Rushing up to Jumps

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Rushing up to Jumps

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    09-15-2010, 10:58 PM
Rushing up to Jumps

Even at crossrails, I'll trot my pony up to a jump, but she'll see it, lift her head in the air and go into a very fast pony trot right at the base, or try to canter. Then she way overjumps it, and gets really excited afterwards. She used to refuse even crossrails, but we took a break from jumping, and now coming back (took about a one month break and started again about a month ago) she'll get so excited and rushy. The only way I can get her to relax and slow down is if I continue to pull on the reins with each step until she's barely just jogging up to it, and use my voice aids, and then she'll jump nicely. But I don't want to barely trot up to it, I want to trot normally and have no problems cantering them. (When we canter them, she'll get excited and take long spots.) I think her rushing them might be a nervousness thing, but I'm not sure, she really perks her ears up at them. What can I do?
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    09-15-2010, 11:16 PM
She might be nervous or she might be excited. My boy comes alive when we jump but not rushing like your gal is doing. Instead of using your reins to slow her, use your seat. Pulling on her face/the bit is likely to increase any feelings of anxiousness she's having so instead use your seat to get the pace you want. When she starts to rush just before the jump, turn her in a large circle and then approach again. Do this until she can trot nice and forward without rushing then go ahead and take the jump. Be very careful not to catch her face (ie RELEASE) and then praise the heck out of her.
    09-16-2010, 04:50 PM
Use ground poles in front of the jump to teach the pony how to balance, rate her speed and judge distance.

Grid work will help immensely as well.

I'm going to add that the release is very important, you may not be giving her enough
    09-16-2010, 05:11 PM
I will make sure to give a good release. For the ground poles, how many in front of the jump, just one? How should I measure them out? (Like how many steps from the jump)
    09-16-2010, 05:34 PM
Ground poles spacing: Walk - 4 feet Trot - 6 feet Canter - 9 feet The above is for a horse so you'll need to play with that depending on how big you pony is. Try them on the ground away from a jump first to get the spacing. That way your not giving her an excuse to be even more "rushy"
    09-17-2010, 12:08 AM
Another thought if you'd like to try it. As soon as you feel her "perk" up, turn away into a circle and keep doing it until she settles. Once settled give her another look, turn away etc. I'd also do a lot of straight pole work, as well as what G&K said.
    09-17-2010, 12:40 AM
The only problem I see with turning her away before the jump is that it's possible to teach a horse to refuse by doing that. She thinks you're going to turn her before the jump, so she doesn't prepare herself to jump. If it happens too often you get a horse who rushes the jump and then swerves away from it.

4 or 5 ground poles and then put the cross rail at the end of that group would help but I would definitely work her on just the ground poles first, to get her used to thinking about where her feet go.

If, regardless of rushing, she takes the jumps safely then my other suggestion would be to turn her in a circle AFTER the jump, almost like a roll-back turn, so that she can't always expect to go straight after a jump. If she has to be prepared to steer after the jump, she might start thinking a bit more about her landing spot.

What I find works when my mare gets a little quick is to sit really deep in my seat and rather than saying anything, if you think "Whoa" they should pick up on it.
    09-17-2010, 09:48 AM
Thank you everyone! I will try ground poles for a while, she usually doesn't get rushy with them but we'll see, then I'll put a few ground poles in front of a crossrail. What I do to space out ground poles is put one down, step pretty big then put another one down...I think there's a more correct way to do it, but it seems to work for her for ground poles, she is 13hh. Anyone have any other suggestions about measuring out ground poles though? And as for the circling, I was worried she might start refusing again as well (she used to refuse EVERYTHING) so I'm thinking I might just circle her a couple times a couple feet before the jump so she calms down, and then ask her to jump. Would that work?
    09-17-2010, 04:10 PM
Ground pole measuring isn't an exact science. Each horse has a different length of stride. What your doing is prefect.

I would say as long as your turning her back to the jump after a circle she's going to get the idea that she' not getting away with not jumping.
    09-18-2010, 12:38 AM
That's kind of how we measure ground poles too, and if what you're doing seems to be easy striding for her then don't change it.

I agree with maybe not circling her before, which was why I suggested after, like come of the jump and come in a medium sized or smaller circle around it back to the outside rail maybe.

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