Originally Posted by jody111
as the others have said don't let him go.....
Horses rush when they are not comfortable.... he will sit back more as he gets more confident with his jumping...
Coming in to the jump get a rhythm and don't change anything.... hold him to the base of the fence if you let him go he will flatten out and not jump correctly. Stay tall and wait for the fence to come to you. Keep your elbows soft as if you lock up they will start to pull.. give them nothing to pull on
As the others have said use placing poles....
Do a small cross with a pole around 9 baby steps (Toe to heel) either side and trot in.... then make it a verticle (Great for your possie too as it makes you wait for the fence which will also help slowing your horse.).... bring him back to the basics.... trot in and canter away until you are doing this calmly
Do you have an instructor that can help...? they may be able to give you more exercises....
Others include things like trotting a 20m cirlce in front ot the jump going over then another 20 m circle and over another fence....
The other thing - establish the pace before you are in front of the fence and not in front of the fence.... its all about the rhythm... I usually sing when I do my rounds to keep a rhythm (In my head)....
This is very good advice, couldn't agree more.
When horses rush jumps, it's either a. The rider's fault, b. A rhythm fault, c. The horse doesn't respect the aids or d. The horse is being pushed too far too fast and is scared.
Lets talk about them all in greater detail shall we?
Ultimately, it's always the rider's fault. Sucks, but it's true. A lot of riders tense before jumps, maybe clamp their leg on inadvertently and chase the horse to the jump... or maybe they haul on the horse's face trying to hold, hold, hold to the jump, see a spot, drop the horse and tell them to GO FOR IT. Either way, it's not pretty. Your job is to make your horse's job easy. Pick a rhythm, STICK to that rhythm. Sing 'row row row your boat' outloud (3 beat rhythm of the song helps maintain the canter). Don't ride to the fence, ride a stride past the fence. You sit back, you have your heels down, you ride the rhythm and you don't. Change. Anything. Going into the fence. You don't fight with your horse, you don't change your mind two strides out, you pick the pace and you stick to it.
Rhythm flaws and 'not respecting the aids' flaws pretty much go hand in hand. If the horse has rhythm flaws, it's either a rider error (like discussed above) or the horse doesn't respect the aids. Broken down to the simplest form, the horse has to know 2 things. 1. Leg means go. 2. Rein means who. Used in conjunction, that's when things get interesting. Your horse needs to be ridden in front of your leg, but behind your hand. Hence, riding your horse 'between your leg and your hand'. You need to make sure you have complete control of your horse BEFORE you start jumping. How do you do this? Flatwork flatwork flatwork. WTC, transitions, school figures, lateral movements etc... anything to get your horse calm, forward, straight and completely on the aids. You should be able to get a transition with a shift of weight, a turn with movement of the hips. You want to be in sync with your horse.
It is possible to have all this on the flat, and still have a horse who checks out to motel six the minute jumps come into play. In this case, a 'come to jesus meeting' is generally in order. Exercises like trot poles into a jump, gymnastics, circling before/after/over a jump all work great for getting your horse to check back in at the front desk. You've gotten a lot of good suggestions on here. My one exercise that I love is halting RIGHT after a fence. Imagine you are riding towards a cliff 3 strides after the jump. If you don't halt within those 3 strides after the jump, you WILL plummet to your death. How's that for motivation? First time you do it, it's not going to be pretty. That's not important. What's important is getting that stop. Your horse may almost sit down in suprise the first time. But eventually, he'll get the hang of it. After the horse starts catching on, they start going INTO the fence a lot softer, cause they know they're going to have to halt on the other side. Eventually, your horse is going to be respecting your aids a lot more because he/she knows you mean business.
As for your horse being pushed too far too fast, remember that horses are flight animals. When they get overwhelmed, they run. When you overface them, they run to try and get it over with. Always pay attention to how your horse is feeling, and don't ask for more than they can give.