Few Questions on Jumping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-19-2013, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Few Questions on Jumping

Hello all! I haven't been on the forum much these last few months due to a new job, and for the simple fact that things are going very well at my new barn, however I do have a question.

So one of the school horses I ride used to be an eventer, and therefore she loves to quickly fly over those jumps. When going towards the first jump it's alright. I am able with my seat at the trot to get her at a pace that is both comfortable for me and has more than enough impulse, but when approaching the second jump at a canter I have more trouble. I feel that while she isn't necessarily rushing, she does go a bit too fast for my liking. I had two falls in the past while jumping with another trainer, so while my confidence has improved very much, I am a very cautious jumper.

I've only recently started jumping two jumps one after the other (instead of only one), and cantering towards a jump as well (always the second never the first), so I suppose I have not yet developed that feel that would permit me to slow her down without pulling in her mouth (which I try to really avoid because the last time I unconsciously (due to nerves) pulled on a horse's mouth he refused and I went flying like superwoman).

So basically I am asking for some tips, (or ways) to slow down a horse when you feel they are going too quickly towards a jump. Ways that won't confuse the horse and then make them refuse the jump.

Thank you very much

Edit: sorry my title says a few, but really there is only one question

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post #2 of 4 Old 07-21-2013, 01:01 AM
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You simply ask for a little less by half halting. This, in no way means to grab her by the mouth, sit back, and pull. Half halt, to me, means to sit up, eyes up and where you're going, hold with your outside rein, and just a light "hello, I want less please" of a pull with your inside rein. You're getting their attention without ripping on their face or over asking for too much whoa. However; in my opinion, if you're less than 3 strides out, you need to just let things be. So over correcting when you're coming out of a line, can leave you with a run out or a stop. So simply sit up after your first fence, don't lean at your second fence, ask for a little half halt, and let her carry you.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-22-2013, 11:56 PM
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an exercise that I find works really well with confidence is jumping very small gymnastics or doing the box exercise (cloverleaf patter with jumps that make a square/box) set very very low. If you are nervous about doing a gymnastic, do them as ground or canter poles first, then do raised cavaletti. Then do a few that are a few inches as a small jump while others remain lower. Keep doing the same exercise until you are comfortable with all of the small gymnastic jumps as x-rails.

Also keep in mind that gymnastics - even when they have 4+ jumps in the gymnastic set - are easier than either an individual jump or two jumps in a small line. The reason is that a properly set gymnastic gives the horse the exact distances to jump properly and encourages the horse to stay straight with little time or room for a refusal. It also allows the rider to go into a two point and give generously on the reins - especially helpful to build confidence and if you are afraid of a runout, have your trainer set up a small chute so the horse is even further encouraged to go forward. In addition, low gymnastics set at the right distance will keep the horse from speeding up because there simply won't be room for rushed strides in the exercise.

I use gymnastics for my students regardless of their level of experience to help build confidence, rhythm, balance, and learn to release better over fences. I use gymnastics for horses to help them also learn balance and rhythm, as well as cadence and to learn their distances. My one client's horse loves to rush fences and i'll take him through a series of gymnastics that are a one stride to a bounce to a one stride and will just give him the reins. He very quickly figures out that even with the jumps at 2', if he rushes, he knocks them over and without me having to do anything he very quickly learns to slow himself down, take his time and balance.

Good luck! It sounds you are on the right track and will be back to more jumping in no time :)
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-05-2013, 02:30 PM
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My instructor has us set up a jump on a circle so that the horse is forced to slow down from bending
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