Hi everyone, I'm hoping to get some advice on how to gain some more control in cross country.
My horse was previously neglected, he wasn't abused in the way of violence or anything, he was just left in an agistment paddock with no food, and was dragged out every month or so to win a showjumping competition and go to pony club and jump the highest of everything.
This owner had him from when he was 4 - 10 (although he's more like 12) and she never trained him properly. He is under the impression that he has to gallop cross country as fast as he can, flying over the jumps and scaring the life out of me because I'm so worried he is going to slam into it.
It doesn't make much of a difference whether he is on his own or in a group, but he is a little calmer by himself.
He approaches the jumps okay, head up a little high but otherwise okay, but as soon as he lands he bolts. And I mean bolts.
Trying to do more than one jump in a row is a complete nightmare, but even just one on a circle is absolutely nuts.
But I am completely confident that he isn't doing it to be nasty or get me off, he seems more worried about whether I'm going to kick him on to go faster.
I have been using a dutch gag with pelham roundings on the main and last rings, but I'm none too eager about using a stronger bit, I want him to slow down because I ask him to, not because he has big bit in his mouth. Does a grackle (or figure eight) bridle make any difference? Because I have one I could try out.
Please! Are there any excercises that would help? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thankyou in advance. Oh and here's a picture of what the bit situation is, and just so you know, I only use it for jumping, doing flat I use a french link which he loves.
Ignore my stupid facial expression