Jumping in crowded arenas and getting him to slow down?
   

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding > Jumping

Jumping in crowded arenas and getting him to slow down?

This is a discussion on Jumping in crowded arenas and getting him to slow down? within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to ride horse in crowded arena
  • Help riding in crowded arena

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    02-23-2011, 10:56 PM
  #1
Weanling
Jumping in crowded arenas and getting him to slow down?

Ive recently started taking lessons more often and one of the group lessons is mostly flat work, and it's only me and two other girls. Sometimes just me! But on the other lesson I have, it is me, three or four other girls, and usually the boarders riding in the arena, and this lesson is our jump lesson. The arena is 200 by 100. That doesnt sound small, but boy does it feel it. Sometimes we have to stay on the outside line while the others are jumping and jump to the inside, and I feel like we have had quite a few near-collision incidents recently. It makes it beyond difficult for me to focus, as well as getting the horse Im riding to focus. How do you cope with being in crowded arenas? I've been to shows before, but somehow it's never felt like it does when schooling.

Also, my last lesson we did some more canter work, and Im out of shape, since I havnt ridden, let alone cantered in two years up until a few months ago. Well first we started to canter on a circle to get our horses rounded up and such, but when we moved out to go long around the arena, lord help me for my horse just wants to go go GO! It's not that I have trouble controlling him. Im not afraid to tell him "NO!" and get him back down, its just how long it takes. When we turn to go down the long side of the arena, he almost trys to start galloping, so Im pulling back on the reins, almost like pulsing because with this horse you can't just continuously pull. I sit deep back into the canter to try to slow him with my body, but he just throws his head up way into the air and speeds up. He's very touchy and sensitive, so I know better than to keep my leg on more than necessary, and I try to take it off, but what does he take that as an invitation to do? Speed up! I put my leg on? He speeds up. Im having the most difficult time to get him to slow down. I feel unbalanced going around the arena because Im constantly having to pull him back, my trainer is telling me to get him to drop his head, so I do by giving him room and I loosen my grip, and his head instantly drops into the outline, but then he starts to speed up even more. The way this ties into jumping for me is that right now were just trotting over the jumps to get back in balance, and sometimes he will start cantering inbetween the jumps, which is fine. I feel completely in-sync with him inbetween the jumps and he's usually nice and calm. Its approaching the jumps cantering first that he goes all out, he loses his striding and has to get one in quickly, throwing both of us off balance.

The weird thing? This seems to only happen during my more crowded lesson. In my other lesson with just me an one or two other girls, its in the morning, no one is ever really there. I feel as though the number of horses are causing this? I don't even know. When I jump and canter in my smaller group lesson, everything is fine, and I get the most done and accomplished. My leg is usually right where it should be, and Im not as tense. I rarely leave that lesson feeling unpleased with how we had done. He doesnt speed up, he is calm and really soft.
I know this has -something- to do with the fact that its a more relaxing setting, and I would probably quit my other lesson and just stick to this one, but being on the showing team, Its required to have more than one lesson a week, and that lesson is with everyone who shows.

Does anyone have any advice? Sorry for the novel, and horrible grammar as well as sentences. I just got back from my lesson and had to do no-stirrup work for the first time so I am wiped out!
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    02-24-2011, 05:49 PM
  #2
Weanling
You would probably get more answers in the training section.

You need to ride with your seat more. From what you have explained, this is not a lesson horse that you pull on the stop. I think the more horses there are, the more you worry about stopping your horse and when you start thinking about it, you stop riding with your seat and you start pulling on the reins. If I pulled on my horse's mouth with both reins to slow him down, he would only go faster and through his head in the air giving me no control-most horses will do the same. If you want to do a tug of war battle with a one thousand pound animal, who will win, you or your horse? DON'T PULL!!! When you pull it locks a joint in their back, their neck comes up, they brace with their bottom neck muscles, they hollow their back and then guess what?-you have no control.

You should never take leg aids off a horse. Leg aids are used to slow down, back up, and move laterally. When you ride all you aids must be harmonized and if you take you legs out of the equation you have no base to use your core off of and then you only the your hands. Pulling a horse's mouth will get you nowhere.

This is what you must do to slow him down if he starts going fast. I'll start with how you should be in the first place which should prevent it and if he does go fast I'll tell you what to do. However, it would be 1000000 times better if I could stand in the ring with you and watch you. Is it possible that your instructor could give you 10 minutes of the lesson to help you on that? One on one?
1)Ride balanced over your leg(ear, shoulder, hip,heel=straight line). Support yourself with your core, do not hollow your back, have a straight back. Pull your elbows closer to you hips. Look up and ahead, not at the ground.
2)At the trot: Use leg to push the horse into the bit, but not on the forehand. Use your legs and upper body to keep the horse off the forehand. Sit up and look up, that keeps the horse up. If you look down the horse goes down on its forehand.
3)Go onto a 20m circle. Keep steady contact with the outside rein and shape the circle with the outside leg and rein. Do not pull on the inside rein. Sit balanced with your shoulders straight and facing the direction you are going. Shape the horse with you thigh and knee and keep him on the circle with you calf and heel.
4) to control his pace move your body more freely or less freely, "close" the aids or "open" the aids. You don't want him in a short strided tight frame but a loose, relaxed frame. If you ask him to canter from a short strided tight frame, he will go much faster in the canter instead of "rolling" his shoulders in the canter. By "opening" the aids, I mean open up your shoulders, loosen your thighs, give with your inside rein, and with your seat, calves, and heels "push" the horse forward. By "closing" the aids: hold the outside rein firmly, close your thighs, and think of stopping with all your aids at once, but do not loose your leg! When you are in the saddle as you post, close your aids=half halt. Then release and do it again. To get a good canter he must have free moving relaxed and forward trot.
5)Cantering: Sit in the saddle, you must stay balanced over your leg. Move you outside leg back and hold it against the horse, ask him to move up into your hands. Sit upright with you core tight and holding the horse off of his forehand. When a horse is on its forehand, it is unbalanced and moves faster. Continue to hold the outside rein.
6) If he speed up in the canter, half halt: sit deeper, hold the outside rein and slow him with all your aids and most importantly your core. Your legs support your core and is part of all your aids, it also holds the horse together, and keeps it balance. You need the horse forward and off its forehand even if you are trying to slow it down. It must be balanced to slow it down, your legs help shape him and balance him. You must half halt, release, half halt, release. When you release, you are not letting go of all your aids, you are just stopping the closing of your aids. When he slows down. When you get him into a frame, you don't want to loose contact. Your contact should never be pulling, only connecting the rein aids with aids from your legs and body. To get him into a frame, you should still have your outside rein on(not pulling, only connecting the bit to your arm), and the outside rein on because your are still shaping him to to 20m circle. Squeeze your fingers of your inside rein and pull slightly, then release. All you want is to have him turning his nose slightly when you do that. When he is doing that, he is getting supple at the jaw. When you release, lower your hands and then repeat. To help turn his nose and supple his jaw you should use some inside leg to help with bend and supple his poll but your outside leg and rein continue to shape the circle. He is always moving forward and slowing him down does not mean bringing him onto his forehand!

A tip for slowing him down at the canter is when to do the half halt. Do the half halt when his pace has pushed you into the saddle, that is also when his legs are all on the ground. When you lengthen the time his legs are on the ground you are slowing him.

This isn't just about slowing him down, it's about balancing him and connecting your aids.

Please tell me if you have any questions!
     
    02-24-2011, 06:05 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship    
You would probably get more answers in the training section.

You need to ride with your seat more. From what you have explained, this is not a lesson horse that you pull on the stop. I think the more horses there are, the more you worry about stopping your horse and when you start thinking about it, you stop riding with your seat and you start pulling on the reins. If I pulled on my horse's mouth with both reins to slow him down, he would only go faster and through his head in the air giving me no control-most horses will do the same. If you want to do a tug of war battle with a one thousand pound animal, who will win, you or your horse? DON'T PULL!!! When you pull it locks a joint in their back, their neck comes up, they brace with their bottom neck muscles, they hollow their back and then guess what?-you have no control.

You should never take leg aids off a horse. Leg aids are used to slow down, back up, and move laterally. When you ride all you aids must be harmonized and if you take you legs out of the equation you have no base to use your core off of and then you only the your hands. Pulling a horse's mouth will get you nowhere.

This is what you must do to slow him down if he starts going fast. I'll start with how you should be in the first place which should prevent it and if he does go fast I'll tell you what to do. However, it would be 1000000 times better if I could stand in the ring with you and watch you. Is it possible that your instructor could give you 10 minutes of the lesson to help you on that? One on one?
1)Ride balanced over your leg(ear, shoulder, hip,heel=straight line). Support yourself with your core, do not hollow your back, have a straight back. Pull your elbows closer to you hips. Look up and ahead, not at the ground.
2)At the trot: Use leg to push the horse into the bit, but not on the forehand. Use your legs and upper body to keep the horse off the forehand. Sit up and look up, that keeps the horse up. If you look down the horse goes down on its forehand.
3)Go onto a 20m circle. Keep steady contact with the outside rein and shape the circle with the outside leg and rein. Do not pull on the inside rein. Sit balanced with your shoulders straight and facing the direction you are going. Shape the horse with you thigh and knee and keep him on the circle with you calf and heel.
4) to control his pace move your body more freely or less freely, "close" the aids or "open" the aids. You don't want him in a short strided tight frame but a loose, relaxed frame. If you ask him to canter from a short strided tight frame, he will go much faster in the canter instead of "rolling" his shoulders in the canter. By "opening" the aids, I mean open up your shoulders, loosen your thighs, give with your inside rein, and with your seat, calves, and heels "push" the horse forward. By "closing" the aids: hold the outside rein firmly, close your thighs, and think of stopping with all your aids at once, but do not loose your leg! When you are in the saddle as you post, close your aids=half halt. Then release and do it again. To get a good canter he must have free moving relaxed and forward trot.
5)Cantering: Sit in the saddle, you must stay balanced over your leg. Move you outside leg back and hold it against the horse, ask him to move up into your hands. Sit upright with you core tight and holding the horse off of his forehand. When a horse is on its forehand, it is unbalanced and moves faster. Continue to hold the outside rein.
6) If he speed up in the canter, half halt: sit deeper, hold the outside rein and slow him with all your aids and most importantly your core. Your legs support your core and is part of all your aids, it also holds the horse together, and keeps it balance. You need the horse forward and off its forehand even if you are trying to slow it down. It must be balanced to slow it down, your legs help shape him and balance him. You must half halt, release, half halt, release. When you release, you are not letting go of all your aids, you are just stopping the closing of your aids. When he slows down. When you get him into a frame, you don't want to loose contact. Your contact should never be pulling, only connecting the rein aids with aids from your legs and body. To get him into a frame, you should still have your outside rein on(not pulling, only connecting the bit to your arm), and the outside rein on because your are still shaping him to to 20m circle. Squeeze your fingers of your inside rein and pull slightly, then release. All you want is to have him turning his nose slightly when you do that. When he is doing that, he is getting supple at the jaw. When you release, lower your hands and then repeat. To help turn his nose and supple his jaw you should use some inside leg to help with bend and supple his poll but your outside leg and rein continue to shape the circle. He is always moving forward and slowing him down does not mean bringing him onto his forehand!

A tip for slowing him down at the canter is when to do the half halt. Do the half halt when his pace has pushed you into the saddle, that is also when his legs are all on the ground. When you lengthen the time his legs are on the ground you are slowing him.

This isn't just about slowing him down, it's about balancing him and connecting your aids.

Please tell me if you have any questions!

Ah yes thank you! I will definitely try this when I have my lesson this Saturday, if we canter. He's calm, collected, and balanced at the trot usually, so that's usually not what the problem is. He just loves to canter I suppose. When we canter on a circle, he is calmer, he's bending around me, and sometimes he over collects himself to where I can do a tight circle on the canter easily, sometimes he gets in a frame so much that he will start leaning too much into the circle, but right when we go down the long side off of the circle, it's all go go go. Maybe it's just the feel of freedom and being able to see the other side, and -wanting- to get there? Once I pull him onto a circle again, he's slow and steady. I suppose it may be that it distracts him. Giving him something to do, other than just going around and around the arena, seems to calm him down. But unfortunately I don't really have a say for as to what we do, I have to follow what my trainer says. If I could, Id probably go out in a field and just have fun for once. I feel as though he needs to get it out of his system in a way, because after he's had his fun cantering, and almost vaulting me over the jumps, we go back to the trot, walk around a bit, canter some more, and were calm over the jumps. We lunge one of the other horses sometimes before we ride, but never him, and I feel kind of out of place requesting to lunge him right before I ride. Do I just give her a call and ask if I can come out earlier to do some ground work in the round pin? Would that be weird?

The problem is I don't know -how- to talk to my trainer about this. I have one on one lessons when it's just me and no one else shows up, but for some reason we never canter in that lesson or jump.

Any more advice? :]
     
    02-24-2011, 06:33 PM
  #4
Yearling
My horse used to get all stewed up when I would ride in a crowded arena when he first started showing. In a crowded arena, you NEED to call inside, outside, and let the other riders know where your going before it happens. For example, if your coming up behind a rider, be sure to let them know "heads up, I'm coming to your outside/inside, left or right" before you do it. This will help you maneuver your way around, and maybe even give other riders the hint that they should do it too. As for the horse speeding up, it could be you. Like you said, you haven't ridden for a while and your out of shape. You need to sit on your pockets, and relax. Instead of pulling straight back, see-saw. My horse braces against the bit when I just pull. I just sit back, see-saw, but hold my leg on him so he knows that just because I have my leg on him, does not mean he needs to haul butt. You should always have some leg on your horse, just to quiet your legs and give you the seat and balance you need when you ride. When you feel off balance, sit on your butt, squeeze your lower leg, and keep your upper body back and not too forward. I used to have th EXACT same problems, and it just takes a lot of getting used to and experience.


Good luck!
     
    02-24-2011, 08:49 PM
  #5
Green Broke
If you are the person jumping...then everyone should be standing in front of jumps that you are not going to be using/not using immediately--then moving, or in a location that you can easily get by them....but NOT on the track. If something were to happen, like your horse not wanting to halt, and they are standing on the track, you could possibly run them over.

During warmup, if everyone is doing their own thing...you should be passing left side to left side (depending on area and barn rules of course) to prevent crashes. Even then, calling inside/outside is a safe choice. We often even call circle if there are several of us who happen to be at one end so that the person behind us knows we are about to cut into the middle.
     
    02-24-2011, 08:52 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetsAB    
If you are the person jumping...then everyone should be standing in front of jumps that you are not going to be using/not using immediately--then moving, or in a location that you can easily get by them....but NOT on the track. If something were to happen, like your horse not wanting to halt, and they are standing on the track, you could possibly run them over.

During warmup, if everyone is doing their own thing...you should be passing left side to left side (depending on area and barn rules of course) to prevent crashes. Even then, calling inside/outside is a safe choice. We often even call circle if there are several of us who happen to be at one end so that the person behind us knows we are about to cut into the middle.
I know :] We always try to past left to left if possible, and call inside/outside. It just sometimes doesnt work out that way when the horses don't like each other.
     
    02-25-2011, 03:29 AM
  #7
Weanling
If I was you. When my horse would decide that on the straight he wanted to take off, I would take him to trot before the straight and do something hard, like halt and rein back then trot off and ask for canter, or side pass or shoulder in or traverse. Make him not think that everytime you canter a circle you go on the straight track and canter. Mix it up leave him guessing

With the crowded arena, when jumping I would usually call the jump too, i'd yell for everyone to hear "approaching jump!!!" before I turn into the line of the jump so people have time to move. If not circle in front of the jump and keep calling it until people move.
     
    02-25-2011, 04:28 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingTowardsGrace    
I know :] We always try to past left to left if possible, and call inside/outside. It just sometimes doesnt work out that way when the horses don't like each other.
If you are paying for a lesson, the other boarders riding in the arena should give you right of way. When I am not in a lesson I go out of my way to not interfere with the lesson at all.
     
    02-25-2011, 05:41 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPhorsemanship    
If you are paying for a lesson, the other boarders riding in the arena should give you right of way. When I am not in a lesson I go out of my way to not interfere with the lesson at all.
I would do that too. Id stay away from the people in the lesson, but theres not much I can do about it :/
     
    02-25-2011, 05:43 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by corporate pride    
if I was you. When my horse would decide that on the straight he wanted to take off, I would take him to trot before the straight and do something hard, like halt and rein back then trot off and ask for canter, or side pass or shoulder in or traverse. Make him not think that everytime you canter a circle you go on the straight track and canter. Mix it up leave him guessing

With the crowded arena, when jumping I would usually call the jump too, i'd yell for everyone to hear "approaching jump!!!" before I turn into the line of the jump so people have time to move. If not circle in front of the jump and keep calling it until people move.
Thanks, I may try that and mix things up, it's just that since it's a lesson, Im supposed to do what my trainer is telling me to do, not just stop trotting or cantering all the sudden, and all the sudden go across the arena. But when we're warming up I am :]

It's not really that we don't call out whose jumping, because usually we go in lines if its super crowded, its more of difficulties keeping my horse and I calm.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to slow trot and slow lope????? Velvetgrace Horse Training 6 09-15-2010 11:23 PM
Arenas? horsgal Horse Training 7 12-15-2009 11:50 AM
what do i do to slow down my horse when jumping! strawberrypaint Horse Training 7 10-11-2009 12:31 PM
watering arenas Kirsti Arndt Horse Talk 7 09-11-2008 12:57 PM
Arenas..... What is the best footing???? Karen Horse Horse Training 7 09-17-2007 12:13 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0