Monday, November 29, 2010

Some of my favorite cavalletti exercises #3

We are now beginning to transition from the basics to the intermediate.

These are some useful distances between elements of a double, triple or combination:

                                     Pony                                         Horse
Approach at Canter: 
    Bounce                 10-12'                                       11-14'
    One Stride            21-24'                                       24-26.5'
    Two Stride            31-34'                                       34-36'

Approach at Trot: Between Jumps 1 and 2
Bounce                    9-10'                                         9-11'
One Stride               16-18'                                       18'
Two Stride               30'                                            30-32'

                           Between Jumps 2 and 3
One Stride               19-21'                                        21'
                           Between Jumps 3 and 4
One Stride                20-22'                                       22-24'

Trotting Pole Distances:
       Pony                  4-4.5'
       Horse                4.5-4.75'

Placement Poles:
Trot Approach:   9' from base of fence
Canter Approach: 19-20' from base of fence

Average stride length:
                                Pony                                 Horse
Trot                       3.25-4.75'                      4.5-5'
Canter                   Varies by size                  9'-12'

Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Warm Up Ring-Jumpers

Everyone has their own warm up routine before they enter the ring with their horse, and I know that every horse is an individual and requires different things. This being said, I've found a routine that I've had several of my trainers follow with small variations on the theme to suit the individual horse.
The routine goes something like this:
  • Walk 7-10 minutes to warm up
  • Trot-5-10 minutes to loosen up and become supple
  • Canter- 5 minutes- bend side to side to supple and then extend down the long side, shorten along the short side and incoportate several fairly small circles, then extend again down the long side. (This is an exercise that has been practice while schooling at home and will increase your horse's ability to "explode" from a tight turn which will gain seconds during a jump off.
  • Now, you are ready to jump. The flatwork portion is to warm your horse up, loosen and supple him and make sure that he is awake before you begin jumping.
  • Cross rail or small vertical
  • Make the vertical a bit bigger
  • Small oxer
  • Larger oxer
  • Back to a Vertical to finish- this will sharpen them up in front
Some trainers, depending on the horse, want the horse to finish with a rub before entering the ring so that the horse jumps with a bit more effort once in the ring. This will depend on the natural carefulness of your horse. This works very well with some very sensitive horses who are naturally careful because they remember the rub and end up jumping their little hearts out to avoid the rub once in the ring.

To create the rub or the fallen rail, place the top rail of the last vertical just off the cup on one or both sides, usually "wind" from the horses' jump will be enough to knock it down regardless of them touching it.

If you are lucky enough to be called back for the jump off, don't overdo the work you do between your first round and the Jump off.

Preserve your horse's energy and keep things short. Remember, they've already been warmed up and jumped, so now just wake them up and fine tune.

I prefer to do this with a short canter around to make sure that they are awake- maybe another round of "explode-come back".

Finally, I might angle a vertical to make sure that they are willing to take the jump on a slice. Then off to the ring I go!

Tisolde winning the Classic in Jacksonville in 2007

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some of my Favorite Cavalletti Grid Exercises #2

As promised, I will be doing 4-5 exercises a week. Currently, we are still on the basics.

Basic Cavalletti Exercises #2

Monday, November 15, 2010

So everyone loves chrome, but how do you keep it Bling-tastic for the show ring?

We read this little tip in the Chronicle of the Horse about a year ago and used it on our Alla 'Czar mare Czola who has two very high white socks and a white blaze when she went to the BWP-NA Inspection for her Hunter Book approval and it worked like a charm. Fortunately, she is one of few horses we have at the moment that has a significant amount of bling, but should we have more with high socks and blazes, we'll be using this trick each and every time.

What you'll need:
  1. Clippers with a #40 blade
  2. Czola after the BWP-NA Inspection
  3. Box of Corn Starch
  4. Water
  5. Bucket
  6. Towel
  7. Hard brush
What to do:
(1 month before the show)
  1. 1 month before the show, clip the white socks with a #40 blade. This will allow the starch to stick and dry more effectively.
What to do:
(Day before the show)
  1. In a bucket mix Corn Starch (you will use at least 1/2 the box- the full box, depending on how much white you are working with) and Water until it forms a thick paste
  2. Slab it on the high whites, like you would a poultice. Don't worry too much about getting it beyond the white areas- this can be taken care of easily the next morning.
  3. You can either leave it open to dry or you can wrap the legs over night to dry as you would a poultice
What to do:
(Day of the show)
  1. Use a hard brush to chip away the crust of corn starch that remains (make sure to get it all)
  2. Use a damp towel to go along the borders of the white areas and along any stray corn starched areas that aren't white
The End Result: Sparkling whites that will repel dust and ensure that your bling stays bright for your time in the spotlight.

Czola after the BWP-NA Inspection

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some of my Favorite Cavalletti Grid Exercises

Every few blog posts I will be posting a Cavalletti Exercise guide (5 Exercises at a time) that can be printed out and kept on hand for those that have access to cavallettis. I cannot stress enough the importance of cavalletti and grid work for your horse and invaluable skills that can be fine tuned with their use, no matter how green or advanced the horse.


Cavalletti Grid Exercises: Basic #1

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*Next time: Cavalletti Grid Exercises: Basic-->Medium