Keeping a Steady Rhythm - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-19-2013, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Keeping a Steady Rhythm

Hey all! So, I need some advice. There are a couple of horses at my barn that I have been riding recently. One is an appendix, a been there done that kind of gelding, around 15 years old. The other is a warmblood mare, shown some (not a TON), is around 10 years old. Both of these horses is owned and ridden by an older lady, and she wants to do long stirrups with them. The mare is also ridden by an eleven year old (she is a fantastic rider for her age) in the short stirrups/jumpers. Both of these horses are awesome, but both have the same issue. They have great rhythm around the course until the last three or four strides before a jump. Then they just toss their heads in the air and completely just barrel right to the fence. This usually results in a flat, unflattering jump. Does anyone have any tips for calming them down and to let them know that they don't have to freak out at the base of the jump so they can rock back on their hocks and actually act like the show horses they are?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-20-2013, 12:36 AM
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I don't know any off the top of my head but you can find some good gymnastic exercises out there for horses that rush jumps. If you get Practical Horseman or Horse Illustrated magazine there are good articles there, or just try Google. But what they need is re-training on how to approach the jump correctly.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-20-2013, 08:42 AM
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If they're rushing to the jump, don't let them jump; that is just rewarding unwanted behavior. Instead start doing circles BY the jump. When you have their full attention, ask them to jump. Then go back to more flatwork until they're calm enough for another jump. The key is to do the circles right by the jump so they aren't sure if you're going to keep circling or ask them to jump. Once they circle enough times, they forget about the jump, then send them straight toward the jump instead of circling.

Set up ground rail before jump and in between lines so it gives them something to think about other then just going. The idea is to always having them thinking and listening to the rider in between all jumps so they dont get in that "run around the course" mentality
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-20-2013, 11:41 PM
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Agreed ^^ They need to be kept thinking.
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