Completely different jump in outdoor arena ? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-28-2010, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Completely different jump in outdoor arena ?

So as you all know, it's getting warmer and we've been able to start riding in the outdoor. I'm super excited, for sure! Except for one little problem.
The horse I exercise and ride in lessons with, acts completely different when you jump her outside.
She's fabulous, but she's got quite the spooks in her. She was a broodmare before, and now that I've got her with great dressage and flat work, she also got an amazing jump inside! We were able to jump her to 3ft. Without any problem what so ever inside, and with great pace too. My trainer has been jumping her 2' 6" consistently. She lost most of her spook and was fantastic.

But now that we've taken her outside, she has a COMPLETELY different jump. It still looks good, and feels pretty good, but the pace in increased by an incredible amount. She has a nice short 10ft. Canter stride, which I absolutely love for her being around 15.3. She is fine on her preferred lead(right) but once I switch to the left it's like she's gone into steeplechase mode! I can get her perfectly round and collected inside, and this only happens outside. I can control her pace after a bit, but that's not the main idea here.

Once I start to canter jumps with her, she increases her pace by A LOT. I wouldn't mind as much if our outdoor had a fence around it, but it doesn't and I always fear her taking off with me. I'm sure she doesn't look as fast as she feels, but I'd really like some exercises and/or advice to build up my confidence outdoors, and to get her to calm down when I'd like to complete a good course!

Any help would be great, thanks for reading ! :)
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-28-2010, 08:35 PM
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Hee hee. I figured this would have something to do with her being more foward outside. That's just a normal bonus you get for taking things outside. You'll have to ride more than be a passenger, but you'll end up a better rider for it. Most horses get a little more forward and silly once the walls are gone.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-29-2010, 09:36 AM
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It's very common for horses to act differently inside and outside. There's so much more to look at outside! Especially if she's been cooped up inside all winter. There's a show we go to that's out in the middle of NO WHERE. You can see all around you for miles and miles and the horses always look like giraffes when they first get out there. Also *you* might be different outside as well. Give her (and you) some time to get used to be outside again and she will be her normal self again.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-29-2010, 09:47 AM
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There's sooo much more for her to look at outside! Practice practice practice, it will slowly become more familiar to her.

I had the opposite problem with my last TB: When we jumped in arenas or stadiums she would be distracted trying to stare at the roof wondering where the sky had gone. Very funny to watch but made for a couple of difficult rides, she got there in the end and your mare will adjust too with time and work.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-29-2010, 12:33 PM
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I'd give her some time too like the previous posters have said.... my horse is the same. What is worse is that he's also different between at home and off property - at home he's fast, more likely to spook and can be a pig-headed son of a you know what, away at shows he's dreamy! He floats around the course like he's an angel and tucks his knees right up and prances out of the ring like "You know I'm a superstar." But at home he's a beast. Riding with other people or having a few friends come to watch usually makes a little difference or if I keep changing up our stuff - we never can do the same thing twice at home!

Anyway, that was diverging a little. But we go through the same thing every spring and it takes some patience and being a bit more of an active rider. I usually plan on taking 2 steps back in his training when we go outside for the first month or two. I lower the jumps, start out with only cross rails for the first few rides, and we do lots of different things (never just course work). To warm up I ride around all the jumps, constantly changing direction, circling the different obstacles in the ring and let him really look at everything then we just incorporate one or two cross rails as we do our flat work. I never like to do just flat work and then just jumping work, I mix them both in, then they can't be silly because they don't know what you're going to do next. So take some time to go back a couple steps and let her get confident outside. She's being racey because she's not confident in the new environment. Start out again doing single fences and only add one on before or after if she's being quiet. If she's not, go back to some flat work for a while and try again. Just be sure to keep changing it up. :)

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-30-2010, 01:12 PM
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Like everyone else said, it's quite alot more different and just needs to adjust to the change. I'm sure after a few more rides she will have calmed down a little.

Sometimes, just out of the blue, instead of taking her and jumping her, walk around calmly outside for half an hour to an hour. Not only will it get her mind chilled, but it will also get you in a completely relaxed frame of mind.

Hope that helps.

*~ THE HORSE STOPPED WITH A JERK, AND THE JERK FELL OFF -- Jim Culleton ~*
MANURE HAPPENS
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-02-2010, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all the help :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-02-2010, 12:29 PM
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My guy is different outside too- a nice relaxed ride out with some of his buddies a few times a week has really helped him figure out that it is fun and not scary to be outside. We started off just going out to cool down after working in the indoor and have progressed up to some really lovely trail rides with the added bonus of getting hill work in. He's become much happier when we go out now and actually seems more relaxed overall- he loves his trails!
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