Jumping Horse Career Planning. Competition level selection
Everything that is done in training is done with one goal – to successfully compete in competitions. But in which? What level? And when?!!! The choice of competitions for a young horse in our country is often made according to one of two simplified principles: according to age and strength capabilities. Meanwhile, both principles are dangerous, because invented for those who do not have sufficient qualifications in planning a horse’s sports career, but who do not want to miss a lot. They are dangerous in that there are several typical and frequently encountered situations where these simple laws do not work, and even give the opposite effect.
Instead of describing the weaknesses of these principles, we will describe the correct competition selection system, and only then we will correlate it with age and power selection.
In the West, the challenges facing a sports horse at the beginning of a career are different from leadership. This is the way Western horse breeding works so that all horses of sports breeding are able to jump a separate obstacle 150 cm high already in three years in sprintgarten, and in five years under saddle. Therefore, it is foolish to be measured at 110-120 cm by force and speed. This is done by pembrake and amateurs.
Real stars ripen in the shade, paying attention to psychological and gymnastic development. Each of these horses initially has the right exterior, stable psyche and sensitivity to control. Otherwise, the material is simply not taken into work. Therefore, the question for a young sports horse is not “how much can a horse jump?”, But “how does it do it?”. In this regard, the so-called “style” competitions are popular, where it is assessed whether the horse is developing in the right direction.
Proper development is the rationality of overcoming parkour. Until the horse has achieved rationality at a certain height, they will not proceed to the next, even if the horse’s physical capabilities allow it. Rationality is expressed in the minimum waste of physical and moral strength of the horse. If an amateur jumps with a margin of 30 cm is a delight, then a competent specialist disapproves of his head rolling. The creation of a reserve by the horse (“the horse processes”) in height means only one thing – the unavailability of the horse.
Three reasons may be to blame:
• the animal cannot adequately correlate the required forces and the configuration of the obstacle; there is no experience;
• the animal does not belong to the barrier loyally, is banally afraid of it;
• the animal does not have enough equipment so as not to touch the obstacle, and he needs the initial handicap in height
Any of the reasons are bad. Your task is to jump the Grand Prix 150 cm. And if you are faced with the “processing” of the animal 120 cm, you better marinate the horse at this low height with special training exercises. They fundamentally differ depending on one of the three listed reasons for “processing”. But we will talk about them later in separate articles.
Each subsequent performance at the same height, traveled by a young horse with a smaller margin and less excitement, must be met with approval by the trainer. If the animal smiles from tickling the abdomen about the pole and is not excited, you have reached the goal by 100%. Although perfectionism is also not worth it.
Even after achieving rational work on the route, you should not immediately proceed to the next height. The sequence of development of routes for the horse follows the scheme: Height-Width-Tactics-Time. Changing each of the parameters is a new condition for the animal. The golden principle of Western training is that only one new condition must be introduced into a horse’s mind at a time.
Thus, the next step should be to increase the latitude of the barriers.
Typically, the latitude is brought to the level that will have to be faced at the next height. Broadening barriers is just as stressful as raising them. Most likely, the “recycling” of the horse will again appear on the oxers. It is necessary to wait until the horse calms down and “settles” on the uneven bars due to the increase in back work. The exercise for this we will describe later.
When the increased latitude ceases to be a problem for the psyche of the horse, one can begin to play with tactical schemes for constructing the main routes. This is work in travels with inconvenient distances. It is necessary to be able to walk half distances both by contraction and by “driving away from you.” In what cases on routes which correction method to choose is the topic of a separate article.
But that is not all. Modern show jumping is speed, it makes special demands on the honesty and independence of the horse. Landing is much freer, shallow, more often field. The horse is controlled by calculation and collection is much smaller. You can trust the horse with initiative in this situation only after mastering the first three stages, when you know for sure that the horse is able to solve any problem at this height, width and distance. Your task is only to “keep up the pace” and roll up attempts. It is important not to confuse such activities with jumping exercises, which are a completely separate direction.