my green hunter still thinks he's a racehorse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
Well said CJ8SKY!

People focus more on the jumping aspect "we jump so therefore we are" without putting any time, consideration and training on the flat - dressage.

If GP Jumpers do Dressage 6 days a week on their horses and jump only 1 -there is a reason behind it. That process needs to trickle down to lower levels.

I find it funny how it is opposite - lower levels people spend more time going over fences "LOOK I AM A GOOD RIDER BECAUSE I JUMP" instead of focusing on the most important factor to riding all together - Dressage.

While at Mid to Upper Levels - Dressage is disciplined time and time and time again.

Always go back to Dressage.

As all the Greats such as George Morris and Jim Wofford and many other say - ALWAYS go back to the Training Scale.
People look at me like I'm crazy but my students rarely jump a full course to prep for a show. They've jumped a course a ton of times - we work on the refinement of the aids and the conditioning and balance of the horse to prep for a show. And that layout of exercises works really well over the course of a few months, for a total noticeable difference in a horse. The results really speak for themselves.

It's why I'm back to doing that with my jumper right now. He's soft and supple and could do well at a first level test today if I asked, but if I want to show higher levels of jumpers he needs the patience and balance to go even slower over the bigger fences to stay clean AND fast. Fast in a jump off is in between fences, never at the fences. SO many people fail to notice that...

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post #12 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 09:44 PM
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That is exactly as my coach does CJ8Sky - he never allows his students to do a full course. It is not about the fence, it is about what you do inbetween them.

My Coach always says - you know how to jump. Your horse knows how to jump, so why bother schooling it? Lets School on what you need to accomplish, to make that fence perfect.

People want to mimic what GP level jumpers do and what others around them do - ripple effect of uneducation. They see something and try to copy it without understanding what one has to do to get to that point.

Everyone see's the GP jumpers jumping, but they never see them schooling dressage continuously at home.

Allot of Top Level Riders, wont even school full courses or wont even school over fences - until they are in the warmup ring at the comp itself.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 12:59 AM
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One of the whittaker family in interview said that some of his horses never jump outside of competition , after all , the horse knows how to jump.
What makes a good showjumper is what you do between the fences.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 01:20 AM
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Exactly Nutty Saddler - great post!
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 07:07 AM
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dakota, you have gotten some great advice. I can tell you that I have a crazy TB and she was not even raced. Diet can have a lot to do with it. What are you feeding and how much? I would suggest lunging if you feel comfortable with it. I know not everyone agrees with lunging but it really helps my mare. She was also rearing and bolting, etc. Lunging helps her get her brain on LOL and she gets a chance to get any silly stuff out. I agree about lots of trotting and up/down transitions. I give you credit for even attempting to show but its probably not a good idea at this point. As for jumping, I would do just poles for now and only when he is being calm and relaxed. Have you tried to to take him on the trail? I know it may be dangerous so don't try it if you don't feel comfortable, but maybe just a little hack around the property with a quiet horse.

When my mare was really acting up a friend of mine who is an endurance rider took her out on the trail and just trotted her a ton doing up down transitions and it seemed to "tune her up." I would ride her a day or two later and she seemed to have taken the edge off. I would not recommend that for too long because it tends to make them less collected, but at the point your horse is might help him get all the extra engergy out.

I would also look at all the things that can cause pain such as teeth, saddle, etc.

Its a long road, I have been working with my mare for a year and she is just starting to come around. Also try doing several days in a row of ring work (not every other day) they learn much faster that way.

Unfortunately too much time off and it feels like you are starting all over, but you aren't really but they do regress from time to time, good luck.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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SilentBravery, MIEventer, Nutty Saddler, blossom, Ahsisi, CJ82Sky, lovemyponies –
THANK YOU SO MUCH! my two trainers (both wonderful, don’t get me wrong) have been pushing and pushing my horse and i and i’ve adopted their logic as my own this whole time. i didn’t even think of going back to basics! i just kept a “gotta do more” mentality.

- yes, he does wear a standing martingale.

- no teeth, saddle, back, ect. issues, but like i said, sore in his stifle. and when i got him, his feet were terrible. his heels were and still are very low, but the corrective shoeing and trimming he’s getting should fix it completely in a couple more months.

- when i bought him, her was very underweight, and still needs a good 100 pounds. he doesn’t get sweet feed, just regular pellets and beet pulp, but a lot of it. 6 quarts in the morning and evening, along with a flake of coastal and a flake of alfalfa and night turnout. it’s a ton of food, which i know gives him a ton of energy, but he needs the weight.

- as for lunging, i always give him a chance to have a brain first. if it gets to the point where he’s not listening to me, i’ll dismount and lunge until he’s quiet. however, this guy could run for days and not tire out! at this previous show, my trainer had me lunge him four times, hack him for a 45 minutes, and only on his very last course did he decline in speed.

and speaking of showing, we were never going in for the ribbons, just experience and training. but i’ve taken you guy’s advice and am skipping the next two, but am going to the pretty much mandatory finals in november.

really though, thank you thank you thank you! i’ll start him in his new routine friday.
and another HUGE thanks to blossom and CJ82Sky for the detail!

Last edited by dakotaa; 06-03-2009 at 07:54 PM.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 08:27 PM
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Always glad to help - let us know how it works out! Sometimes the simpler answer is the right one, you'd just never think of it unless you've tried it before! ;)

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post #18 of 18 Old 06-03-2009, 08:38 PM
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Honestly, with the issues you describe - I wouldn't be jumping this horse at all right now - let alone courses and shows.

I've worked with countless OTTB's over the years and back in the day, we'd get them off the track, put about 3 months of training on them and take them out on circuit. Looking back, I realize what a mess we were making of these horses.

Horses need a solid foundation before they can be expected to be solid citizens in the jumper ring. They need to understand half halts, bending, be able to lengthen and collect stride at the w/t/c and have really good brakes. Horses should learn to 'take' the fences in stride - not charge at them.

I just recently got a young OTTB after several years of studying Dressage exclusively. The way I'm training this horse for jumping is a 180* from how I used to train them, but yet I've never had a horse do so well so early on in his actual education over fences. For reference, I've had this horse off the track just under 6 months and we are schooling First Level movements.

Having the kind of control that this level of flat work gives me makes getting even this green horse through a course a piece of cake; he doesn't loose his balance through the turns (read: counter bending and falling on the fore) and he responds to half-halts from my seat/leg/rein so I can adjust his stride to make the distances and he doesn't land and bolt after the fences.

I know flatwork can be tedious; but I promise you - if you invest in a solid foundation - you and your horse will be unstoppable in the jumper ring later.

Good luck! :)

~ Fine riding is a Journey, not a Destination ~

Last edited by X Halt Salute; 06-03-2009 at 08:41 PM.
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