RingSide Pro

Setting up your RingSide Pro account. I have 4,578 videos on my iPhone. Most are probably of Chloe, Hamster and my two young children (in that order!). RingSide Pro is a new equestrian tech company that among other things, helps you itemize your riding goals and arranges a storage system for all of your horsey videos. Not only does this free up some GB’s on your phone, but it also helps you track your progress and continue to reassess your riding or training goals. It is very simple to set up your account and get started. Simply click HERE and start filling out your information. I found the “About Me” profile helpful because it provides a space for you to verbalize your riding objectives, and on the flip side, makes you think of your limitations. For me, I need to push myself more to jump Hamster at home. I get stuck worrying about what could go wrong – I could fall off or I could ruin Jackie’s prize baby green possession – you know the usual amateur concerns! After you are done with your account profile, you are ready to add your videos. To add your videos, go to “Video Library” and add a video. It lets you rename the video once you add it, helping to keep your courses organized. Now you have all of your horsey videos in once place, making it super easy to track your progress.

Virtual Clinics for as little as $18. RingSide Pro has partnered with USEF licensed Hunter/Jumper/Equitation clinicians to provide feedback on videos you submit from your account’s archive. With Coronavirus cancelling many of our equestrian events, as well as the obvious geographic and financial constraints of attending live clinics, this unique virtual space gives you access to clinicians that you might otherwise never have access to. And it’s so easy to use, especially since you already have the videos in your account. You simply go to your dashboard, select which video you want to submit, provide any description you want to accompany the video, and then select the judge or judges you want to receive feedback from. Prices are currently $18 to $25. Videos can be from a cell phone, shot at home or at a show and should be the length of a course, or under 3 minutes long.

Detailed clinician responses within approximately 7 days. Since all of my personal videos riding Hamster consist of a maximum of 5 consecutive jumps (and then me celebrating), I did not have a full course-long video of myself that I could send. However, I did use one from Hamster’s last show with Jackie. The videos do not have to be professional-grade. Like most barns, we can usually count on a member of our barn family to be videoing rounds at the show, making it relatively easy to come up with material if you are an avid horse shower (which I am not). I decided to submit Hamster’s handy round from his Green Hunter division. It was Hamster’s second time in the show ring since March, a note I included in my submission description.

This is the video submitted. Underneath is the description I submitted with the video, giving the clinician some background on Hamster.

This video is of a horse I ride and love, Hamster. He is 6 years old and has really only been showing for a little over a year. He is being ridden by my trainer and his owner, Jackie Howard, in the First Year Greens at Tryon International, in one of his first shows back to the show ring since Covid put a hold on the season. Jackie and I ride him at home together, but I am too much of a wimp to show him. He has all the talent in the world, but little motivation – she does a great job of masking it, but getting him to move is challenging! This video doesn’t show it due to the location of the camera, but he jumps huge and round over the fences. He is just getting consistent (with no drama) about his changes. This was one of his first handy classes ever, so the trot jump really threw him for a loop! You can tell he thought he was finished and was already looking at me at the ingate for his peppermint… 🙂

Within 7 days, I got the following feedback from Winn Alden, a Hunter R and Hunter/Jumper Seat Equitation R judge. The feedback was split into 4 categories: technical, stylistic, turnout and other.

Technical Feedback. He looks like a very sweet horse and quiet. He does want to jump well and yes, just green at the trot jump. For this round, I would just suggest slowing it all down a bit. He looks like you have to keep him going and again just green, but I’d suggest just a tiny bit slower. Keep the impulsion but slow it all down just the tiniest bit at the jump to allow him to jump a little slower. Like the oxer just before the trot jump is lovely. If you take away the trot jump, it’s quite a nice round. I would suggest doing a lot of trotting jumps; this will not only help the trot jump in handy but also get him to use his hind end more over all the jumps as he wants to suck his hind end in over the jump just slightly rather than it following through. I would say you are right on that he has a lot of talent and needs a little work ethic and continue to smooth out the changes. If possible, a lot of riding out in big open spaces and anywhere with hills going forward and coming back will get him stronger and also keep him interested in his job. He doesn’t seem to spook at jumps so he probably doesn’t need to do a lot of courses but lots of riding outside ring and then gymnastics. Doing a lot of counter canter and simple changes through the walk will improve the lead changes as well.

Style Feedback. He does have a nice jump. Like I said earlier, doing a lot of trot jumps will teach him to push off behind and follow through, landing and staying in 2 point so he moves away from the jump. Also a landing rail 10’ from the back side of vertical is a good idea to encourage him to center his arc and land with a stretch with head and neck (fluidly get away from the jump).

Turnout Feedback. The horse and rider are beautifully turned out for this horse show. He looks happy and healthy and just continue building his muscle with flat work including many and constant transitions in various arenas.

Other Feedback. Remember that courses are just an extension of flat work with obstacles along the way so having him carrying himself and looking for the next jump is the key. If he does courses over and over, he will get bored; so change it up a lot. Like I said, he doesn’t appear spooky at the jumps so you don’t want to jump too much but do different things. You can make a circle of 4 jumps at 12,3,6,9 and canter several times around those 4 jumps in a two point each direction will get him looking to next jump while staying out on the bend – you can start with poles while your trainer does actual jumps or cavalettis. Don’t be afraid to jump him yourself, he looks quite kind and while your trainer is there to continue his education, he can learn to have a little self preservation while you practice some courses on him. The jumps can stay low. Your trainer will have him set up to do the bigger jumps as you go while you and he learn each other over the smaller ones.

Wow, there is really so much great things to process there, with the exception of Ms. Alden telling me that I need to trust myself to do more jumping on Hamster :). I love the fantastic reminder that course work is not the end all. Flatwork is so important and the good news is, that is something that I can help Jackie with. We definitely plan to start doing more simple exercises and gymnastics, as we do not want him to get bored with his job. We have a lot of green space at our barn, so I want to get back into the habit of one day a week doing work outside of the arena, as Ms. Alden suggests. The circle exercise example was really helpful. I love the idea of providing obstacles for him to be searching for next, helping him to learn to carry himself a bit more.

Jackie and I were really happy with the critique. We are obsessed with Hamster and basically dote over him all day long, so it was so nice to have a fresh set of eyes on him. I think we are both excited to get back to work, using all of Ms. Alden’s suggestions and tips. And maybe I will be in the saddle for the next video. 🙂

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