Need help! How to ride quicker, having time faults!

Hey friends!

I really need your advices, tips & tricks! I’ve been participating in show jumping competition for about 5 years now and currently I’m doing 120 and 130 classes with my horse. Even though it’s getting better, I’m still often concerned with if I’m going to see the right distance…this makes me kinda insecure and I’m not able to move(canter forwards) enough and get time faults or even if we have a clear round I’m to slow to get a ribbon. Could you please share some tips and exercises to overcome this, how I call it “mental barrier”? It really feels like I’m afraid to canter quicker because then it’s even more difficult to see the right distance and I’m so afraid that if I miss it, we’ll crash the fence or have an injury or something…Please help, this is very, very significant to me!

If you find it difficult to find distances when you increase speed, the horse is probably too flat and on his forehand.

What FineAlready said. You probably don’t have the right canter or enough impulsion. You also are probably losing time in the turns by not “hitting the gas” while you ride through them. Do you have a video?

It’s actually a lot easier to find distances when you ride forward to the jumps. What does your coach say?

Thank you! Yes, that’s true, I also tend to take huge turns, being afraid that I won’t see the distance if I make shorter ones. Here’s the video from the last competition, it’s young riders 120, I feel quite confident riding this height, when it’s 130 I’m not afraid but much less confident…

I guess the problem is that when I try to ride quicker I feel like I lose control, it’s probably because the canter is becoming wider not more powerful as it should be - am I right? And so it feels like when I’m riding in a very collected canter I can catch the distance very easily but when I try to make it quicker it’s just awful…unfortunately I do not have a coach in my country at the moment, the situation with coaches here is quite bad :frowning: so while I’m actively looking for one, I have to sort this out on my own(and with your help hopefully).

You do need a coach to help & encourage you that you can do it., you are holding back on your round, being very careful, almost like a hunter/equ round. Careful is good, but also trust yourself to challenge yourself where you can trim the approaches & still get the distince in check. Keep working on this goal, trim 1-3 jump approaches each ride… You had wide turns where you could have trim those as a 1st step…

Nice horse & good ride…

Thank you! Yes, thats true, true, true I really need someone to encourage me but unfortunately I’m having a hard time finding that kind of person. Here, where I live most of the coaches are very rude and don’t really care about the emotional side of the trainings which is VERY important for me. Thank you for the advice! :slight_smile:

You have a lovely horse!

After watching a few of your videos, your canter isn’t as slow as I expected it to be, particularly outside. For sure when the jumps get bigger you do have the tendency to want to wait and shorten for the distance, but I think that you’re losing most of your time in the turns. I had a coach who said that you lose about one second for every extra stride that you take during a course, so if you estimate that you take even just 2-3 extra strides per turn, that adds up over the course of your round.

I find that jumping on a circle can be really useful for developing your eye for shorter turns.

Oh, that’s huge, thank you! What do you mean with the circle - like 1 fence and I keep going around and jumping it or 2 fences on the line of the circle? I have worked on this with 2 fences(on the opposite diagonals) and jumping them in figure 8, I think it’s pretty close to what you are saying. I’ll definitely work on this. THANK YOU!! :slight_smile:

Where are you located?

I really liked the tempo you had coming off the brown-white oxer towards the end. The one with the windmill/wheel looking things as wings.

Even just a single jump on a circle works if you’re having trouble. It really shows you if you’re losing the straightness at all, and if you can get to the jump consistently well on the 20m circle, you should have more confidence in your ability to see a distance out of a shorter turn.

(I think the OP might be in Lithuania based on some of her videos?)

You have a lovely horse and give him a nice ride. You just need to learn to let go and trust yourself and your horse. I also expected to see a much slower canter, but you’re really only a smidge under the gear you need.

I don’t jump nearly as well as you do, but had the similar problem of not feeling comfortable allowing my horse to go forward. This exercise helped me. Put a bounce on one long side and an oxer on the other. Sit tall, and collected canter to the bounce, then pick up a gallop and go to the oxer. Then collected canter to bounce. Lather, rinse, repeat. If it works for you like it did for me, the first few times you will be timid to the oxer, but eventually will let go and find the distance comes to you as well as it did when you were hunting for it and become or comfy with letting go.

I thought you rode very well in video. I wouldn’t be so critical of yourself. The time allowed must be tight if you got many time penalties. It looks like your horse sometimes gets a shorter stride, more up and down. Possibly if he lengthened his stride (without necessarily going faster) it would allow you to cover more ground in the same amount of time. But it’s hard to do in a small indoor arena (when collection is more accurate).

I’ve watched a few more of your videos, OP, and I noticed that you do make shorter turns sometimes, but you almost always land and go straight for several strides before making a square corner and then heading to your next jump. While it’s great to school the straightness at home most of the time so that your horse jumps straight and doesn’t anticipate turning all the time, at a horse show it’s like you’re breaking the course up into individual lines. Landing and starting to turn towards your next jump within a stride or two could really make a difference in your times if you look at how much extra ground you’re covering by cantering ten strides out straight after each line before turning.

Thank you! I am from Latvia, Lithuania is our neighbour country and I used to live and train there(actually I have a great coach there but unfortunately I’m not able to live and train there because of the University)

Pembroke, thank you! I am from Latvia, Lithuania is our neighbour country and I used to live and train there(actually I have a great coach there but unfortunately I’m not able to live and train there because of the University).
After that brown - white oxer there was a long way till the next fence and as it was a speed class I was really determined to widen his stride and go as fast as I can on that straight line :slight_smile:

tbchick84, thank you! I will definitely try this! :slight_smile:

Equitational, thank you! Here I did not have any time penalties(which is a surprise because usually I’m riding quite similar and get them) but it was a speed class and there were 9 people who did the round clear as well but much faster.

Night Flight, you are right! I was going through the videos and noticed the same thing, will definitely work on that as well! Huge thanks to you and all the others for support, it really means a lot, thank you!