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You are in... Forums > Archive (locked) > Riding > Hard hands

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racaille

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 819

racaille says:

Hard hands

This is causing me considerable anguish so please be gentle, folks.... Yesterday my 'big boss' trainer (who is being a bit odd with me at the moment) informed in passing and quite unkindly of some facts: I 'brake' too much when jumping a course, my reactions aren't fast enough and I'm not doing enough to 'direct' my horse. Actually over the jump isn't a problem, I 'give' OK, but where my horse does very occasionally run out, it is my fault. I am totally ready to accept this but what she DIDN"T tell me was what I can do about it. I think the problem has arisen because he goes faster and faster and flatter and flatter and I have spent quite a long time being told to 'bring him back'. Clearly, I have developed the appalling habit of yanking on his mouth all the time and I'm not sure how to undo this. Direction wise, the one thing she did tell me was to put his flash back on, but she is also complaining that I don't DO anything fast enough when he runs out. The trouble is I do DO something as fast I can a) feel it and b) can send a message to my brain! I'm not spring chicken (rising 53) so do I just accept that oldies are simply slower? Or is there some exercise I can do to improve reaction time or some early warning signal I am missing? He doesn't run out/refuse very often and sometimes it is because I have put him at the jump wrong, chosen a bad angle etc. There seems no suggestion that I am this cr@p doing anything else, it is just the jumping. I don't want to give it up entirely as I really enjoy TREC and there are always a couple of logs/hedges. Advice gratefully received as I sure as hell am not getting any from my trainer at the moment.

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Otto

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 75

Otto says:

Re: Hard hands

Do you have any pics or preferably vids of you jumping? Might be able to give some pointers but need to see whats going on first

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racaille

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 819

racaille says:

Re: Hard hands

Sorry, no, Otto, a bit low tech, I'm afraid.

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duckles

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 244

duckles says:

Re: Hard hands

hi Racaille, I thought an instructor's job was to instruct? Not just point out faults? Not being any kind of expert I will give you my take on your instructor's list of faults (which probably are the faults of all jumpers to some degree) 1. Not anticipating a run out: i think you have given the answer to this yourself, you say he only runs out when you present him badly. so, try and present him better- or if this isn't happening, circle him and approach again or if you decide to go for it, anticipate that he's going to have a problem and keep your legs strongly on, especially on the side he most often runs to. keep your hands still but don;t let him take with the rein to one side. use a bit of 'encouragement' from voice, seat or legs to give him the oomph to keep going 2. direction: i'm not sure how a flash would help this. I wonder does your instuctor mean that you don't give the correct signals to your horse approaching the the jump ie looking in the direction of turn etc or if she feels you are not enough in charge? 3Braking: this seems a problem with a flatwork solution. ideally just sitting up and half halting should bring him back but who lives in an ideal world and he probably gets a bit excited jumping and is not listening to you so i think more flat work. My suggested solution: do loads of jumping, do a show every week if you can -initially jumping much lower than you or your horse can do - its amazing how the competition atmosphere and the necessity to jump a course will sharpen both you and paco- necessity being the mother of invention etc. but keep it low until it gets too easy and then go higher. if you don;t have shows locally, get the club to do a mini midi maxi every friday night or something like that. anyway i am sure you will get much better advise than this but don't be hard on yourself- i bet even the whitikers feel they can improve their jumping

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flyingfox

Joined:

May 05

Posts: 117

flyingfox says:

Re: Hard hands

sounds like you know were to fix the run out problems, by just working on your aproach. as for your hands i'd do more flatwork and make sure i didn't tightley close my hands as this causes tension, practise turns and do lots of transitions. it worked for me and my horse. ask your instructor why she said to put the flash on, unless it's because the horse is openeing it's mouth to avoid the bit, i want really do anything. but even that can be fixed same way as the brakes. if i was you i'd do less jumping and more flatwork, maybe when you ride spend 3/4's of the time on flatwork and then finnish with a bit of jumping, if the horse has done as you asked and is listening to you. good luck sam xxx

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racaille

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 819

racaille says:

Re: Hard hands

Thanks guys, as always sensible advice, calmly given, that gives me something to work on [:D] It always comes down to flatwork, of course, doesn't it? Re the direction, she said that I AM looking where I am going but not reacting fast enough to make horse go where I am looking when he is trying to skip out. Does that make any sense? She told me to put the flash back on as he is opening his mouth to evade. I am very confused by her at the moment. So .... I'll do as you have suggested and go back to basics (LOL - again!) and try and work on my canter transitions to get him listening more. I have been very lazy about flatwork although in the last few weeks I have begun to work again and the boy is going much better. Only the other day the big boss commented that he was working in a lovely outline, but my no2 trainer replied that it was only because he was in a temper. I felt pretty peeved actually! But I am not going to be down about this: I am going to believe that everyone is being rather critical because they expect better of me. Upwards and onwards!

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aimee6171

Joined:

Feb 06

Posts: 443

aimee6171 says:

Re: Hard hands

Sounds to me like your instructer is being a bit unfair on you and Paco! Especially as you said that he never runs out very often! Fern sometimes runs out, and I also straight away realise that it is mostly because I have misjudged the corner or something and therefore I don't expect her to jump it and so I lose impulsion, its like I make her mind up for her to run out whereas my instructer tells me, even if its the worst striding and approach, to always make her complete the jump, even if I had to do it at standstill![:0] Im not always happy with making her do it but its worked, now she hardly ever runs out at all even if I have fluffed it all up in the approach. RE. An early warning signal...Im not sure, every horse is different. As I said I tended to lose the impulsion and stop pushing Fern on when I felt that I had misjudged the jump...so she was obviously slowing down anyway because of me doing that lol Do you feel Paco slow off a bit a few strides before the jump when he runs out? Or does he decide to run out at the last min? I also don't see why she is advising you to use a flash for help with your direction? Unless she meant that it will help you a bit when he tanks off if he is opening his mouth and resisting the bit? Sorry not much help [:)]

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racaille

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 819

racaille says:

Re: Hard hands

Hey Aimee, MUCH help, actually. (Funny how it takes someone to spot something that then seems blindingly obvious!) You have described it exactly - I think you are right, I think he may well feel me 'give up' . He CAN jump very well at all sorts of bad angles (and get me out of a jam[;)]) if I think: ooops, but we'll go for it! But you are right, when I think: ooops, I got that wrong, ho hum, then he fizzles out. Great idea, thanks!!! But I realise I do need to sort out my approaches, which are sometimes not ideal [:I]

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duckles

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 244

duckles says:

Re: Hard hands

racaille, i wouldn't even write the kind of criticisms my instructor gives me!! she is incrediable fussy especially as she loves my horse so everything that is not perfect is my fault. I think you are very brave to share these things!

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Brigadier

Joined:

Nov 06

Posts: 237

Brigadier says:

Re: Hard hands

Hi Racaille Maybe your instuctor has run out of constructive things to say so is just saying anything! Maybe time for a change there!! Jumping wise Im from the school of sitting and waiting for the jump to come to me. does that make sense? I used to chase the fence and chase the stride and run out of time at which point the horse could jump well/ jump badly/run out or whatever it wanted really. the point being everything happened so quickly it was all very rushed and stressful and haphazard. Now when I was young I could cope with this but Im not anymore. since learning this style of jumping (aided by flatwork of course) I find it so much easier to jump and the horses always jump better. Im not doing much jumping at the moment as my horse is still a baby but I will deffo adopt this approach with him. Another way of slowing everything down to get your approach correct and to get the horse and yourself thinking about direction etc is to build a course with plenty of space. Your approach to each jump must be off a different leg everytime. Before each jump you must concentrate riding a circle of about 15m but do 20 if its needed and establish a rhythmical balanced canter where the horse is really relaxed and happy, do not jump the jump until you achieve this then simply leave the circle and jump the jump which should feel like an extension of the circle, after the jump half halt to change legs if necessary then approach the next circle/jump and establish the same rhythm etc. Once the horse has got fluent and relaxed about this (its hard work!!!) decrease the number of circles until you jump the course without them (but the instant you feel its all going a bit quick do the circles) This is the best way to establish balance/rhythm/when jumping - everything else comes then as a given. This method has never, never encouraged the horse to run out- by the time youve got the canter right the horse is positively itching to jump the jump. You also shouldnt have a problem with your hands as there's no time issue and fight issue Good luck

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racaille

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 819

racaille says:

Re: Hard hands

THANK you Brigadier! Yes, it all makes perfect sense and I do recognise the 'very rushed and stressful and haphazard' bit! It was the hands issue that has been bothering me the most but as you say, if I take the rushing bit out of it, there won't have to be that battle (hopefully .[:I]) And I hear what you are saying re my trainer .... Thanks again. Feel much more positive.

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