Originally Posted by JaneyWaney9
How do you know how high a horse will jump? I have a 12 year old quarter horse who has free jumped and cleared over 4 feet, but under saddle, he isn't very careful. I don't want to use a solid wood pole, because he's old enough and he's clumsy enough that he could hurt himself, but PVC pipes don't seem to be cutting it.
Also, he is a total speed demon both a few strides before and after the jump, but especially after. I try really hard to control him up to the jump by sitting up tall and keeping a steady contact with the reins, but as soon as I give him the reins a bit so I don't hang on his mouth, he takes off. After the jump, he runs off to the point where I worry about him falling down if I tried to turn him in a circle.
First of all I'd switch to wooden poles. I hate PVC for many reasons, but when you're training a horse you want them to respect the poles and not want to hit them. A little sting from knocking a wood rail down is better and safer in the long run. If you're worried about protecting your horse's legs find a good pair of open front boots.
It is difficult to know what your horse's limits are without proper training. If he is rushing to the jump and running on the backside there are either some big holes in his training or something is hurting/scaring him or rider error. Or a combo of the 3. If he's running so hard/unbalanced that you think circling him after is going to make him fall down you have GOT to work on your flatwork. I'm always telling my kids, your jumping is only as good as your flatwork. I don't know how high you're jumping now but I'd stop jumping all together and work on the flat, incorporating lots of trot and canter poles. If he can't trot/canter a pole on the ground he has no business jumping them. Then I'd slowly work your way up. You need to work a lot of circles, transitions, lateral work, etc. Get him strong and balanced and listening to you. He needs to be responsive enough that you can at least circle him after a jump before you even consider attempting a bigger jump!