Rushing Fences

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Rushing Fences

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  • Why does a horse rush over a fence
  • Rushing fences horses

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    10-07-2008, 10:50 PM
Rushing Fences

I don't own my own horse, so in my lessons I ride schooling horses. I usually get put on the "problem" horses that no one else really wants to ride. Each of these horses terribly rushing fences. It's to the point where all you can do is just stay on and hope you can stop them afterword. Does anyone have any suggestions on getting these horses to take the fences in a mildly sane manner?

I have heard of getting in a 20 meter circle with a jump in your path, so that they will eventually get bored of the monotony and settle down, but does that actually work?

Thoughts and experiences greatly appreciated.
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    10-07-2008, 10:54 PM
Are you able to work with these horses outside of your lesson, or can you only work with them in a lesson?

If you can work with them outside your lesson, I would suggest starting them over with jumping. Start with ground poles and gradually and slowly (when the horse doesn't rush at them) raise them up.
    10-07-2008, 11:02 PM
These are horses that aren't worked very much outside of my lesson, so I would be able to ride them outside of it so they would get proper exercise. And if I could help them while riding them that would be a big plus!
    10-09-2008, 12:28 AM
Rushing fences can be a fear signal, horses will rush over them trying to get it over with as soon as possible.

But since these were lesson horses they quite possible just hoon over them to either get it over with or that's what they have been taught to do by inexperienced riders not knowing what they are doing.

I agree with starting them over, with poles and building up.

I would also suggest introducing some new kinds of jumps, eg: ones with bits of tarp under them...not just pole jumps. Just to give them something new to look at. And also many different combinations , grid work and such, you can do this with the poles on the ground aswell.
    10-09-2008, 01:08 AM
Hi :)
I agree with Bitless; this could be a sign of fear or he could be excited.
What I would do is take it nice and slow, and if possible, suggest to your trainer to do gymnastics, or grid work. This really helps rushers! For example, set up a cross rail, then three strides away put a bigger X, then one (or whatever) put another bigger X. Or, you could use this with poles, except set a jump up in the "center" of the line.
Another tip is, are YOU relaxed? If your coming up to the jump nervous, your horse will pick up on you. Count outloud, "1-2-3-4" over & over. This will help you breath and think about your striding (another bonus!).
Half halts work wonders! Another thing I do with my horses if I feel them being rushy, I make them stop after the jump (not right after but maybe 10 strides, or so, after). It makes me feel I have them in control, and it works.
Could you possibly trot up to jumps? You as a rider could feel more comfortable with this.

And the 20M circle thing. Personally, I would not do that. Mainly, because it could teach a horse to run out.

I hope this makes sense & good luck with your horse!
    10-09-2008, 01:20 AM
yeah as said he could be nervous but it could also be the school horse coming out in him which has already been said to. Most of the school horses I've worked with know their thing and do their thing. That coupled with over zealous kids who go 100miles an hour at everything can make them rush over the fences. Not always because of fear but because they think they know what they are doing :)

If you can ride him outside of your lesson then yo could line him up over some jumps but half halt a little and try and steady him into the jumps. Get yourself in a nice canter before you line up for the jumps though. See how he goes. If he is only doing it because he thinks that's what you want then he should calm down when you ask him to calm down and steady.

If he is constantly rushing them then definitely go back to basics and build his confidence over some smaller jumps and don't go up in height until he is confidently jumping that height.

Tru and avoid trotting at jumps if you can. Trotting up to jumps is all well and good when you are learning but generally it is easier for the horse to jump from a canter.

Good luck with him
    10-09-2008, 01:53 AM
It could be your riding as well. People never factor in how a riders position can affect a horses approach to the fence. Is the horses going with adequate power and speed to make it over the fence? Are you leaning too far forward, anticipating the jump? Are you holding his mouth all the way to the jump? Do you throw yourself into jump position?

I know my horse will gallop in/out of a jump if the rider does any of these things. My trainer tells me to sit back and take as long as possible to get to the jump. I half halt 15 feet away, then 10 feet, then 5 feet away from the preferred takeoff point and think about tying my hair to the back of the saddle. When the jump comes up I treat it like a speed bump.

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