15 riding lessons (part 5)
Show jumping, or overcoming obstacles in equestrian sports , is a topic that cannot be covered in one lesson. From the available literature in Russian, the author considers it possible to offer those interested only one translated book by D. M. Dillon “Jumps in equestrian sports”, M., FIS, 1971, consisting mainly of photographs.
on horseback, when riding in the field, riders often face the need to overcome certain obstacles. When riding in a group, the ability to overcome obstacles is largely determined by its complexity and the experience of the trainer (head), rather than the ability of the group members, since an experienced horse in a difficult situation will take out itself. Ditches, fords, bridges, logs, gates, narrow passages, steep ascents and descents – different types of obstacles require different techniques to overcome. So, for example, landing an athlete when passing dead (firmly fixed) obstacles at a cross-country distance is significantly different from landing when jumping on a competitive field over obstacles that fall when hitting. The main task of the rider when overcoming any obstacles is to maintain the balance of the man – horse system, that is, not to interfere with it by their actions, while maintaining control.
When the horse jumps, it pushes off sharply, as if it flies out from under the rider, who should give the body forward a moment before pushing off. During the flight, the horse stretches its neck, the higher and further the jump – the stronger.
The rider should put his hands forward accordingly, keeping contact with the horse’s mouth, but not tightening the reins. For a novice, the best way out of this situation is to stand up in the stirrups and grab the mane with the reins. Thus, You will get an additional point of support-the neck, you will be able to better control your balance and not interfere with the horse.
When riding at a gallop on a field landing, overcoming small obstacles – a lying log, a small groove is usually perceived simply as an increased pace (jump). However, it should be borne in mind that a young horse can, being afraid, make a throw (a sharp stop), bypass an obstacle or perform a powerful jump that does not correspond to the size of the obstacle. Therefore, overcoming even minor obstacles, you need to be attentive and collected. A tripping horse needs support with a rein, without which you can both fall.
When overcoming water barriers, you should know that a Ford is always better than an unreliable, rotten bridge. Small bridges are built based on the human weight and can fall under the horse’s foot. If the horse loses its balance in the water, gets stuck, starts swimming, it is necessary to jump off in time, continuing to hold the rein and mane. If you don’t know how to swim yourself, grab at least the tail – the horse will pull you to the shore.
Many horses do not like to pass narrow places, gates, etc. it Happens that the horse does not go, but after a sharp message rushes forward. In this case, the rider’s saddle, Luggage, or knee may get stuck. On steep ascents and descents, you can only venture if you are confident in sufficient grip of the hooves with the ground. For example, a wet clay or grassy slope after rain, even for a shod horse, can be insurmountable at the appropriate steepness. When descending, the rider should sit slightly leaning back, unloading the front legs of the horse, in constant readiness to support the horse with the rein . On ascents, the rider stands up in the stirrups, holding on to the mane and freeing the horse’s hind legs from the load .
Doubtful places, where the horse can get caught on a wire or hurt himself on sharp objects invisible in the grass or snow, it is better to overcome by Dismounting. The horse’s legs are more important than Yours in a campaign. When passing difficult sections of the route, not every horse can be completely trusted. Among half-breeds and local breeds of horses, there are often animals that, being very independent, will always choose the best way to overcome a difficult area. However, most horses of European breeds of stable breeding are trained to rely entirely on humans. On such a horse, it is not worth anything to fall into a hole, cut yourself on a wire, etc.Be responsible for your four-legged friends.
If we assume that every horse is a person, and a person learns all his life, then you can improve in riding indefinitely. Any unfamiliar horse can open You something new. So the first advice is this. No matter how attached You are to a particular horse, try to ride different horses.
Professional equestrians like to repeat: they don’t ride horses, they work horses. This means that the horse receives a certain training and acquires new skills in the same way as the rider. If You really want to be a good rider, here’s a second tip. Not ride. All your communication with the horse, starting with cleaning and saddling, should be a creative dialogue. While riding, listen to the horse, watch its reactions in response to Your commands. Try to achieve the most complete understanding. Experiment, be always on the lookout, only then Will you get real satisfaction from riding and even on horses of average abilities will be able to work wonders.
Rental of riding horses in cities and suburban areas increases every year. Opportunities for “equestrian physical education” are growing. In addition to the classic equestrian sports: show jumping, dressage, triathlon, there are a lot of national equestrian games, many of which are quite accessible to those who can ride. And you can organize such competitions at any stable – if you would like.
I wish You health and success in your riding!
“15 lessons” were written as a result of lessons with novice equestrians on a horse farm near Moscow in the period from 1981 to 1991. It has often been seen that riders who have long been engaged in riding in urban rentals, were completely unprepared for field riding. There was practically no literature to recommend, especially short popular manuals. “15 lessons” were born precisely because of the annoying need to repeat the same thing to beginners.
Equestrian athletes and experienced trainers are unlikely to agree with all the recommendations. However, the author is aware that the development of “soft hands” in a talented equestrian athlete or the education of cruelty to animals is not primarily associated with reading such books.
When referring in the text to such extremely crude measures as twitching the reins or using two hands on one rein, the author is aware that they can only be applied to the extent that the health and life of the rider is still more important than the horse. And for 10 years I had to deal with injuries, and serious ones. When a girl weighing 40 kg is physically unable to cope with a six-hundred-kilogram half-breed heavy truck, which, “offering a shoulder”, takes her wherever he wants, even rough measures of influence on the horse’s mouth can be recommended. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to learn to ride immaculately trained good-natured “Arabs” in a light arena on soft sawdust.
One of the main points in learning to ride is the work of the rider on himself. It is not the horse that must be defeated, but one’s own timidity, impatience, lack of restraint, and physical unpreparedness. If the rider does not solve this problem, then the work with the horse will be uneven, depending on the mood and condition. It is among such riders that there are people who ride for many years, but do not understand and do not feel the horse, which is terrible to take in the field. All sorts of accidents and injuries happen to them.