I appreciate all the feedback about Levi :) He's been great so far!
Thanks to a Facebook post by Virtual Eventing Coach, highlighting how Jimmy Wo disproves of the 'cruising position' fad that eventers seem to be very taken with, my post will focus on that.
I for one can't stand it (haha, pun) and was relieved that a respected professional rider & coach dislikes it as well.
For those non eventers, or not familiar with the cruise position...
Does anyone else see the glaring flaws in this? Am I crazy? ARE YOU SERIOUS EVENTERS? Why. Why. Why?
All my life I was taught the 2 point was the most effective position for the gallops between fences....
....Butt off the saddle but not ahead, knees and ankles bent, body slightly crouched and forward, hands either on neck or floating.
People argue that the cruise position gets the rider off the horses back and allows them to conserve energy galloping.
I disagree. Does the 2 point not do the same thing? I don't see my ass in the saddle at all.
If anything the rider, precariously tottering, barely in the saddle will go AGAINST the horses natural gallop motion.
From experience, I can atest that this cruise position is crap. During the Brian Sabo USEA riders certification clinic, my instructor (not Brian), forced me to cruise and it was the most frustrating uncomfortable thing I've ever done in my life. I have a strong core & legs but there is NO WAY that I could stay with a horse balancing over them like that. Yankee was horribly confused, thrown off and couldn't make distances at all with me sitting above him, then coming down to jump. Perhaps I was doing it wrong, but she just kept telling me "GET MORE AHEAD, more more more" And I was like, DAFUQ. Have we regressed?
Secondly, with your hands pressed into the neck, ALL your weight resting on them, how do you have control of the reins? In 2 point I don't need my hands to balance and I'm free to lengthen and shorten as I please, QUICKLY and not disturb my position. To change rein length or control the horse, you MUST take your hands away from the neck, thus removing your stability.
Thirdly, the riders weight is greatly shifted when they come down to jump a jump. Wouldn't you think this would throw the horse off MORE than simply staying in 2 point and just releasing your hands over a jump?
Lastly, the cruise position makes it very easy for a rider to fall if a horse suddenly shifts, spooks, etc. With ALL your joints completely locked, there is no room for wiggling. Literally.
I just can't see a point in it.
I tried it and it just didn't work for us. I don't see how the mechanics of it truly 'save' the horse energy and how it could possibly be more effective. Perhaps it really works well for others. What are you opinions? Have you tried it? Do you like it? Hate it?