Jumping Critique- Video

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Jumping Critique- Video

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  • How to retrain horse from bracing neck at trot

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    09-18-2012, 09:57 PM
Jumping Critique- Video

Could you guys critique both of us? Do you think Desi has potential has a higher level jumper, and me too? It's only 2' I think. We are out of lessons, but we will be starting again in about 3 weeks. I know I need to stop moving my lower leg so much and her head is flying up in the air. I normally use a neck relaxer on her, but I didn't this time.

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    09-18-2012, 10:39 PM
I'm new and not a jumper so I may be wrong. But it looks like you are leaning too far forward before and after the jump. Other than that it looks good!
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    09-19-2012, 01:12 AM
She doesn't look as relaxed as I would like for jumping. She is on a very short rein, tensely going with her head in the air, and rushes the first fence. The second fence you counter bend to before getting her eye on it. I'd be doing a bit more flat work and poles with this little mare before i'd go jumping around. That is just my opinion.

What exactly is a "neck relaxer"? I've never heard of this before.
pepperduck likes this.
    09-19-2012, 01:31 AM
In my opinion, she is bracing pretty bad against the bit. As soon as you made contact with the reins, she threw her head up. You can teach her to be softer in the mouth and hold her head better pretty easily. Start at a stand still, and put pressure on her mouth in a 'left, right, left, right' motion. What you're looking for is ANY drop in her head or give in her mouth. As soon as she gives you even a little tiny bit, release. Let her sit and think about that a minute. Then ask for it again. Keep doing this until she is willingly giving to the bit, and not bracing against it. Then, start the whole thing over at a walk. It will be a whole new thing at the trot and then the canter as well. I'm not a jumper, but regardless of discipline, a horse shouldn't be bracing against the bit, they should be soft and supple to it. Just my opinion. :)
    09-19-2012, 01:37 AM
Tessa, that back-forth motion is called see-sawing, and you do not want to get "head down" with that method. Head down comes from the horse traveling correctly (the head will be correct when the body is correct); beyond that, see sawing the bit is a very bad thing to do. One, you are seesawing the horse's mouth, which is painful to the horse, and second the horse will start to weave its head back and forth in response. Heavily penalized in the ring and will ward off savvy buyers who look for that sort of thing.
I will explain in more detail tomorrow; I want to bookmark this to come back to it.
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RedBlaze likes this.
    09-19-2012, 02:16 AM
Maybe that comes from my western edumacation :) You are right, see-sawing on a horses mouth is cruel. I'm not saying it needs to be a harsh cue at all, in western riding they usually refer to it as 'picking up' the reins. Once you reach the point of contact, your movement should be smooth and fair. Yes, you will get penalized in the ring because a horse in the ring should be fully trained, and I guess this is a training method. This may be an issue for a trainer to handle to retrain the horse. I don't think it would be too difficult for her though. This horse has learned to find it's own release by lifting his head this high, it's an avoidance behavior. I don't think a horse should ever be allowed to 'lean' on or brace against the bit like that. It often happens when a horse has not experienced enough fair, timely releases. Sometimes they haven't ever been released at all. Reading over my response again, I see that I did not explain that as well as I should have. Thanks :)
    09-19-2012, 06:56 AM
Relax your heels and point your toes forwards. I've never heard of a "neck relaxer" before. Do you mean a martingale? To relax her back (her head is up because her back is tense), go on a circle and get an outside bend. Push her shoulders around the circle. Then do the same thin while your horse has no bend. Lastly do this with an inside bend. Do this at the walk and trot both directions. Also, try turns on the forehand and haunches to get her to relax.

Once you fix her position, then you can worry more about your position. For right now, I'd say work on your feet/heels, and get your leg under you- you have a chair seat. Lots of no stirrup work for you! Spend a bit more time on the flat and over poles before you continue jumping. This can prevent any bad habits or injuries you might get if you keep jumping/riding in this position. I can tell you from experience that jamming your heels like that can lead to rolling ankles and tendonitis.
    09-19-2012, 07:03 AM
This horse should not be jumping, IMO. She is tense, hollow, and rushing through the entire video. You need to focus on flatwork with her before you think about putting the speed bumps in. The neck relaxer (?) is most likely masking the problem, when it needs to be worked through so she can learn to carry herself better.
    09-19-2012, 11:32 AM
I think she is talking about draw reins when she says "neck relaxer". I saw watched another jumping video of this horse and it looks like draw reins to me. I could be wrong.

I would also recommend lots and lots of riding without stirrups. In that other video your legs were moving around a lot.
    09-19-2012, 11:43 AM
They aren't draw reins, it's called a neck relaxer. It goes over their poll, through the bit, and down to the girth. I just recently started moving my legs over the weekend, so I was working on that.

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