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mouth cuts - HELP!!

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        03-18-2009, 01:24 AM
      #21
    Foal
    He was very good, I jumped very high in this new bit and he was soft the whole time! He was also happier to put the bit in his mouth, I kinda felt like it molded to the inside of his mouth. He was a bit quicker, but that's to be expected after being ridden in the segunda.
         
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        03-18-2009, 01:25 AM
      #22
    Foal
    Here's a video of him being ridden in the new bit - It DOES include a blooper!! But before that, he was wonderful I thought.
         
        03-18-2009, 02:40 PM
      #23
    Started
    I am glad that you found a bit that works ... I know that when I got my mares I asked what they used on them and they said one thing but I have found that another bit fits better- it's always nice to discover something that makes your horse happy!
         
        03-20-2009, 10:10 AM
      #24
    Started
    I'm happy that the new bit is working out for you.

    If I may offer some advice/critique (if not stop reading now ) but I'd really like to see you start working with him on getting him round and soft. He's rather inverted through the neck and hollow in the back, which is part of why his form over fences is somewhat sloppy and his jump lacks power and impulsion. He also seems stiff in that left hip and stifle and perhaps is out of whack chiropractically. He doesn't use his hind end properly when moving and when taking off the weakness in that left hip becomes more apparent as he uses his neck and forehand to sort of chuck himself over the fences.

    In addition, it seems that you are quite grippy with your knee and lack a proper lower leg foundation, so as the fences got larger, your position got looser, which eventually led to the refusal at the end. By raising your stirrups a hole and dropping your weight into your heel, and slightly turning out your toes, you can get away from the knee grip position you are doing over fences right now. This will help keep you from jumping ahead and getting dumped off. In addition, rather than jumping the height when your horse is not properly moving or muscled and your lower leg (and as a result your upper body) is not secure, I'd prefer to see work on cavaletti, grids, and lots and lots of grids with no stirrups and reins. I'd also be focusing on entire lessons in two point with a focus on elongating the thigh and calf muscles as you drop your weight into your heel. This will help keep you more secure in your tack, and eventually lead you to be able to take a proper contact with your horse allowing him to propel from behind rather than pulling on the fore the way he moves now.

    While working on your position, your horse could also benefit from some longing with long side reins (not too much and I'd have that left hip checked first as longing will simply exacerbate the chiro issue if there is one), and encourage him to stretch down rather than invert and hollow. Initially he will be better off trying this without a rider as it's asking him to use his body in a completley different way than before. As he starts to stretch down and accept the bit, he will be able to build muscles and move off the hind end more. Cheers to the new bit! None of this would have worked in the old bit as nearly no horse will take a contact or reach for/accept that bit!

    And finally, please consider checking your saddle fit. Your horse looks pretty narrow and I have a feeling that the saddle may actually be hitting his withers slightly especially over the larger fences in landing, which will only further exacerbate the head in the air/hollow back way of going that he does now.

    Hope this helps and glad that you're on your way to a better ride with the new softer bit!
         
        03-20-2009, 10:12 AM
      #25
    Started
    Oh and please take the standing martingale off! It's not helping to keep his head down - it's just acting as a band aid to the problem (and not a very effective one at that!)
         
        03-20-2009, 10:37 AM
      #26
    Foal
    I agree with CJ82Sky. Stay away from shanks. And don't worry about your horses mouth, it'll heal quickly. Do worry about the possibility of damaging his mouth again. This leads me back to my original point.
         
        03-28-2009, 10:15 PM
      #27
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CJ82Sky    
    I'm happy that the new bit is working out for you.

    If I may offer some advice/critique (if not stop reading now ) but I'd really like to see you start working with him on getting him round and soft. He's rather inverted through the neck and hollow in the back, which is part of why his form over fences is somewhat sloppy and his jump lacks power and impulsion. He also seems stiff in that left hip and stifle and perhaps is out of whack chiropractically. He doesn't use his hind end properly when moving and when taking off the weakness in that left hip becomes more apparent as he uses his neck and forehand to sort of chuck himself over the fences.

    In addition, it seems that you are quite grippy with your knee and lack a proper lower leg foundation, so as the fences got larger, your position got looser, which eventually led to the refusal at the end. By raising your stirrups a hole and dropping your weight into your heel, and slightly turning out your toes, you can get away from the knee grip position you are doing over fences right now. This will help keep you from jumping ahead and getting dumped off. In addition, rather than jumping the height when your horse is not properly moving or muscled and your lower leg (and as a result your upper body) is not secure, I'd prefer to see work on cavaletti, grids, and lots and lots of grids with no stirrups and reins. I'd also be focusing on entire lessons in two point with a focus on elongating the thigh and calf muscles as you drop your weight into your heel. This will help keep you more secure in your tack, and eventually lead you to be able to take a proper contact with your horse allowing him to propel from behind rather than pulling on the fore the way he moves now.

    While working on your position, your horse could also benefit from some longing with long side reins (not too much and I'd have that left hip checked first as longing will simply exacerbate the chiro issue if there is one), and encourage him to stretch down rather than invert and hollow. Initially he will be better off trying this without a rider as it's asking him to use his body in a completley different way than before. As he starts to stretch down and accept the bit, he will be able to build muscles and move off the hind end more. Cheers to the new bit! None of this would have worked in the old bit as nearly no horse will take a contact or reach for/accept that bit!

    And finally, please consider checking your saddle fit. Your horse looks pretty narrow and I have a feeling that the saddle may actually be hitting his withers slightly especially over the larger fences in landing, which will only further exacerbate the head in the air/hollow back way of going that he does now.

    Hope this helps and glad that you're on your way to a better ride with the new softer bit!
    Thanks for all the wonderful advice, but I DO have a trainer. He is an international level Grand Prix jumper who has ridden with and competed against Olympic medalists. He is the best, most knowledgeable show jumping trainer in my state and every single aspect of this horse and my riding is carefully and thoroughly critiqued by him. As for Leo's miserable jumping form which I will acknowledge, I bought him a little over half a year ago and he has always jumped this way, even when he was ridden by a Maclay finalist in his sale videos, and even when my trainer jumps him. I did not buy Leo because he jumped or moved like a dutch wb, I bought him because he has tons of heart and we fit well together. As for MY position, no one is perfect and I am a result of my trainer's instruction. He taught me how to ride this way and his riding style works when the jumps go up. As for his back, he has mild arthritis in his hip and my vet has just given Leo his first shot of Adequan a few days ago. However, if the Adequan doesn't clear it up, I do know a wonderful horse chiropractor that helped my last horse recover from an injury.

    Believe it or not, when he wants to be, he can move and use himself like an incredible dressage horse, and I've won a few dressage blues on him in Training level. I am working on him getting softer over fences, and for the past week we've been walking over crossrails. As for the saddle, it doesn't fit right and as soon as I can afford it, I'm taking it to a saddle fitter to get it adjusted. Until then, I have a bumper pad that worked really well with my last horse that I will try with Leo. Hopefully when he gains more muscles, he won't be quite so thin!

    The refusal is due to the fact that we had never jumped an oxer that wide before, and neither of our confidence was up where it should be. We've been working on oxer a lot more lately so we can nail them at our next show.
         
        03-29-2009, 03:07 AM
      #28
    Started
    Regardless of who your trainer is (and just because someone is a successful rider does not automatically make them a trainer - not judging YOUR trainer as I do not know them at all and have no reason to judge, just saying in general) or what they have done, or who rode your horse in the Maclays before, I stand by my original critique. If your horse as you said, has miserable jumping form, why not work to improve it by improving his muscling and balance rather than just jump him higher which certainly isn't going to help the problem? Same goes with your position. There are valid reasons why trainers like George Morris and Robert Dover and Jim Wofford drill position and balance and muscling and conditioning into our heads.

    In my opinion (and this is just MY preference) but the higher a horse jumps, the higher levels of dressage he should be able to perform at to have the balance and fluidity and flexibility to be maneuverable and adjustable on a highly technical jumper course. No a GP jumper doesn't need GP dressage, but most well trained jumpers can do 2nd level dressage. I won't even let my students show ANY jumpers until they can score in the 60s at a training level test. Winning blue means nothing imo - it's the scores and more importantly the quality of the movement that matters - no matter what discipline you are riding in.
         
        03-29-2009, 11:23 AM
      #29
    Started
    And glad to hear that you've started longing him to build topline and muscling - that will help tremendously in his ability to jump and improve his way of moving overall!
         
        03-29-2009, 12:53 PM
      #30
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CJ82Sky    
    Regardless of who your trainer is (and just because someone is a successful rider does not automatically make them a trainer - not judging YOUR trainer as I do not know them at all and have no reason to judge, just saying in general) or what they have done, or who rode your horse in the Maclays before, I stand by my original critique. If your horse as you said, has miserable jumping form, why not work to improve it by improving his muscling and balance rather than just jump him higher which certainly isn't going to help the problem? Same goes with your position. There are valid reasons why trainers like George Morris and Robert Dover and Jim Wofford drill position and balance and muscling and conditioning into our heads.

    In my opinion (and this is just MY preference) but the higher a horse jumps, the higher levels of dressage he should be able to perform at to have the balance and fluidity and flexibility to be maneuverable and adjustable on a highly technical jumper course. No a GP jumper doesn't need GP dressage, but most well trained jumpers can do 2nd level dressage. I won't even let my students show ANY jumpers until they can score in the 60s at a training level test. Winning blue means nothing imo - it's the scores and more importantly the quality of the movement that matters - no matter what discipline you are riding in.
    The highest score he has gotten so far was a 67% on T-2, but he did score a 61% on a T-4. I definitely believe what you said about dressage being necessary for jumpers, and my trainer does require all of his horses to be schooling at least 3rd level movements before he competes them in GPs. Since I am a USPC member, I follow the Pony Club manuals and just because we don't look amazing at the moment doesn't mean we don't work on it. My goal is actually to qualify for Maclay regionals in addition to going far in the jumpers. He wasn't very well taken care of before I got him (he wasn't neglected, but he wasn't in show form) and so I'm trying hard to get him to the point where he can jump in good form and balance and so can I. Check back on us in a couple of months and I bet you'll see a huge improvement.
         

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