Thanks therearemiracles :) I can't believe how great they are!
Quincy - when we clip, we clip the whoooole body so they are basically naked. Here is a good pic of one of my junior buddies at a final, and her horse is freshly clipped. VIEW IMAGE
See how short?
Max wouldn't really stay sound even jumping small jumps, he is just getting too arthritic so rather than risk him getting sold and then ending up at auction, I just elect to let him enjoy the field.
It used to keep me in shape when I was doing it 4x a week, but now I'm just on weekends and I've gained like 6 pounds. Time to get back on the spin bike...
So the thing about
jumping is that you get them to the right "distance," and then they jump on their own. Think about
when you are stepping over something - if you try and step over from too far away or from too close it doesn't work, but mostly it is automatic if that makes sense. If you count a horse's steps 1 -2 - 1 - 2, counting with when the inside hind hits the ground when cantering, the horse can only physically jump on a 1 or 2 so theoretically it shouldn't surprise you. It still does though!
So jumping is all about
controlling the length of the horse's step. A good normal canter has a 12' stride, and that is the "distance" most jumps are set at. You can also have 2 jumps set "short" where you would have to compress the stride down to maybe 10', or
open it to 14' or even 16' for a big gallop over a field to a jump.
Ok - most of them jump on their own. Some need a little "encouragement" which is just a little leg squeeze or cluck, and some are just pigs and you have to wear spurs or carry a stick because sometimes they decide they don't want to go over. There's a saying..."over under or through" ... because you don't want to teach a horse it is ok to stop. (It's ok to stop at big heights when you get them to an impossible distance, but that's far beyond my level)
I'm so lucky that all of the facilities I ride with are "UC Friendly" - have flushing bathrooms! I'd hate to think what would have happened if this started when I was showing at the smaller shows that just had the port o potties that would get GROSS after a 100 degree day. With my sensitive nose I would just hold it for hours until I got home...kind of not possible with UC!