How do I control Scout before a jump?
 
 

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How do I control Scout before a jump?

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    09-27-2012, 02:49 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation How do I control Scout before a jump?

I need some help so every time I am riding Scout up to a jump he goes crazy "OMG its a jump aaaaa!!" How do I control him I have tried doing half halts before the jumps, walking him and then trotting and then walking, and I have tried talking to him. Nothing works he just takes off and I CAN NOT CONTROL HIM! He just takes off over the jump and it really scares me! I know you shouldn't be tense but I can't help it I don't know what to do! Any ideas?
     
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    09-27-2012, 05:16 PM
  #2
Started
Sounds like you need help from a trainer to really pin point what is going on between you and your horse. A good trainer will help you build your confidence back up and work through bad habits.
     
    09-28-2012, 02:27 PM
  #3
Weanling
How is he over trotting poles? If you work on perfect control over trot poles, a course of trot poles etc, then set up 3 or 4 trot poles with a tiny cross rail at the end. Then gradually build up the jumps from there
Others will probably have better advice, this is just an idea that popped into my head
     
    09-28-2012, 04:57 PM
  #4
Foal
The fact that you are tense most definitely is making everything much worse. You will not be able to keep him calm if you yourself cannot be calm. He feels your tenseness and automatically thinks there's something to get worried/excited/freaked out about. There was this one horse I used to ride who would take off madly after every jump if you tensed up, hung onto his face and expected him to take off. But the moment someone would bring him over a jump with steady, light contact, give a good release, and trust him a little he'd behave like a well seasoned school pony.

It helps if you don't anticipate. Don't even think about him taking off. Of course, I'm not saying throw all your defenses away. You should still be in a very secure position and be ready for anything. But don't expect the worst to happen. Ride in the moment. If he starts getting a little speedy, deal with it as it happens. Use your cues when you need to, not before you need to. It's all about timing. But if you ride up to the jump with the expectation of him going insane, you're pretty much setting yourself up for disaster.

How is he when other people ride him? Is he still the same way? The best advice I can give you is to get a really good trainer and maybe take some riding lessons on other horses to get your confidence back up. A big part of the problem he's most likely responding to your nerves, so until you are able to ride confidently and calmly up to the jump, you can't really expect him to be confident and calm.
     
    09-29-2012, 01:24 AM
  #5
Foal
I actually had the same kinda problem with my mare today, she gets really excited over certain jumps and bolts them. Half halts and full on halts help, circles before the jump( so she can't anticipate exactly when we are going to go toward the jump or if we are just doing more circles.) And use poles before the jump to keep the stride even. Just remember to relax, when you tense up, he'll tense up and then it will just be pure energy. Good luck.
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    10-01-2012, 08:43 AM
  #6
Foal
In addition to the other comments, make sure you are not leaning forward in anticipation. It throws your balance off and the horse has to rush to stay under you.
     
    10-05-2012, 03:10 PM
  #7
Trained
What KatRocks said.

Circles before a jump are amazing. My gelding was a lovely steady jumper when I first got him, but I basically let him do whatever he wanted, and he started rushing his fences because he knew I would let him get away with it. I lost a huge amount of confidence with him over this and other issues, and when I eventually got myself some lessons, my coach had me do this... among other things.

Monty's problem is that he likes to lock on to his fences and set himself up, and I wasn't a good enough rider to set him up right, so he would constantly be fighting against my incorrect cues.

The circles stopped him rushing his fences from the trot but didn't do much in the canter because my confidence issues with him had me petrified of cantering on the flat... actually up until about 2 months ago, that issue never really went away! So, I was scared, my horse knew it... and when I'm scared, I drop my horse and go into "stay on" mode. Meaning, let the horse do what he's going to do, and try not to die in the meantime!

I talked to my coach about a stronger bit. My coach disagreed with the idea, saying that I should be able to control my horse in a snaffle in any situation. For the most part, I agree with him - and indeed, I agreed with his reason entirely (just not 100% of the conclusion). I knew the problem was not my horse, because I knew that he was an eventer and prior to my owning him had been a snaffle-all-3-phases horse. The sort you buy for your kid because you know it's a safe horse and a small person would be able to control it.

So (I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS) what I ended up doing was digging out an old kimblewick - this bit is around the 25yo mark - which was the perfect size for my lad and had the perfect mouthpiece. I rode in it a few times on the flat to get a feel for the bit, and then tried him over poles in it. First time through, I forgot to half-halt, and he rushed. Second time through, some nice firm half-halts, and he was perfect.

3 days later I jumped 95cm on him. Out. I was just about pooping myself, but I did it. Prior to that, I'd been training around the 60cm mark, at home, and trotting into my fences.

For a while I rode only in the kimblewick, then decided to enter a one day event. For which he had to go in a snaffle for the dressage phase, so I had to put him back in one. I realized that I'd made him harder-mouthed, and changed what I was doing so that he was in the snaffle 4 days a week and the kimblewick just one - the day I jumped.

Gradually, I got more and more confident, and he went back to his usual self on the flat. Not precisely soft (he likes a very firm contact) but certainly not hard.

Not long after the one day event, I started popping him over small fences at the end of a flat session - therefore, in a snaffle. I took him to a showjumping day a while later, I think around 2 months? He went in the kimblewick because I was nervous about how he would act at a show (considering he was an idiot at the event), but he was lovely. A little strong, but under control. We had a 3rd place (my fault, we had one refusal at a fence I was worried about) and a win.

Just after that show, I decided that enough was enough, and I just wanted him in a snaffle. So I switched out the bit on his jumping bridle and started riding only in a snaffle at home and on trail rides. Still my perfect angel.

Another couple of months went by and I took him to another show. This time, I took my kimblewick, but I left it off the bridle, deciding to see how he went in the snaffle first. First showjumping round, he was a holy terror, very strong and we had 2 refusals before the 4th fence. I retired and went out to warm up/chill out some more. That show allows competitors to try again H/C (non-competitive) as a training effort, so once all the competitive riders were through, Monty and I had another crack at it. He was beautiful, but decided he did not like the fill at 6A and refused outright to jump it, so we skipped the combination at 6 and moved on.

Next round was a little bigger. Again, perfect angel horse until 6A, where we were eliminated. I scratched from our 3rd round because it was bigger still and if he wouldn't jump it at the lower heights it wasn't worth trying to get him over it in a bigger course.

Long story short the event officials let us train over the fill once competition was done for the day and I did eventually get him over 6A and B.

The purpose for this novel is to tell you that it DOES get better!
     
    10-05-2012, 03:20 PM
  #8
Showing
Sometimes it has more to do with what you do after the jump.
     
    10-05-2012, 03:47 PM
  #9
Trained
Oh yes that too - my coach would have me get my horse back to a trot within 3 strides after a fence. He likes to toddle up to his fences at trot, then break into a canter afterwards. It took us a long time to get him to stay in a trot, but eventually he did.

What I do now is alternate squeezing legs-hands-legs-hands. Each squeeze is one canter stride btw, and it helps keep a rhythm. I'm sure it's probably not "correct" but it gets the message through to my lad that I want him forward but steady, maintaining speed. If I hold my legs on he gets quick, and if I hold my hands on he pushes through the bit and gets strong. If I completely drop either one, he either rushes or refuses.

If he's having a quick day, I squeeze hands-hands-hands-hands keeping a light contact with my legs. If I drop him with the legs he thinks I've dropped him completely and he can do what he likes. The light leg contact is the best way to keep him focused, and it allows me to use my seat and core as well as my legs and hands.
     

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