Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Jumping Theory

Ok for those who actually *like* theory (I'm a geek, what can I say -- but I know there are some closet-geeks out there! :) -- this post is *just* that -- fun story in a diff post. So here goes:

We all know the basic rider responsibilities when jumping: pace, path, position.

Well Denny divides pace into speed, balance and impulsion. (I swear I'm going to hear those words chanted at me in my dreams). The trick is that balance and impulsion are inherently contradictory. If the horse is well balanced and rocked back on its hocks, odds are good you don't have much impulsion or speed. Conversely, if you're going fast and/or have a ton of impulsion odds are good the horse is on the forehand (ok for galloping long stretches XC, NOT ok for actually jumping -- he says a lack of understanding and application of this is a huge part of the recent issues w/ upper-level fatalities; another interesting discussion that doesn't fit in here). The trick is in getting the *right* canter that combines those three things, and if you can do THAT (no problem!) the jumps are simple.

I vultured a lesson yesterday where the poor lady could not see a spot if it were wearing a collar, barking and wagging its tail. He stopped and had her focusing entirely on the quality of the canter (after long theory discussion -- see above but multiply times 30 mins. Having a verbose coach is taking some getting used to after those I've ridden w/ in recent years! hahaha). -- anyways, w/in like 2 rounds, literally, she was hitting every spot txt-book perfect. Almost unbelievable improvement. But wow did it ever make his point!

On building this ideal canter -- this is evidently the purpose of dressage (we knew there had to be one somewhere!) hahaha he says dressage is like going to the gym -- if you're riding your flat work correctly, you're engaging the inside hind and every time you do that it's weight-lifting for the horse. The more you do that, the stronger he gets, the better a chance you've got for him to be able to be balanced and going forward and UP at the same time. He's very big on the fact that all flat work must be done *correctly*. One of those common sense things that we all too often don't actually apply ;-} Just going around in circles isn't going to cut it -- and will get you yelled at regardless of whether you're in a lesson or not :) (and yes Mary I KNOW you tried to get all this through my little brain too... hahaha It sounded oddly familiar some how listening to it today. Maybe when 3 or 4 MORE people tell me, I'll actually get it! :).

We haven't had the "path" discussion yet -- but I don't doubt we will @ some point :)

Got the position lecture today. Basically follows DeNemethy's EQ style. VERY anti-hunters as they currently exist (that was *quite* the rant - fairly entertaining :) He likes the lower-leg more forward than most people I've ridden w/, and the knees/toes out almost ballet-style. He had the woman sit w/ her leg in its normal position and told her to try as hard as she could to keep it there -- and then he pushed it back. Then he put it where he wanted it to be and gave her the same instruction -- he couldn't move it. Leg is much stronger there. Not that it necessarily has to be there all the time (and shouldn't @ all for dressage) but that as you set up your horse for the fence in the same way you lift your chest and shift your balance (and your horse's), so should you make your leg more secure.

That being said, when I tried it today it def made my leg secure, but my horse was NOT impressed. Methinks this w/ a hot tb would not necessarily be a great plan -- BUT Denny has ridden more than his share of hot TBs so obviously it must work -- just have to find the balance of the secure but not overly-strong leg... Maybe? Don't know -- I'll ask nxt time it comes up.

So did anybody actually read all of that?


I read it all! Boy, I would love to have a few lessons with Danny. Just from your brief comments, this is exactly the issue I have been having, with trying to work out the perfect canter. I have either balance or impulsion, but never both. When I have one, I lose the other. (describes perfectly the problems I have had with Fancy throughout our less than illustrious career). I am very envious.


hahaha bring her down for a few days! :) That's what other people do ;-}


ohhh lower leg position...the horrors!! :P I'm peeved I'm going to have to restart that whole process...i feel like I had made good progress with the strength part, at least...but I'm pretty sure that's all gone now! I'm scared of the day you come back and that's the focus of my lesson haha! I will most certainly dieeee :)


Will it help if I promise to wait until @ least the 2nd lesson? :-P

It will come back :) I'm living proof of that! hahaha


This is great info to know.


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