How should I properly strengthen my horse for jumping? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-25-2007, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maryland
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How should I properly strengthen my horse for jumping?

Hello everyone! I'm new to this site and I'm looking forward to some good advice!

I recently began to lease a 13 year old TB, retired from the track at 7, who has only been ridden intermittenly over the past 6 years with his current owner. The owner used to ride him 3-5 days a week but broke her back around 5 years ago and since then he has been ridden approx. 1 time a month by her husband or friend.
So basically...this horse has the basics but needs fine tuning and some getting in shape.

He apparently has done some eventing at the novice level back in the day, so I know that he is capable of jumping and has some dressage experience. Since I began leasing him 2 months ago I have been riding him ~4x a week and doing only flatwork. He has made major progress since then!

So my question is: What are some exercises I can do in the arena to continue to strengthen his hind end in addition to doing hills? Also, I have jumped him over a few oxers at 18" or so, but I am unsure of how much "getting in shape" he needs before I can actually start 'jumping' him over more than an oxer a day. The flat work I have been doing usually lasts 30 min a day and isn't too strenuous, but gives him a medium workout. Also, I should mention that he has a pre-existing stifle injury from 6 years ago that has been cleared with the vet with the advice to just strengthen with hills. When I am doing flat work his left stifle will occasionally 'give' at the canter, especially around a corner.

One more thing... at the canter he leans in and gets really low around the corners of the ring. Any advice as to how I can get him to straighten up and be collected? I try to keep my body upright and my weight in my outside stirrup to counteract this, but I am not sure if this is the correct thing to do.

Thank you all so much! I really appreciate any advice!
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-25-2007, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hatton Vale, QLD, Australia
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hi there

hills are a really good idea but also plenty of trot work should do the trick.

do you mean he is dropping his shoulder on corners? if so, try using your inside leg to make him go around the corner instead of cutting it. when you apply pressure with your inside leg, he should move away from the point of contact. i also tend to hold the outside rein out a little giving that little bit of extra pressure on the outside to avoid him dropping the inside shoulder. while doing this, i bring the inside rein over a little so that it is putting a little pressure towards the outside. i dont know if this is the "correct" way of doing it, but it helps me :)

good luck

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #3 of 7 Old 11-26-2007, 02:03 PM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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The other poster had some good tips, so Im just going to add to them (sorry if I repeat a bit here)
If he's leaning in with his whole body, sit up straight and think tall. Lift your inside rein, and use your inside calf to push him into the rail.
I would consult a vet about jumping him, stifle injuries are funny... if the vet okays him for it, then go ahead and start jumping him higher; but I would only do it once a week for a while, until he gains some muscle.
Stepher is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 11-26-2007, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Michigan
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To get good muscle tone on my barrel horse i just work circles in some what deep sand which seems to helps so maybe it would help for you horse!!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-26-2007, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maryland
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Thanks for the advice!

Yes the vet has cleared him for riding and jumping... he just recommends stengthening the joint with hills. My horse actually did eventing a few years after the injury, so I suppose it is fine once it is built up.

Would trot poles be a good idea? He is 16.1 hands, so would setting up 5 poles about 4 feet apart be a good starting point?

Any other tips? Thanks again!
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-26-2007, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Michigan
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Cavoleties or ground poles should be good just set them a stride apart or so!!!
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-26-2007, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Georgia
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hills, ground poles, and loads of transitions, walk-trot-walk, halt-trot, walk-canter, halt-canter...etc. Those will all help too! And once you start jumping, grid work also helps build the hind end!
edozier1 is offline  

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