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Being strong and rushing

This is a discussion on Being strong and rushing within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

     
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        10-10-2010, 09:58 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    If he is opening his mouth and bracing maybe try a flash if you haven't yet. I agree lots of flatwork to soften and relax him. You could try working over ground rails and keeping him soft and relaxed, then building up to trot fences with a ground rail in front and behind and halt or walk after ward to keep him soft and relaxed once his flat work improves and you have gotten more used to how he goes. Hope this helps.
         
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        10-10-2010, 10:03 PM
      #12
    Foal
    For Corey - thanks, I'll do a heap of dressage with him and try a flash noseband

    For GB - I have been building his confidence up, as you say trot poles and dressage. Its when we actually try to go over something he needs to jump that he baulks. He goes over cavaletti fine. Nothing bigger and NOTHING wooden!
         
        10-11-2010, 12:30 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    For Corey - Has he had his teeth checked recently? My horse just got his done and I can't even describe the difference it makes in his reactions to what I'm asking him to do, and he was just getting his once a year teeth-floating, so there was nothing extreme going on in there. When horses reach about 7-9 years of age their teeth really start to wear super unevenly and it causes sharp edges more quickly. While the bit rests on the bars of the mouth and not actually on the teeth, when you're asking him to do things and keep a soft mouth he will be moving his jaw and any sharp tooth edges can/will cut the inside of his mouth. Some horses aren't very sensitive to this, but some are and will really show it.
         
        10-11-2010, 12:39 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    I agree with others that just slapping harsher and harsher bits in his mouth is putting a band aid on the problem, not solving it. THAT SAID, my own personal experience with my mare was very similar and she just grabbed the bit and pulled me, no amount of me asking would get her off of it. I thought it was just me and battled with her for awhile, until my trainer got on her and confirmed the bad habit she had of bracing and running away with the bit (we were using a french link eggbutt at the time).

    We switched her to a tom thumb pelham bit - single jointed, and double reins. IT WORKED FABULOUSLY. She immediately respected it and stopped grabbing and dragging me along. AND I was then able to work on transitions with her/getting her onto her rear which was the REAL issue in the first place - getting her off the forehand. With this training tool, we've been able to show her what we want rather than pulling on her face and playing tug of war with her.

    Now, a leverage bit is NOT for everyone and I would STRONGLY suggest a trainer who knows how to use one try it out for you first before you mess with it. You have to be very light with your hands, if you go yanking on his mouth with the curb chain he's not going to like you very much.

    And I'd also like to stress that my mare and I are using this as a temporary training tool...I fully intend on going back to just our plan old french link snaffle as soon as we've got this all figured out. And actually I do switch back to it every other lesson or so, just to see the progress we've made while in the pelham.
         
        10-11-2010, 03:27 PM
      #15
    Foal
    For your fence rusher.... I had a horse with that problem years ago. We did double-back turns into the rail at a canter as an exercise, per my trainer at the time. He had come from a nervous older gentleman who just grabbed hard onto the reins and charged him at the fences and it was hard to break him of this habit. Doing the turns into the rail got him to sit back and start listening to a softer hand again.
         
        10-14-2010, 07:11 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Thanks everyone
    Corey has had his teeth done when we got him by a very good dentist. Working in circles is fixing him slowly, and yesterday he didn't pull at all, so thanks for that I'll keep going with him.

    I took Grey jumping yesterday too and he refused and refused and I know you shouldn't give up but I had to because it was getting dark and we still had to ride home. I tried my best not to get frustrated but I had tears of frustration down my face by the end of it but I didn' beat him or jerk his mouth or anything just cried (lol). So he is still a problem
         
        10-15-2010, 12:15 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Dial it back - a lot.

    Try walking over fences for a couple weeks (about 18 inches and under). When he does that calmly, trot fences for...until he stops rushing...could be a week, could be 6 months. If he gets strong trotting go back to walking until he is calm. You can trot over jumps as high as he can handle.

    This is what I am doing with my insanely athletic ex-foxhunter, who can jump the top of the standards with ease, but feels the need to hurl herself at itty-bitty baby jumps. I 've trotted her up to 3 ft so far and we are "almost" ready to canter jumps again. Taking it back a notch - along with A LOT of flat work - has made more difference than any amount of rollback turns ever could - although we do a lot of those too!

    Also, if you are anxious and your horse is sensitive, he will feel you. This will go against everything you were taught, but try getting slumpy and relaxed before a jump so that by the time you take off you are already there - this is good to practice on those walk and low trot fences since you're unlikely to encounter the rapid, dirty stop. When you are doing flatwork, try getting all relaxed like this too - almost in a slumpy jump position, but not quite. This will help your horse learn to stop associating your forward movement as "time to jump - woohoo!"

    On the bit question, I use a gag - the Mikmar Watson 3 ring. My bit, used properly, can be softer than a snaffle, but when I need to break my horse up, which happens sometimes, it is there. Although some horses simply won't tolerate a gag, if your horse is throwing its head a lot in the gag, you are probably being too harsh with your hands and not giving enough when your horse gives. You can't just hold on these bits (not that you should on any bit) - you have to give and take and supple and be really light, only engaging when you have to. The bit doesn't replace the work, it simply supplements it for when you need that extra leverage and to reinforce your leg and seat aids. Also, these bits can also be bad to use on a nervous jumper if your timing with your hands releasing over jumps isn't perfect. Just a couple snaps over the fences and you'll have a whole new set of problems on your hands. Just something to consider if you are going to keep working with the gag.
         
        10-17-2010, 07:10 PM
      #18
    Foal
    PoohLP - thanks for your help on Corey but I'm starting to solve it now
    As for the gag, I wrote (not in these exact words) in my original post that I held the reins of the gag and western curb between my thumb and forefinger, very lightly and he tossed his head. I wasn't holding tight or pulling on his mouth. How easily can I get these Mikmar bits?
         
        10-17-2010, 07:50 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Go to the Mikmar website. Mikmar Bit Company. There are several different ones. They are pretty expensive though and aren't for everyone. I think they come with a video that explains proper use of the bits. Also, take off the nose band if you use one, otherwise it will arrest the action of the bit.

    If he is sensitive on his poll, he may not tolerate the gags because they act through poll pressure. That may be something to play around with and figure out before you drop $100 on a bit. :)
         
        10-18-2010, 08:51 PM
      #20
    Foal
    Thanks I'll have a look. I don't think he's sensitive on his poll but perhaps he is so I'll check. Thanks again
         

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