Trouble Controlling my Horse on XC - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Trouble Controlling my Horse on XC

I just moved up to training level for eventing, and I though the training level speed would be Mouse's "perfect" speed. He is 16.3hh and has a HUGE stride so even when it feels like im going a good pace, im going way too fast. At Novice I was always slowing him down and I could control him and it would feel like a good pace but we would always be around a minute under time if I didnt do a collected canter on some part of the course. With that said I felt that with the move you to training level with the speed of 420mpm, we would have good timing. Boy was I wrong. We were almost a minute under training level too AND we had even circled on course to slow down! So now I am determined to get my horse to truly listen to me because my arms were exhausted after my ride.

I am 16, so please don't come to the conclusion that im some "yee-haw dangerous rider" even though I love going galloping, I want to be able to have some brakes behind me because my horse has a past of refusing and fast horse+no brakes+ possible refusing? Not good at all.

My current bit is (i know I should not resort to harsher bits but I am just not strong enough and he only becomes strong on cross country and sometimes stadium and only at shows) an elevator bit bit double reins and a chain.--I really do want to be able to go back to a single rein on the elevator and maybe no chain. I do not want a harsher bit also.

My question is, what is the most efficient way of slowing a horse down with out putting too much of a fight on my part, he is an ex racehorse so he loves to run. I really want to get this under control since now its becoming a bit dangerous, controllable, but dangerous. And I certainly do not want to be looked at as a dangerous rider.

He is also fine at XC schooling, even when I do numerous jumps all together to mock a real course. So trying to train him to chill out and slow down is very hard for me. Any Ideas?

Thanks for reading this and hopefully take the time to give me some tips and techniques to help me!!!

Eat.Sleep.Ride.

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post #2 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 10:55 AM
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Oich, sounds like fun! Lol, I'm kidding - sounds like you are having a rough time out there, and at Training Level, this isn't something you should be dealing with.

I am glad you are looking for help, because as you said, this could lead to trouble. Your horse could hit a fence flat which can lead to a rotational fall.

So, it sounds like he is going around flat, heavy on the front end. So what are you doing position wise, while you are out on course? Where is your body? Upper Body? Seat, legs? Where is your Core? What is it that you are doing, to keep him under you?



You've bitted him right up, with chain and all - and still isn't responding - I say you need to go back to the arena and work on your rhythm control. During lessons, our Coach will randomly ask us to push our horses out and forward, once we hand galloped around a bit, she'll shout "COFFIN CANTER" and we have to bring our horses back under us, by using our Functional Two Points - core, body, upper body, chest, seat, legs - to get our horses under us, in a collected canter at the snap of a finger. Then she'll shout "Hand Gallop" and we let them out, etc, etc.

But, what is it that you are doing with your body, or not doing with your body when your horse gets "out of control" rhythm wise?

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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I do practice letting him gallop a bit and bringing him back--without a chain and occassionally one rein, and he is totally fine, at shows there are parts of the course where I let him gallop a bit but when I want him to come back, I first sit up a little-not abrupt-and "politely" ask him to come back to me with a few half halts, if that does not work, I sit back more, sit in the seat a bit and pull on one rein while I plant the other one on his neck to reduce him yanking my arms out, it works a bit, but he is still pulling and a bit unbalanced,if he is really bad, I will sit down lean back and give him a big half halt and if I need to, circle.

Im running out of ways to slow him down(well ways that I know)
He will slow down for bout 10-20 strides but at each jump, he becomes stronger and stronger until he is at an all out gallop especially when the jumps are spread out.


Im not sure if this has anything to do with it, but when I was 12 I had a 16hh that I had the same problem with XC, I think it was mostly because I was really young and very weak but maybe its something im doing?

I have video of me doing XC but of course he looks controlled and he wasnt as "naughty" that show. I really wish I had video of the last show I was at because my mom said it was the first time he looked a bit out of controlled since for the most part I do a good job "hiding" or controlling it. But Its early in the show season and with every show, I've noticed him speeding up more and more. So I want to get it taken care of now and be able to have a steady speed throughout the whole course with out him yanking on my arms.

Eat.Sleep.Ride.

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post #4 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 03:06 PM
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this means you need to go back to basics and smaller fences and LOTS more flat work to get him under control first before continuing in the traing level xc.

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 06:30 PM
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First, let me say that I am not an english rider but a horse is a horse so I will offer my advice for what it's worth. It seems like your horse doesn't believe you when you ask him to slow down. If I were having this problem I would do one of two things. I would either circle him in great big circles every time he sped up too fast and not pull him slower but let him find the slower speed himself before continueing on. You may have to find a course that you can ride on when there isn't a competition so that you can take all day if needed. The other way you could go is to stop the horse fully BEFORE he gets going very fast repeatedly around the course and back him up a few steps. Change direction and go back the way you came, drop to a trot a few times or anything else you can think of to break the routine. He thinks he knows what you want and therefore doesn't have to pay much attention to you. If you can get him to start wonddering what you are going to ask him to do next then he may be more willing to slow down for you. As far as rushing the jumps, I would start stopping him and walking him right up to them and then either go around or go back and jump them correctly and under control.

The problem you are having is with you even at home when it seems he is doing fine. It just becomes magnified when you add the speed and excitement of a competition.

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 06:33 PM
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IMHO, you should not be going Training level if you cannot control your horse. Especially if you have already resorted to using an elevator with two reins.

I used to be in your position! I had a very powerful horse who would only get excited when she jumped full courses. She was also HUGE which made it difficult to maintain a steady, slow stride. I had her in the exact getup that you have on Mouse and I figured out that there were huge holes in her dressage training.

We ended up being able to gallop around N/T level XC in a french link snaffle after I spent a season going back to basics.

Try going back down to BN or N sized stuff, WORK, WORK WORK on the dressage, and see how he does. You might be surprised to find out how different he may become!

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post #7 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eventerdrew View Post
IMHO, you should not be going Training level if you cannot control your horse. Especially if you have already resorted to using an elevator with two reins.

I used to be in your position! I had a very powerful horse who would only get excited when she jumped full courses. She was also HUGE which made it difficult to maintain a steady, slow stride. I had her in the exact getup that you have on Mouse and I figured out that there were huge holes in her dressage training.

We ended up being able to gallop around N/T level XC in a french link snaffle after I spent a season going back to basics.

Try going back down to BN or N sized stuff, WORK, WORK WORK on the dressage, and see how he does. You might be surprised to find out how different he may become!
we have been training with a very good dressage trainer and judge, and we always have trouble actually getting impulsion with out me kicking him constantly and he is very lazy on the flat and at home. So Mouse is making it very very hard for me to work on the problem. Im planning on taking him to the training galloping track down the road so even though I can take him galloping on the flat no problems what so ever, maybe the look of the track will bring back racing memories so he will want to run, so I can focus on correcting him ways I could not effectively do at a show.

Eat.Sleep.Ride.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
First, let me say that I am not an english rider but a horse is a horse so I will offer my advice for what it's worth. It seems like your horse doesn't believe you when you ask him to slow down. If I were having this problem I would do one of two things. I would either circle him in great big circles every time he sped up too fast and not pull him slower but let him find the slower speed himself before continueing on. You may have to find a course that you can ride on when there isn't a competition so that you can take all day if needed. The other way you could go is to stop the horse fully BEFORE he gets going very fast repeatedly around the course and back him up a few steps. Change direction and go back the way you came, drop to a trot a few times or anything else you can think of to break the routine. He thinks he knows what you want and therefore doesn't have to pay much attention to you. If you can get him to start wonddering what you are going to ask him to do next then he may be more willing to slow down for you. As far as rushing the jumps, I would start stopping him and walking him right up to them and then either go around or go back and jump them correctly and under control.

The problem you are having is with you even at home when it seems he is doing fine. It just becomes magnified when you add the speed and excitement of a competition.
Thanks for your exercises, I think they will help!

Eat.Sleep.Ride.

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 07:06 PM
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Can you do dressage on a XC course? Is there a course nearby that you could go hack on?

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Eventers: Making BAD Dressage look GOOD!
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-09-2011, 07:06 PM
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look at this website its pretty interesting hope it help good luck
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/eventing/exercise_cross_country_control_041710

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