Excited Horse When Jumping @ a small show

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Excited Horse When Jumping @ a small show

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    05-07-2008, 05:43 PM
Excited Horse When Jumping @ a small show

Ok, so I have started to lease a 18yrold thoroughbred. We have only attended one jumping show, which was our barn "jumping day". We did a 2 ft round and to say the least he was ballestic. Let's just say we jumped a line that was suppose to be 5 strides, we jumped it in three!! Waaay to fast! So, we are doing the exact same thing this Sunday. I am expecting him to be just as excited, how can I keep him calm and relaxed and in a nice and steady canter?? I find that sitting up tall and singing row row row yoru boat helps...As well, when I half halt, he sticks his head up in the air and my coach told me it looks like I am ski diving, how do I NOT look like that, but half halt.

Any help?? THanks!!
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    05-07-2008, 06:48 PM
Can you do some training rounds?Here are a few suggestions:
-Circles help a ton. Do a jump, then circle, and keep circling until he calms down (this may take a while, but stick with it).
- Switch things up; if you have a line, take the first jump, then turn him off course and go do another jump instead of the jump he thought you were going to do - keep him guessing, not so sure of "okay well there's a line, I can rush through the fences"
- Set up a line, then take the first jump, then if he rushes, put on the brakes between the fences. Make him back up, then do a turn on the forehand or haunches, and head back over the first jump, and jump it backwards (make sure you don't have a ground rail just on one side) and stop him again, back up, turn on haunches or forehand, then take the first jump again. Keep repeating this until he's not anticipating going to the next jump, then you can allow him to go and jump the next jump in the line.

I hope these exercises help!

Oh, and as for the half-halt, remember that the half-halt is only to be used for one beat of a stride, DO NOT keep pulling! If you start up a game of tug-of-war with your horse, he is going to win. Break up steady contact by sitting deep into your saddle and checking and giving.
    05-07-2008, 06:59 PM
Thank you!!! Great idea, well last time there was a crosspole set up in the indoor flat arena, so I am sure I can do a whole lot of circles! Thanks again, I guess I have to work on keeping my nerves down as well!! (then I totally forget my course)lol :roll:
    05-07-2008, 07:12 PM
If nerves are a part of it, then I have another solution for ya ;) I once had this TERRIBLE (and I mean terrible; I fell off while riding each course, just about got run over by a trainer, my horse just about strangled herself, I just about lost my hand on the trailer.. yea, it was just overall a bad day) show a number of years back, and the next time I had to show there I used this technique, and I cleaned up at the show, I think I got reserve champ:

The night before your show, sit down in a nice quiet room without distractions and imagine the show the next day... unloading your horse, you take a deep breath and smile. Then imagine yourself riding each course flawlessly, where you and your horse are in perfect harmony.
Once you're done riding through a few courses, let yourself come back to realirt and don't think negative thoughts about the show at all - if you think about the show, think back to the perfect rides you imagined.

I found this always helped me relax.. maybe it will help you too :)
    05-07-2008, 07:17 PM
Thanks <sigh> that sounds so positive! :)
    05-07-2008, 09:10 PM
Yes, do lots of circles. :) My horse tends to rush sometimes, I just do lots of circles, & she gets right on track!
    05-07-2008, 09:27 PM
Make him trot it. If he behaves let him canter the next time around.
    05-09-2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks guys, this gives me something to work on while warming up before the show. <nervous>
    05-09-2008, 11:53 PM
Try to lunge him for a bit in the morning and let him get his extra energy from all the excitement out. Lunging does wonders for many horses.

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