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Learning Made Easy -

Maladaptive short-term corrections

Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. Maladaptive short-term corrections are the slight adjustments, or corrections, you make to your position right after someone tells you to move your left leg back or lower your hands. You jump a cross-rail, a coach or cousin gives you feedback about your position, and then you make brief, short-term corrections in your position.

The only problem is that the researchers who came up with this conjecture put the little word maladaptive in the phrase because these corrections don't seem to work very well. Apparently, your body takes what it hears and then over compensates – you go over the jump again, but this time your leg is too far back. Scientists suspect that getting feedback after every jump gives your body the incentive it needs to abandon what you were trying to do so that it can try something different.

So instead of spending extra time trying to get it right, solve problems, and make the connections needed to jump (post or halt) in good form, you're wrapped up in a self-defeating battle of movements. Performing a maneuver several times in a row without feedback lets you keep focusing on what you were asked to do last. Your position doesn't vary as much from one jump to the next and your body has the time it needs to learn how to perform well.                                                                                                                                  

Johanna Harris
The Equestrian Athlete
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