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Friday, October 01, 2004





I just came across this site and wanted to give my own, definitely very biased opinion on this.
I came over to the US in 1971 and was amazed by that kind of riding with a "creast release".
Never could see it being too effective, even when succesful, compared with the traditional way.
Sometimes, new is not better.

I see so many of those equitation riders that look like they are constipated and straining.
I am not making fun of them, I am very serious about it.
Their backs are overarched backwards and their butts are sticking out in the air.
Sorry, I don't see much effective about that kind of riding, but maybe, riding hunters is not about looking like an effective rider on a horse that is traveling easily and forward?

This is just one more opinion and all I can say is that to each their own.


I totally agree, the crest release is a beginner-intermediate riding style. The Medal and Maclay riders of the 60's, before George Morris started teaching the "crest release" were far and away superior to those of today. One look at Jim Kohn winning the Medal in 1964, or Conrad Homfeld, or Bernie Traurig in those years will show the difference between "advanced riders" and beginner-intermediate crest release riders!


While I was looking at the pictures of the champions/reserve champions of the area hunter/jumper association for the 2005 show year, I noticed that out of 19 riders pictured, only one or two riders are attempting an automatic release. Many of the riders pictured are adults that have been riding for a very long time. The automatic release doesn't seem to be taught by very many trainers in Texas. I guess they think there is no need since you can still win without going through the "trouble" of moving away from a tacky crest release.


I cannot believe that they are STILL using the idiotic crest release at the higher levels. I rode eq/hunters as a kid in the 70s/80s, stopped competing for awhile and now I'm back as a dressage rider. I was taught the "automatic release" from day one, only it wasn't called that. It was just the way you rode. If you couldn't handle it without slamming your horse's mouth, you weren't ready to be jumping 3'6". Problem was, a lot of rich kids who couldn't ride were being given fancy horses and the crest release was devised to protect these very nice horses from their incompetent riders so they could survive the race for the Garden. How about learning the basics well so that when you competed you could actually ride?! When we had to switch horses for the jump-offs I always won because in order to stay on my horse you actually had to know how to ride.


Though 49 and no longer doing Eq over fences, I teach my students the old school of the automatic release. So many "hunter" barns in my area. Teach "throw away the reins" crest release. Which really isn't necessary if the rider is taught to move with the horse head and neck It looks so sloppy.
I have one rider that is now 11 and when she started out she was bracing on the horses neck when she went over the jump. Yikes! I told her even with the auto release you can still brace(If she needs)just in the hollow of the horses neck where she can have her nice straight line. I tell my students to put their hands right in front of the neck strap of the martingale.
I also see at lower jump heights standing up in the stirrups instead or forward, or at normal almsot hugging the horse. Should not balance off the horses neck, that is what legs and proper feet position is for.
ALSO what is with this Thumbs up "birdy" to the sky way of riding. THAT is for saddle seat and some levels of dressage. 30% turned inwards is what I have always been taught hands and elbows in line with the horses mouth1

Beverly Farrington

USET is an institution for children to compete in the Olympics. Some riders seem to hang around the barn well into adulthood. This is a shame

Puff Daddy

These horseman ride alike. They're crest release is something to write about, yet nothing for a smooth take-off and landing. They should look at some of the photos of Cappy Smith, George Braun and Mickey Walsh. These horseman rode with real style while getting the most out of their horses.

Puff Daddy

These horseman ride alike. Their crest release is something to write about, yet nothing for a smooth take-off and landing. They should look at some of the photos of Cappy Smith, George Braun and Mickey Walsh. These horseman rode with real style while getting the most out of their horses.


Steinkraus and Morris have written much aboy their style and stature in the horse world. In the amateur world of the USET, over a period of 20 years, Steinkraus won on gold medal and Morris one bronze. Not very impressive facts. They did do an excellent job of promoting themselves and their friends while rewriting the history of the horse show world.
The New York times has an archive section with articles about The National Horse Show, The winners of the Open Jumper Class, The Horses and more. Many of the people Steinkraus and Morris have promoted including themselves aren't even mentioned. And, this is only one paper.
Basically, Steinkraus and Morris have pulled a Bernie Madoff.


I don't have any problem with the crest release. For beginner riders, it provides freedom for the horse. Sometimes it can be hard to keep your balance with the automatic release when you are starting out. And George can seriously ride, he was the youngest rider to ever win the medal and maclay. I think that once a rider can keep their balance with the crest release, they should move on, but it is perfectly acceptable for those who have less experiance to use the crest release. It is better to use the crest release than attempt the automatic and rely on the horse's mouth for balance.


And George actually encourages riders to use the automatic release, he likes it better. My friend rode with him at WEF in January.



Sarah A. Bushing

My dad was George E. Braun, he died at 92. Beautiful rider and kind gentleman.

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