Safety In Eventing

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by blitzen, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    I'm strange... if I see an ambulance I get nervous. When intellectually I know that if I can't see it, that's when I should be nervous, because if I don't KNOW an ambulance is there then there's always that what-if.

    That being said. I agree that the majority of accidents are rider error. Or horses that aren't well enough trained moving up too quickly (which again is in essence rider error). My horse is lovely, educated, but can be hard to sit up sometimes - so I use a slightly stronger bit on him to remind him that he DOES have to listen - but not THAT strong, it's a kimblewick but I don't often use the slots. He can jump all strung out, and clear a decent sized jump, but I'd rather not risk it. So sometimes it's equipment-related too.

    All you can do is make sure you have the right equipment, a clue about what you're doing, and a horse that's well enough trained for the level it's competing. I've seen someone competing C grade on a standie that paces sometimes under saddle... tried not to actually physically cringe where they could see me but it was difficult not to!

    I compete E grade because I am not a good enough rider yet to be able to see the stride far enough out to correct it if it's off. I can see 3 strides out whether I'm going to be long, close, or just right, but that's not enough time to adjust my lad's stride and hit the right spot. At home, and over SJ style fences, I'll jump much higher than E grade - we're training up to 1m over SJ style - but over solid stuff I need to know my boy can clear it no matter what spot I put him in. I could put him in D grade easily enough and still know he can clear it regardless of what I do. He can jump C grade height/width from a bad spot too, but C grade courses are too technical for me at this stage. HE has done higher than that, from my knowledge, but I'm not ready for it.
     
  2. katers93

    katers93 Well-known Member

    But then think about it SK4E, a lot of accidents occur when an inexperienced rider goes up the grades on an educated horse because the rider isn't skilled enough to ride difficult approaches or they may unknowingly put the horse into a difficult spot! Be just as vigilent about your own training as you are about your horses :) I personally think it's very important that BOTH horse and rider are capable of the level they compete at and it really bothers me when young inexperienced riders buy expensive horses so that they can go up the grades when they haven't put in the work to prepare themselves as a rider for those grades.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  3. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    That's actually pretty much exactly what I was trying to say, Katers... just put a lot better!

    Your spot depends on the jump in question (height and width and to a degree type), the footing, the topography of the ground (ie many horses will take off slightly "long" on a downwards slope, can be very hard to sit up and get deep to a fence when you're going down a hill), the line..... SO MANY THINGS. It's our job as riders to know our course, the footing, and where the ideal spot is for that jump set in that place in the course. As many times over as you have jumps in the course! And get the horse to the right spot for each of those jumps. It's the HORSE's job to listen when we ask them to adjust their stride to HIT that spot, and OUR job to teach the horse to hit it... and make sure that we have a horse that will listen no matter how excited it is, whether through training or [only if necessary and no amount of training helps] equipment.

    As I said, my horse is educated, has competed at least Prelim in his younger days [I am not clear on exactly how high]... and I'm taking him through at E grade. I jump 1m+ at home! I just don't have the knowledge to take him XC over fences big enough there's a chance of him hitting them if I mess up. He can clear 120cm on good striding, 1m on slightly off striding, and 95cm on "OMG YOU'LL NEVER GET OVER THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DIE" striding (I haven't jumped him higher than 105cm because I'm a sook but I know he CAN do 120).... but I won't event him past D grade until I can get him to the right spot every time.

    Edit; he doesn't like to get in too deep - if I put him on bad striding he nearly always chooses the long spot rather than chipping in and has taken off more than a whole stride away before!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  4. katers93

    katers93 Well-known Member

    Sorry I corrected myself I said experienced when I meant inexperienced...oops! That's good on you SK4E :) I'm glad to hear you're putting your horses and your own safety first and that you're so keen to learn before you get ahead of yourself. I'm sure it will do you both the very best in the long run :)
     
  5. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    Thanks Katers :) Another part of it is that because I know how badly things can go wrong XC, I'm a massive wuss about solid fences. At least with SJ style fences they fall down if you hit them... thus a lower chance of those really really nasty rotational falls [rotational is when the horse flips over the top of the fence isn't it? not sure on the terminology there], more of a margin for error, better for the rider who is still learning.

    I need to KNOW I can get my horse in the right spot and give him the best shot of clearing it, and I need to KNOW my horse is capable of clearing it, before I will even attempt it. I also am much more confident if I'm wearing my body protector even though I can't breathe in the darn thing.
     

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