2'9” with the outside set at 2'6”.
Fence #7-becomes a 2 pole vertical
(with NO GROUND POLES)
Fence #8-becomes #6, w/NO CHANGES;
Fence #9-becomes a 2 pole vertical;
Fence #10-has a top pole added.
Enter between “A” and “F” DO NOT GO THROUGH TIMERS~! Make a small volte around Fence #5 in approach to Timers, passing through timers to “F” and towards Fence #1,
a vertical of 2 poles at 2'6”.
Ride a bending line “F” “X” “H” on the Left Lead, to Fence #2, located at “H”,
Fence #2, a 4 pole vertical of 2'9”.
Stay inside track “H” “C”, Fence #3 is @ “C”,
a double rail even oxer;
ride on track “C” to “M”, changing rein “M” “X” “K” with (Rider can go to inside/outside of #8 Fence to approach Fence #4),
Fence #4 on diagonal inside of “M”,
Barrel with a top pole at2'9” (Do not add more poles to fill up gap between barrels & poles).
Ride 4 strides on “rein change “M” to “K” to
Fence #5, another Double rail even oxer @ 2'6”.
Stay inside of track, on Left Lead to “A”,
Fence #6 is a X-pole set at 3'.
DO NOT GO THROUGH TIMERS~!
Fence #7 is Fence #1.
Proceed inside of track to Fence #8
which has a top pole added from Course B,
making this fence a 3' vertical.
Ride on track “M” “C”, then ride a broken line,
or a snake track to “K” and Fence #9, the Fan.
Proceed to Timers to complete the Course C.
This course presents several difficulties:
Entering without going through the TIMERS. Circling small enough to avoid fences and keep on track to get through timers, and proper approach to Fence #1. Next your broken line. Next your outside or inside turn to Fence #4. Tight control Fence #5 to #6. After Fence #6, making sure to NOT GO THROUGH the timers~! On completing #8, deciding to go either outside of Fence #3 to the approach to #9 or if your horse is quick on the turn, turning inside….which I feel is TOO tight and therefore making a direct line to #9, the fan. The fan, the horse will want to jump to the inside, but if they do, they may make the turn to tight to go through the timers~~!
Make sure to have fun, while TESTING your “Jumpers” abilities~!
If a course is too difficult, practice with raising the height, width of a Previous Course~!
The most frequent reason that horses do not want to jump is the rider interferring with the mouth prior, during and after a fence.
Jumping Bounces gives the rider the opportunity to learn to leave the mouth/reins alone, and grab the mane for several release ranges to learn over fences.
This in turn, allows the horse to develop the safety * confidence that he will develop knowing that the rider will not interfere with his mouth during the jumping process.
The greatest lesson that any Rider can ever learn is to Keep Your Heels Down. Practice--Practice--Practice. You really just have to keep your mind on your heels until it becomes your physical nature to have them so dropped that it is excessive.
It helps if you can have someone lunge you on a horse, so that you do not have to hold the reins, or steer. Practice riding without reins. At the walk, then trot, then canter, then trot over poles on ground, canter over poles on ground, and eventually trot--then canter over small jumps (try to not go over 2 feet 6 inch fences) on a lunge line or without using your reins.
While you are riding, put your hands on your waist; then on your shoulders, then head, then strait up in the air over head, then strait out from the shoulder, then you can become very fancy, and touch opposite hip side or knee side, and eventually the toe of the opposite leg.
To maintain position doing these exercies, YOU MUST KEEP YOUR HEELS DOWN, or you will pop out of the saddle and always be fighting your position and balance.
Design of 3 Course Levels Within 1 Arena
Arena Size Minimum 125' X 75'
(All Designed For Use on One Day)
(as per Design…can be modified accordingly)
44 Jump Cups
2 Timer Standards/Posts
Course “A” Beginner Level
All Fences Built on-track for ease of beginners' control.
Should not present any points of difficulty for Rider.
Can be ridden at the trot if the Club/Riders' prefer.
All Even # Fences are Dbl.
All Odd # Fences are Single
2 Change of Rein
Enter on long side between “A” & “F”.
Proceed inside of Track around course.
Proceed on Right Lead approaching “A”.
#1 Fence located on track @ “A”.
Single X-pole of 18”.
Proceed on-track to “K”,
Change Rein “K” to “M”,
2 strides to Fence #2,
Fence #2 is Double X-pole/Oxer of 2'.
Count 4 strides to Fence #3, a single
X-pole oxer of 2'.
At “M” stay on track to “C”.
Fence #4 is at “C”,
Double X-pole/Oxer of 18”.
Stay on track on Left Lead to “H”,
@ “H” is Fence #5,
a single X-pole @ 2'H.
Stay on track to “K”,
Fence #6 is a double X-pole/oxer
Stay on track, on Left Lead to “A”
Fence #7 is Fence #1.
Change Rein “F” to “H”,
and Fence #8 (was #5 from other direction)
a 2' Single X-Pole.
As you are approaching the fence, learn the timing correct for your horse to apply a half-halt either just as he is two strides from the fence, or at take off, or as he is landing, to apply a strong half-halt on the rein leading to the direction of the next fence.
When Jumping, more than at any other time, the rider MUST focus on looking upwards & onwards before, during and after every fence!
Top riders always focus on SOMETHING THAT IS AT LEAST 10' ABOVE the jump! Before, During, and then After, each fence.
As you are going over a fence, still focus upwards, yet in the direction of the next fence, to prepare your horse for the direction and as straight a line to the next fence as is possible!
Crest Releases are necessary when the rider does not have full control over their upper body and their arms and they will apply pressure inconsistantly to the horse's mouth before the horse has completed the jump and begun to stride off to the next fence.
Very few riders have this upper body strength & control unless they are riding all day every day, and jumping as frequently.
The Crest Release was designed so the rider would not interfere with the horse's mouth before he was fully completed in his jumping process, and onto the next fence. Rider Interference is why horses have jumping vices, and are reluctant to jump medium to higher fences.
Most importantly when you are riding, forewarn your horse of each direction, as he is completing the current fence by dramatically using your eyes to turn your head towards the following/next fence. This in turn prepares your horse for the correct lead as he lands.
Course “B” Intermediate Level
All Fences Built on-track for ease of control.
Possible Difficulties: Entry to fence #1 w/no allowance for circling, but direct to first fence. From #2 to #3 is a vertical, from a stiff oxer with a tight turn (may want to refuse or run to inside due to course on track). #4 around to #5 should be smooth. #5 to #6 is a tight inside turn, but barrels should be inviting. Horse may want to refuse #10 due to vertical/height, and tired. Several areas have short, tight turns requiring control where the horse may want to get strong. Testing Riders ability to control horse's pace.
Course Changes From Course A to Course B:
Course A: Fence #3, Barrels are added.
: Fence #4 becomes #2/#5 but stays the same.
: Fence #5 becomes a 3 pole vertical.
: Fence #6 same changes as #4.
(4 strides from #6 to #7).
: Construct #9 & #10, “F” thru “M”
(with 5 strides apart).
2 Change of Rein
Enter between “F” & “A”, proceed to first fence.
On diagonal track “K” to “M”, located halfway
between “K” & “E”.
Fence #1 Double X-pole/Oxer of 2'3”.
Swing towards “M” staying inside of Fence #10,
changing rein to “C”. Fence #2 located at “C”.
Double rail even oxer of 2'6”.
Stay on track on Left Lead to “H”, Fence #3,
a vertical of 3 rails at 2'3”.
Stay on track, count 6 strides,
to “K”, Fence #4,
a Double X-pole/Oxer of 2'3”.
Ride “K” “A” ”F” inside of track,
change rein “F” “X” “H”,
Stay on track “H” to “C”,
Fence #5 is Fence #2
(that is why it must be square, even
from both sides, with no ground pole~!)
Ride “C” to “M”,
change rein “M” “X” “K”, with Fence #6
(this was Fence #3/#8 in Course A)
a 3 Barrel w/top pole of 2'6”.
Proceed 4 strides to Fence #7 (alias #1)
Double X-pole/Oxer at 2'3”. Stay on
track to “A” on Left Lead to Fence #8.
A Single X-pole of 2'9”.
Stay on track “A” to “F”, count 5 strides,
Fence #9 is at “F”,
another single X-pole of 2'.
Stay on track on Left Lead “F” to “M”, and
Fence #10 is at “M” on track,
a double plank vertical of 2'9”.
Does your horse automatically adjust his stride comfortably to meet each obstacle in a relaxed and willing manner? As the fences get higher you will have to lengthen stride and increase your impulsion. Almost all courses @ 3' + are set for a 12' stride. Start by setting 2 ground poles perpendicular to the rail of the arena, 46' apart. At a soft, easy canter, you should be able to get 3 strides between the poles. 4 means, you are TOO SLOW--with too short of a stride; and 2 + (chipping) means that you are TOO FAST--with far too long of a stride....that will result in a flat jump...hense rails down.
Horses should be easy, long, lopey between fences never tense, fast or chargy.
Most common grids are X Pole to Vertical to Oxer to Vertical to X Pole. This arrangement allows for the natural loss of impulsion of the horse as the grid comes to an end.
Bounces teach horse/rider balance & coordination. They develop scope & eye for distance. Bounces are to teach rhythm, balance, timing, coordination between & in both horse & rider, individually & as a team.
YOU DO NOT NEED HEIGHT IN BOUNCES FOR GREEN HORSES/RIDERS.
Bounces need only be a progression of low obstacles that create repetition. They should never be more than 1 stride in between if kept under 3' in height.
ALWAYS * ALWAYS * ALWAYS check your tack B/4 Jumping. Make sure girth billets & stirrup leathers are strong, and without cracks, breaks or any signs of weakness~! Use safety stirrups, and check the rubber bands if the type that uses them. Make sure girth is tight!!! Irons should have 1/4" clearance on BOTH sides. ALWAYS wear boots with a short heel and ALWAYS * ALWAYS * ALWAYS wear an ASTM Approved Safety Helmet. Don't be afraid to use a neck strap if you have any uncertainty.
Jumping Bounces are the greatest way to teach a horse to learn his distances in jumping, as well as teaching him how to balance, and learn his form over fences and to develop scope.
Advanced Hunter/Jumper (but not open)from 2'9" to 3'3": Enter In-gate, and proceed to timers. Circle only once before timers, no more than a 10 meter volte; and proceed to timer gates at "E". Continue on track on right lead to "H", first fence. Vertical of 4 rails, 3'. Stay on track on right lead through "C" to miss fence at "C", and change rein at "M" to "K" with second fence 1/3 through diagonal; Fence #2 is a oxer of 2'9" with the front planks not poles, with a single back pole, slightly below the level of the top front plank. Continue through diagonal "X" towards "K", 5 strides to fence #3 a small hedge in planks of 3'. At "K" proceed on left lead to "F" and this is fence #5 (also fence #8 going the opposite direction). Fence #5 is a 4 rail vertical of 3'6". Proceed on track to "M" 3 strides to fence #6 a double cross pole oxer of 2'9". Continue on track to #7, a pole over barrels at 3'3". Continue on track to "H" changing rein through "X" and jumping Fence #5 on the angle at "F". Proceed to timers for time, and to complete the course.
Intermediate Hunter/Jumper Course of 2'3" to 2'9": Enter at the In-gate, riding a lap of the arena to set pace/impulsion on the right lead. First fence located at "C" a double crosspole oxer of 2'3"....(this fence is also fence #7 on the same lead,). At "M" change rein to "K". Fence #2 is 1/3 through the diagonal, a small vertical of 2'3" of 3 rails. Fence #3 is 2/3 through the diagonal, small barrels of 2'9" with a top rail; stride between is 4. At "K" proceed on the left lead to "A" where is located fence #4, a small oxer of 2'3". Stay on track, continue to "F" where is fence #5 (on the left lead/fence #9 on the right lead, so must be a double level crosspole oxer with no ground line). From "F" to "H" change rein, with fence #6 (slightly past the center track from "X" to avoid the track between fence #2 & fence #3). At "H" continue on track to "C" (Fence #1) and this is NOW fence #7. Stay on track to "M", the fence #8, a Vertical of Planks (2'3" of two planks w/pole on the top). Continue on track on the right lead to "F" and fence #5 & NOW #9 (from the opposite direction as it was jumped as #5).
Try to continue to use Trotting Poles, before and after your lessons or practise sessions, in order to continue to develop the upper body strength or independence needed as you progress in the height and width of your fences. Add to difficulty level by using Trotting Poles w/o stirrups; then w/o reins; then w/utilizing riding exercises....only in an enclosed arena, w/supervision!
Practise Neck/Mane Releases on Grids of 5 Fences:
Alternate the fence types from X poles, to vertical, to oxer to vertical to oxer or X poles.
Practise your releases on the ease of the type of fence.
The X Poles will have a short release.
The Verticals will have a medium release.
The Oxers will have a long release.
Once the 2 pt. is established and the upper body is strong enough to demonstrate independence from the hips/legs; the rider should move on to learning the correct neck/mane releases, and when/where to apply each, depending on the height, difficulty of obstacles.
Using a 2'6" vertical. Draw a 3' square on the ground centered in front of the jump (use chalk, stick, whatever). This box is the represents the optimum take off point for a 2'6" vertical. Practise cantering circles. Ride up to the Jump with the goa of placing the horse's rear quarters in the box at the point of takeoff.
As your accuracy improves, work on evening and steadying your pace on the approach. Use this box only as an outline or a guide as to the progress and development of training your natural eye!