Friday, May 30, 2014

Anatomy of a Jump: Fail Friday Edition

Some of you may remember the time I broke down frame-by-frame the most perfect jump Cuna and I ever had caught on film. I thought it was a pretty great post.

Well, now we're doing it again. Only like... the other way around. Instead of a "how to jump it right", let's talk about "how green horses jump that sane people wouldn't publicly share on their personal blog".

Because, what fun is sanity anyways?

Let's get going!

The Takeoff

This is Courage and I in a jumping lesson. He's been going through the grid and the jump has been raised incrementally. We've just added a back rail, which means that in order to clear it, he needs to maintain impulsion to be able to jump both up and across.

photo via HorselessinHalifax
Unfortunately for me, Courage saw the new question and backed off while he tried to figure it out. I added leg, but he's not quite broke enough (or obedient enough) to respond yet.

So here he is trying to answer the question by leaping AS HIGH INTO THE AIR AS POSSIBLE!!!

Of course, the more discerning among you are saying, "But SB, if C-rage expends all his energy launching straight up, how does he plan to carry himself forward so you don't land in the middle of all those poles?"

The Airtime

photo via HorselessinHalifax
Not to worry folks! Courage has no intention of hitting that monstrous jump. Obviously.

The only thing to do at this point is to suck his hind end up and LEAP LIKE A DEER!!! It's a little less efficient than, you know, pushing forward off his hind end. Take it from me, though, the little man can get the job done.

Now you might critique my position in these shots. It sure looks like I'm jumping up his neck in the first one and here I'm sort of levitating above his back with completely useless legs and that oh-so-helpful indirect inside rein.

Those are all valid observations. I would welcome any and all position help, because trust me, it's all about to go downhill...

Well, all but me anyways. I stay up about a half second longer than Courage does because physics are (not) my friend!

Ahem. So the reason that upper level jump and event riders advocate for a "bascule" over a jump in which the horse springs up with his front end, pushes off with his hind end and his body describes a lovely arc in the air is because the rider is capable of staying in balance with the horse and equitating all the way through.

photo via wikipedia
If the horse rockets straight up, then generates forward momentum by sucking his ass up to his chin, well, instead of describing an arc, you are describing a roller coaster ride, complete with long uphill climb and then dropping directly out from underneath you at the apex.

You'll notice McClain Ward never looks like this.

You'll also notice that the nice folks on the roller coaster are in fact belted in so that when the roller coaster inevitably plunges downward, there is a limit to how high above the seat they can levitate.

So keep all that in mind as we approach the next stage of the jump.

The Descent

I know you're all thinking "well, it really doesn't look THAT bad. Like, what is she complaining about? Lots of people jump 4' on green horses and it clearly isn't the end of the world."

No. No it is not. 

Here's Courage doing his best roller coaster impression. 

photo via HorselessinHalifax
At this point, I should probably just give it up, throw my hands in the air, and hope for a decent picture. My vanity forces me to point out that not only did we clear this jump, but Courage landed in balance and cantered away AND I STAYED ON, but I probably shouldn't brag about that unless I want to get bitch slapped by karma.

Which I don't. 

So... boys and girls, this is why all that flatwork I talked about yesterday is important. This is what happens if your green horse isn't recognizing you as leader (leg=go now) and isn't broke enough (hm, maybe I should have some impulsion) to save himself. We certainly have a plan moving forward and I will write you a full lesson wrap up later, but for now, I hope you're enjoying my deer leaps just as much as I am. 

Or possibly more, since you just get to laugh at the evidence instead of riding through it. ;-) It's a thrill, that's for sure. Happy weekend!


  1. Ha ha ha. At least you can chuckle about yourself!! Nice on you for sticking the landing!

  2. The good, the bad and the ugly is where it's at lady! Thanks for sharing these! I've had a couple of great versions of this on Riley, sadly without photos! I think we're going to set up a gymnastic this weekend.

  3. Dying at Courage's hoverboard impression in the second photo. Kudos for staying on!!

  4. Hehe!! He is just adorably cute :D Good job riding it through! :)

  5. I giggled oh so hard at the Airborne picture

  6. He is the best at deer leaping. I love this pictures so, so much!

  7. That last photo looks super cool though!! Good for you for staying on and wow at that leaping athlete of yours :)

  8. Love this post! He does look pretty dang cute even if his form wasn't quite what you were looking for :)

  9. omg, I laughed out loud and absolutely LOVED this post. The only thing that would make it better would be video.
    One day when he's a perfect jumping maniac, you can look back on this and see how far he's come!

  10. Your face is the best. His too! At least he still understood to go *over* the question. Deer leap > refusal/run-out!

  11. Loved this post! And I love how you can laugh at it. What great pics :)

  12. I love your face in these - thanks for sharing and avoiding sanity!

  13. You made me laugh out loud enough that the cat looked at me as I disturbed his nap. What a great post!

  14. Hahaha, love it! Thanks for sharing the fails as well as the successes!

  15. I'm telling you, that horse can JUMP! Whats his racing name...I must know his pedigree :)

  16. I had a horse that would deer jump randomly for no apparent reason. It is the hardest thing in the world to ride! Good for you for even staying mounted!

    These are great pictures and will be even more fun when you look back on them from your perfect jumping pony!

  17. Way to stick it! Love how you can laugh it off and make fun of the situation. It happens to EVERY ONE who trains babies.

  18. LMAO! I know those jumps waaaaay too well!

  19. Haha good job! No one is judging you on here. Honesty is way more fun than a false perfection persona that people try to portray. Oh and yes I have ridden THAT jump! Training a willing greeny trying his best but getting the WRONG answer. I think they are more caught guard by the outcome than we are.

  20. LOL! These are awesome! I love it! I've ridden jumps like that too where the horse disappears out from under you and you float in the air before you both land. Unfortunately every time I've done it was in a Western saddle and I was always terrified I was going to land on the horn (never did thank goodness). The thing is we were jumping fallen limbs or trees that were about a foot high! That darn deer leap hehe. I'm glad you stayed on and got really cool pictures out of it!

  21. I am dying with laughter! I love your horse! What a trier!

  22. I know that feeling way too well. At least you now know he has talent! My greenie skips the rollercoaster and just jumps like an ADHD pogo stick on a trampoline.

  23. I think I would have latched onto mane by the middle picture! Greenies are fun... but it gets better! He's a great horse, and you do so well with him :)

  24. He can certainly get airtime! Good job staying with physics.

  25. I am so impressed with your ability to stay on from that. I was sure the next picture was going to be you eating dirt... Because I know I would've! Holy crap! You guys worked through it. Aweeeessooommme!

  26. Awwwe, Courage-creature, you get an A for honesty and effort!

    And hey, I only judge when people AREN'T honest. I believe I have several videos of me rail-bowling in stadium

    Three big tips (Solo has a huuuge hop in his back end over a jump that Becky Holder called his "booty bump" -- bump you right out of the tack!):

    (1) Shorten stirrups. Significantly.

    (2) Neck strap.

    (3) NECK STRAP. Heh. It took me forever to get used to using one, b/c Encore jump is very round and feels 100% different than Solo. ADHD = you forget it's there...BIRD! But my rule is HANDS MUST BE ON STRAP FOR TWO STRIDES BEFORE AND AFTER JUMP when schooling -- you can't influence anything then anyway and if you try, you'll just bugger up the jump (ahhhh, ask me how I know....what, holding your horse to base then thowing the reins at him isn't a winning technique??).

  27. Love your attitude and not feeling like you can only share perfection. It's way more interesting and honest. Most of us have been there.

    Courage is so careful! Even after taking that crazy leap which leaves you thinking there is no way he'll clear the hind, he did so by twisting his back end.

    Your game face in the last pic is the best. Ever!

  28. Great sequence! I laughed out loud at your commentary!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...