Jumping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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My horse loves to jump and gets pretty excited while doing it, sometimes too excited. Once I had set out two jumps and between the first and the second I could not get him collected; he was on his forehand from the first and going too fast, but I couldn't get him to slow down. Consequently the 2nd jump was pretty bad. He's not hard to get to slow down cantering on the flat, but he is when jumping. Like I said, I know he enjoys it; and I know he's not scared, he never 'looks' at anything. I really want to do some hunter courses in the future (way in the future) because he has great form over fences, but he just gets so strong. How can I fix this?
Also, he tends to overjump a lot; I know it's because I can never find a good route and takeoff spot, so I guess this one's me. How can I better get him to the correct takeoff spot?
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-29-2012, 03:37 PM
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I would go back to the basics. I started training my off track standardbred last year for jumping and we didn't event make it to 12" this year. She didn't go fast but she had bad balance.
First, work on poles, poles, and poles. Put poles before jumps, in circle formations, and go over them while cantering. If you can canter over a pole calmly you will be able to move over to a jump sooner or later. And if you go over them in circles they help your balance.
If your horse is unbalanced try outside half-halts right before the jump and right after. And remember to wait for the jump, breathe, and if your horse is rushing, try to go too slow. If you can make your speedo go slow, you shouldn't have a problem going faster later on. Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-01-2012, 09:23 PM
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The post above was very helpful, I just want to add since you are teaching him to jump ( what it sounds like) it will be YOU who has to get him to that spot. If you have your two jumps set at say 5 strides then you know it will be a proper 5 and that will help
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-01-2012, 09:35 PM
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I find that groundpoles are very helpful in front of a fence for getting "the spot" every time. My gelding is very excitable and strong over fences as well. We do a LOT of gymnastic work and when jumping a single fence we use a groundpole placed about 4 normal human steps away.

Also, to keep him calm, I usually trot a lot of my fencework. Trot into grids, canter out. Trot over things a few times until he starts thinking about me, then start asking him to canter just a few strides before the fence. I have found that jumping on circles helps as well, since the bending slows him a bit. Start with a single gymnastic, line, or fence. Add another. Then work on a few different fences. Then string it together like a little course.

Hope some of this helps, it's worked wonders for Bailey and I!

Proud mommy of...
Bailey- Appendix Gelding|Satin- Morgan Mare| Teka- Reg. Paint Mare|Shiloh- Reg. QH Mare| Misty- Reg. Pinto Mare
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-02-2012, 12:25 AM
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I'm might come back and give a more detailed answer later, but I don't have much time now so I'll just answer the last part of that question. Finding a takeoff spot is a very important skill for a horse to have, but for the horse to learn the appropriate spot requires you to give him a direct approach and stay out of his this way. This basically means sit tall (full seat) on approach and give him his head (in other words, don't yank his face off). Have a nice straight approach towards the center of the jump and do not cut your corner. Look past the jump and count your strides in, and don't get into jumping position early. Generally speaking if you stay out of your horse's way he should learn to find the appropriate take-off spot on his own.

If you feel he's going too strong, half-halt several strides before the jump. However, once you get close, it's very important that you give him his head and don't pull on it. After you go over, land and sit tall. Wait another stride before half-halting and collecting him again. It's important to wait that stride so you are not simply snatching up his head. Good luck :)

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Last edited by emeraldstar642; 07-02-2012 at 12:30 AM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-10-2012, 12:53 PM
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^^ the above is what my coach had me do when my boy was too strong towards fences and especially through doubles.

Grids are great but they allow/encourage the eager horse to build and build, which causes issues. Don't do them yet, they'll just make the problem worse. They are BRILLIANT for other things though (like the on-the-forehand thing, can't jump a bounce if you're heavy on your forehand!), so you can/should work your way up to them. Get the control over one fence first, set a pole on the ground to be your mark to TROT by (most important part!!!) that's about 4 canter strides out from your fence, and GET THAT TROT BEFORE YOU CROSS OVER THAT POLE. Whatever it takes. If they're not responding to your trot cue, they're not listening to you well enough to do doubles or lines. If you can get it, LIGHTLY, every single time, then move to a double with that same pole 4 canter strides out from the last fence, and BACK TO TROT before that pole.

My coach set up standards without a pole because he wanted me to pretend it was another jump that I had to be in control to take. It was great for me because I hadn't done a lot of work on courses before then, so I didn't really have it in my head that I had to control my horse because there might be another fence a few strides away.

Worked great for me.

I did end up using a stronger bit for a while with my boy, because I am not strong enough to MAKE a horse respond to a half-halt in a very mild snaffle, BUT I gave him the option to respond to a light aid before I got firm, and he's now back in a snaffle both at home and at shows. He's still a little strong at times, but manageable now.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-10-2012, 11:02 PM
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I am a firm believe in not jumping a horse that has holes like this in their training. I would go back to flat work until no matter how excited the horse was, they would still listen to aids. That is what the problem is here - he gets excited and starts to ignore you. It's a training issue, and while the above suggestions may slow him down, they are fixing the symptoms, not the cause.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 01:21 AM
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Chiilaa, would you suggest the same for MY horse? He's a very well educated, experienced event horse, but he gets excited and a little strong jumping/XC. It's not due to holes in his training, it's because he loves it SO much, and because for some time I was allowing him to dictate the speed. He has always been a snaffle-all-three-phases horse, up until I took him on and in my lack of knowledge created issues by ALLOWING him to get quick.

The method in my post above is how I fixed the problem.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
It's not due to holes in his training, it's because he loves it SO much, and because for some time I was allowing him to dictate the speed. He has always been a snaffle-all-three-phases horse, up until I took him on and in my lack of knowledge created issues by ALLOWING him to get quick.
And there you show that it WAS a hole in his training. EVERY ride is a training session for a horse, because they are constantly learning.

What I got from the OP's post is that her horse isn't listening to any cues once he starts rushing. That is different from a horse that speeds up due to excitement. A horse that speeds up can be taught to go slower. A horse that stops listening needs to be taught to listen again.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-11-2012, 02:02 AM
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But some horses are 100% perfect on the flat and then as soon as you throw jumping into the mix they get quick and rude, and how do you fix the issue on the flat if it's not there? My gelding was like that, is STILL like that at times and has apparently always had a tendency to get a little bit quick in his excitement. He is a horse that needs to be ridden every single stride; can't just let him coast because he doesn't coast, he builds and gets faster. I was fully aware of all this when I bought him, I just didn't know what his previous owner meant.

Speeding up and quitting listening ARE essentially the same thing, horses should go at the speed the RIDER dictates within their gaits... I taught my boy to WP jog and have been working on teaching him to lope, because it's amazingly effective to bring him back to a jog or when cantering a very slow canter to settle him and remind him he DOES have to listen. Transitions between and within gaits are amazing for reminding them of that.

We don't know the OP, we don't know what the horse is like on the flat. Considering OP isn't asking for advice for flatwork, I can only imagine that either he's not a problem, or OP doesn't realise that he's dictating the speed.

Last time mine took off and refused to listen was just yesterday, he was feeling fresh to begin with and I threw jumping (and a Swedish oxer, which I hadn't done with him before) into the mix. I am happy to say I rode out a nice big buck, got him back under control, settled him down at walk for a ways, and then popped him over a little cross a couple of times... still fresh and quick (but under control), so I took him to the round pen and did groundwork with him to remind him who was the boss. Back out to the jump paddock, popped him over the vertical-Swedish oxer double again, and he was perfect :)

My way works pretty well with "I'm excited so I ain't gonna listen". My boy gets like that sometimes... it's nothing to do with his training, or even his breed (he is an anglo arab but doesn't tend towards overexcitability overmuch), it's just "horse moments" that ALL of them have to some degree. My horse happens to be able to flip from perfect to a nightmare and back again in the space of a second. My theory as to why he does it is that he's trying so hard to be good and he has moments when he just can't any more. Has his moment, and then chills out again and is perfect. He knows what I'm asking him to do, but sometimes his brain is so fried from doing it for me that he just can't keep doing it. He's a real honest horse, I could depend on him to look after a 3yo, but I strongly suspect most of that is training. He has a real hot, spooky, stupid streak in him, and HAS been made dangerous by poor riding in the past. I suspect he copes with fear that he'll again be a victim of it, and copes, and copes, and copes, until he can cope no longer.


Last edited by blue eyed pony; 07-11-2012 at 02:05 AM.
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