Originally Posted by bigzee
My horse will occasionally speed up for the jump. Not good when its just a small 2'6" because it puts her on her forehand and makes it impossible to get a nice bascule. (Important in the hunter ring) When I feel that little burst, I sit deeper, spread my hands a little, and think slooowww. It usually works, but the best thing is to keep that from happening. To do that, I count my strides. Sounds silly, but it calms me down and that keeps her on an even keel. Sorry for the essay, but it was a good question, and one that used to plague me. It took a long time to get her to stay consistent all the way to the jump.
I know somebody who sings between jumps. You'll hear her say "mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb". It sounds funny but it calms her down, and you can tell that it really helps her. Plus, it reminds her to BREATHE! People forget that when you don't breathe, you get tense, so the horse gets tense and rushes or pulls, etc etc etc