Training for a better jump - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 54 Old 10-24-2013, 08:55 PM
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If you set up a jump at the end, give her space for 1 stride, place is 18' from the last bounce.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #12 of 54 Old 10-24-2013, 08:59 PM
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Look at the thread under jumping called, "jumping my mare 3'9". It's perfect for what you're trying to accomplish. 9' bounce, then 18' one stride to an oxer. (think hers might be a vertical, but the grid is the same)
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post #13 of 54 Old 10-24-2013, 09:26 PM
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That was a very informational video- We have a bounce set up in the arena now, so I will be playing with it.

She used to rush jumps like crazy and she's calmed down a lot. This was her in February

Since you think she's still rushing jumps, would it be better to go back to trotting jumps. Trotting is easier for me to let her find her own spot, easier to keep a steady speed, and I think it would build muscle.

Sunny's Training Progress Blog (RECENTLY UPDATED)
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post #14 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 09:32 AM
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I would go back to trotting for a while
Her long low action is typical of a TB - that's what gives them their speed on the flat and in races over fences as they don't waste any time in the air but to go up a notch over higher showjumps in a confined area with lots of turns the horse has to learn to supple up and work in a rounder shape so they can be balanced to change leg and shorten a stride when asked without losing impulsion
While you're working on getting her into a more collected frame you might find it easier to not canter riding in 2 point for a while - you will have more power in the saddle to hold her together when you sit down at the canter
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post #15 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 09:55 AM
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I love setting up a line of 3 poles, with 3 strides between each. I set the lines 3 feet short of a 12 foot stride. Then a practice going down the line in 4 strides and 4 strides. Then 3 strides and 3 strides. Then 3 and 4, then 4 then 3. Once the horse masters it with poles, I set the center pole up to a jump.

This exercise gets your horse really tuned up and listening. I always practice it the week before a show. It's also a good winter exercise because it can fit in many indoors.

Better balance at the canter will lead to a better jump.
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post #16 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 01:58 PM
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Previous commenters have offered some excellent advice. I definitely agree that rushing and getting too deep can cause them to hang their legs or jump "over their shoulder". Horses need time on takeoff to sit back on their haunches, round their back and lift their knees up and forward over a jump, and when they are rushing or are taking off deep, they have less time to prepare themselves, and that where you end up with the flat/awkward jump/hanging knees/bad form, etc.

In the first photo, it's hard to use as a gauge because she hasn't left the ground completely. A half second later her legs would have been more square and lifted, and she probably would have looked alright. The second photo looks a tad awkward, either she is compensating for the slightly deep distance or was a bit impressed by the jump. The third I can definitely see clearly what you are talking about.

Grids and bounces can help tighten up a horse's front end. Also placing guide poles in an upside down V right near the middle of the jump also helps encourage them to snap their knees up, hopefully this photo link works to show what I am talking about:

Obviously working on teaching her to relax and slow down will improve things a lot, only when she actually relaxes can she begin to use herself properly. And I know how difficult and how much on an ongoing thing that can be with young TB's!! Gotta keep working hard at it though, it will come!!

Another thing is that she may just not be physically built to be able to get her knees up nice and tight. In the pics she is not really using herself like I'd like to see, whether this is just because the jumps are small and she's not really trying or maybe because the saddle was/is hindering her, I'm not sure. She is basically not using her shoulder at all over the fence, just kind of folding her actual leg out of the way. She should be swinging her elbow and forearm up and forward, and her shoulder blade should swing back over the fence. I know you said you got a new saddle, so that might make a difference over time. Getting a good chiropractor out for an adjustment would not be a bad idea, if you haven't yet. She might have some lingering issues from the ill-fitting saddle. In my experience, anything off the track usually has at least some minor, if not major alignment issues. I know my mare STILL gets locked up in her shoulders sometimes, and I can tell that she needs an adjustment when she starts jumping more like a hunter, square knees but lower legs perpendicular to the ground, instead of her usually super tight folded up knees.

I can't watch the videos on this computer, so I can't comment about any of that. Hope this helps though!

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!

Last edited by albertaeventer; 10-25-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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post #17 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 02:08 PM
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Eep. Hanging knees in a jumper scare the crap out of me. A hung knee at the wrong fence can lead to a rotational fall.
Can you improve the jump with exercises? Yes.. But personally I think I'd be on the hunt for a cleaner jumper, especially for eventing.
Bookmarking to watch videos later.
YMMV. This is simply one opinion from one internet person.
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post #18 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 02:17 PM
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I wouldnt have thought she was rushing the jumps at all - shes keeping the same rhythm into them - and isnt avertly fast. Her canter may not be as collected as it could be but I that didnt pass my mind at all!

(Just my opnion)

I do agree she has a tendency to jump over the knees though and not always use her elbow as much as she could (But not dangerously so)... grids poles bounces jumps with fill guard rails etc all will help to an extent, keeping the weigh off her shoulders (So not jumping ahead) will also help.... but there will only be so much you can improve...

shes a cute horse and you both look good together.... shes also possibly just bing a bit lazy as she looks like shes not having to try in the pics....

be great to hear how you get on and good luck with her

if you have a good instuctor Id grab them and tell them what you are aiming to do
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post #19 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for the input :) Unfortunately I have a great dressage trainer who happens to be a not so great jump trainer- and she doesn't want me taking lessons with anyone else, so I'm stuck doing this by myself.

I agree that hanging knees can be dangerous, but Sunny just compensates by jumping higher. Usually, if she hits a jump it will make her go bolting and bucking- she doesn't like it. She makes sure to keep her legs out of the way.

I will be setting up grids with the guide poles like you have suggested. I've played with the exercise that gypsygirl mentioned, but it was too difficult for us. She gets frustrated easily and she will just run through as fast as she can. Lots of repetition of a certain exercise makes her do this, which is why I don't do many grids. I think if I change the height of the fences in the grid everytime, it should keep her focus long enough to accomplish something.

Sunny's Training Progress Blog (RECENTLY UPDATED)
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post #20 of 54 Old 10-25-2013, 03:49 PM
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Part of the problem may be her conformation. For a free front end that folds, the horse needs a shoulder that lays back, a reasonably correct point of shoulder (not too low) and a humerus that has sufficient angle from point of shoulder to elbow.

For interest, post a conformation photo and lets see if the issue is organic in nature or something that is training based (or maybe something that is a bit of both).

For eventing at higher levels I would like to see her knees up more while keeping the lower leg tight. If her knees pointed down more I would suggest not jumping her any higher or not at all as knees down can hook on a fence and flip the horse.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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