What would cause this?

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What would cause this?

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    03-02-2011, 04:22 PM
What would cause this?

So I'm having a problem and unfortunatly don't have any videos of me riding but maybe someone can help.
I'm riding a friend of mines TB gelding. He has evented Training in the past but had some time off and we are getting him back into shape. She bought him in early October. I had been riding him and had no problems with him. He had a fairly weak hind end but we have been working on strengthening that. When we started jumping him, his owner was having problems with him dropping his head drastically after jumps. I had never had this problem.

However I rode him the other day and he did it to me over almost all of the jumps. I actually thought he was going to buck the first time, as I'm not used to him doing it. I got a good jump out of him and spent the majority of the session just on the flat. Ill be able to get some lessons with him and I can ask my instructor, but in the meantime can anyone explain?

I rode him to the base of the fence asking for forward reaching steps and let him do the jumping for me. I don't feel like i've lost any fitness but I've had a bit of time off serious work for the past few weeks but nothing that should have effected me too bad.

So what causes this and what do you do to fix it?
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    03-02-2011, 04:44 PM
Is he putting his head down just having fun? Or is there more to it than that?
    03-02-2011, 04:47 PM
If he puts his head down a ton you might want to consider adding something to his bridle to keep his head up, a jumper version of grazing reins (not sure if that is real but something like it)
    03-02-2011, 04:48 PM
I'm not sure. I know it's not a pain thing as he has been completely cleared on that front.

He could just be having fun, that's true. He loves to jump, but he had never done this when I jumped him before. He just drops his head at the landing and if you let him will keep it down there for two or three strides.

ETA: Just realized, he did have a flash on his bridle which he doesn't normally have. It didn't seem to be fitting properly so I took it off. As far as I knew though the flash wouldn't change anything that much. This could be a factor?

He's not my horse so I can't add or change tack but if I can change something I'm doing...
    03-02-2011, 04:51 PM
It sounds like he is trying to stretch. After a lot of collection work, I go to 'the buckle' as my dressage instructor would say and let the horse stretch.

I wonder if he gets a kink somewhere?
    03-02-2011, 04:54 PM
I like mls's input, maybe he needs to stretch. Did you give him less stretch out time than normal this ride?
    03-02-2011, 05:07 PM
He could be using his neck to balance over the jump...instead of using his hind end to push up over the jump, he is throwing his neck down to gain balance and momentum over the fence.

Why don't you try gymnastics with him.
    03-03-2011, 12:39 AM
I did finish off by letting him stretch down on the buckle at the end and during our flat but I should try it more between jumping and see how that works.

With how cold and icy it is, it could possibly be a kink too, though during the flat work he seemed fine.

I'll try giving him a longer warm up and more buckle time during our next ride and see if it changes his behavior over the jumps.

Thanks guys! :)
    03-03-2011, 02:35 AM
Are you saying that upon landing on the other side of the jump, his head goes reflexively down, almost to touching the ground? And does it feel like he's almost collapsing? If so , that would be a physical issue , for sure. I would think about the body and what parts are most stressed at the moment of impact , landing. Shoulder? I mean there's a lot going on whenthe horse absorbs all that momentum.

Just a thought . .. Sounds kind of dangerous to me.
    03-03-2011, 04:16 AM
Maybe try lunging over a few jumps and see what he does...

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