Too reliant on reins

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Too reliant on reins

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    02-20-2010, 07:01 PM
Angry Too reliant on reins

Well here we go with another habit me and my horse picked up...

For some reason my horse lands off a jump and dives to the right. I know what you're thinking, it's because I have no leg. Yes I do. I squeeze HARD with my right leg, and then give him a little tap if he doesn't listen. It usually help a tiny bit. Now, due to this, I have turned to joyously pulling on my left rein. Great. So now we go around the corner after a jump with his head bent to the inside and shoulder shoved out.

I know I'm doing it, but for some reason it's almost like I can't let go. I know that sounds weird, but maybe it's because I don't trust it to work out if I stop pulling? Like I think he'll run into something?

Whatever it is, it has to stop because it's starting to bring about new problems. My horse is contributing to the problem, but I'm the main cause.

Do you guys have any advice to fix this? We need to work on riding straight after the jump, and for me to not rely so much on my hands.

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    02-20-2010, 07:33 PM
Green Broke
Do some dressage to 'straighten' him out. Theres a nice thread going on right now called 'crookedness' that should help. But that's my best guess. Oh and as for you... haha I used to do this funny thing with my right hand... try riding with a jumping crop under both your thumbs... haha I don't know how to explain this..... hold the handle of the crop in one hand, and turn it over the hroses neck so the end of the crop is under the other thumb too. This might not work so well for jumping... but even on the flat it was really show you a lot about yoru hands!
    02-20-2010, 08:22 PM
I suspect that the turning to the right is you leaning. So, first you need to have your position double checked and fixed.

Then you need to ride some small grid lines where the horse must finish the last jump and continue on straight. One way to help this is to build a 'back chute' on the last jump and even lay groundpoles down like a 'runway' away from the jump. This is a visual aid for both horse and rider.

You may also be dealing with a pain or some sort of physical issue with the horse where the horse lands and then goes right to avoid a painful step.

You need to back up and reconfirm the basics and fix any holes there. So if that means you don't jump for a few months, you don't jump for a few months and you work on your position and evening out your horse's way of going.
    02-20-2010, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! Ridergirl23, great idea with the crop, I'll try that. I'll defiinitely check out that thread, too ;]
Mercedes, great points, but I can rule out some of them. He was just checked last month (if even that long ago) by the chiro, so I can rule out any pain. I don't think it is anything serious, considering it JUST started two weeks ago. I think we would definitely benefit from some grids though. I take a private lesson once a week, so we have been working on this problem.

I left out an important detail It's only bad on a specific line, well at least today anyway. The line is on the side wall, so the wall basically acts as a right standard. According to my trainer, I'm using my left rein as a crutch, and my horse is using the wall as a crutch. Oh, and another strange thing, it only happens when we travel left, well I guess that's kinda obvious but I thought I would add that.

Another thing, like Mercedes said, usually when I anticipate him diving, I try to make up for it by ducking to the left. I guess that would make a big difference, too. But like I said, it's only that line, everything else is usually lovely.
    02-21-2010, 10:25 AM
Anyone else?
    02-21-2010, 11:11 AM
For some reason my horse lands off a jump and dives to the right. I know what you're thinking, it's because I have no leg. Yes I do. I squeeze HARD with my right leg, and then give him a little tap if he doesn't listen. It usually help a tiny bit. Now, due to this, I have turned to joyously pulling on my left rein. Great. So now we go around the corner after a jump with his head bent to the inside and shoulder shoved out.
Dressage darling! Dressage! Dressage is a strooonnggg asset to have under both of your belts. Or girth

Good for you for recognizing your contribution to this equation and for realizing what is going on and what needs to be fixed. It's the how that is the most difficult.

Have you looked into starting Dressage lessons? You would be amazed at how much this will help, aid and change the way the both of you go - to improve your performance while jumping.

First, he is unbalanced, your horse is coming off of the fence heavy on his forehand, he is plowing on his shoulders with all his weight. There are many variables as to why a horse is on their forehand - lack of balance, rider not aiding horse to rock back, riding not riding back to front and etc, etc, etc. This is why I emphasis dressage.

I can throw in suggestions as to what to do while over the fence, but that isn't going to fix the real issue, you need to go back to basics, which you will find in the world of Dressage.

My guy just came off of stall rest, which he was on for the majority of Jan. We're focusing alot on dressage. Building his mucles back up, balance, getting him round, soft, supple, on his back end, engaged, and MY FORM most importantly *our horses reflect 100% of what we do while in the saddle* - then, once we achieve that on the ground, we'll incorporate that over fences.

Spyder will definitely beable to help you out with advice, and Anabel - give those two a shout.
    02-21-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the advice MIE! I always find your words to be helpful!

I am considering dressage lessons, the only thing I'm iffy about is the show season coming up and not getting enough jumping practice, but this is more important than showing off ribbons ;)

I usually take a private on Saturday and am looking into taking a group during the week as well. If I can do jumping in the group lesson and dressage in the private, I think we would gain a lot. I'll be talking to my parents and trainer shortly.

Thanks again! =]
    02-21-2010, 11:53 AM
You are welcome :)

If you don't have dressage, you wont go far in the Jumping Ring. If GP Jumpers spend 5+ days a week doing dressage only on their mounts, there's a reason for it. If their horses know minimally level 3 dressage movements, there's a reason for it.

If you focus on Dressage now, and work hard at it - you two will be a knock out next year in the Jumper Ring!
    02-21-2010, 11:58 AM
Thank you!

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