Mare Still Rushes? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-20-2012, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mare Still Rushes?

So, when I ride in my D ring snaffle copper roller bit, my mare tends to get strong and quick. I used to ride in a full cheek snaffle with a copper mouthpiece:

...but it didn't quite fit her right so I bought the D ring:


Shortly after switching, her brakes began to malfunction. It wasn't bad at first, if I corrected her or did a strong half halt, she'd usually come right back to me. But it progressively got worse and worse till now, when I jump in the D ring, by the end of a course, my arms feel about ready to fall off. I work on transitions at the walk, trot, and canter, do serpentines, trotting and cantering poles, etc. She used to try to gallop at the canter, but now her flatting is back to normal, no matter what bit I use. But jumping, she rushes unless I use my Happy Mouth Snaffle Elevator bit:

Now I would think that because of the added leverage, she doesn't rush or pull, but the strange thing is, I can ride on very very light contact with the elevator and she won't pull at all. I can ride with such light contact, that it's probably about equal strength to a regular snaffle. I'm wondering if maybe the bit is the cause of her rushing?

She used to be a horse I could jump bridleless with (pic from 2007):


and I never worried about rushing. But now, it's like a different horse altogether.

When she gets bad, I stop her, back her up a lot and make her jump from a stand still and after a few times of doing that, she usually stops rushing, but I'm not sure if that's because by that time she's gotten tired or what. By the next time we ride, it all starts up again.

What are good exercises for horses that rush? Any suggestions for me?

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 01:28 AM
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When my pony gets rushy (she generally does it because she's like "FWEEEEEE JUMPING!!!!!!") we'll spend a lot of time trotting back and forth over the same jump until she is consistent. We'll trot up, jump, then go a few strides and then halt, and then turn around and do the same thing the other way. I make her wait.

You can also try using an extra ground pole, it should be set at 9' in front of the jump for cantering. You can also try setting trot-in ground poles. if you're going from the jump it should be 9.5' from the jump and then 5'-5.5'. You might have to adjust depending upon your horse's size, bigger horses will definitely need 5.5' smaller horses will probably need 5' and ponies will probably need 4.5'.

Grid work will also back off horses that like to rush.

I doubt that a bit would cause a horse to rush but the function of an elevator bit is slightly different than the other two, the elevator functions mainly on pole pressure which might be what your horse is more responsive to.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 03:30 AM
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You both may be building and building together. She rushes, and you react. Then she reacts from your reaction and the cycle starts over with her rushing and your reacting.
My horse is pretty reactive as well, and the more fit he got the more confident and strong he became over fences. I have done quite a bit on the ground, changed his diet, and finally found a bit that he "likes" and respects.
I would say, if the elevator works for you over fences... then why not ride in it over fences, and flat in her regular snaffle?
Also... okay and this may sound a little nuts... but sometimes when my horse gets too heavy on my hands and is strung out on course, i will literally say out loud to him "hey. just relax. take it easy." sometimes my voice brings him down a couple notches. hahaha!
Anyway, i have started jumping him in the Stubben EZ Control bit. He seems to like it. He's not over bitted when jumping, but just enough that i get to have some say in where we're going and what we're doing!
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Oxer View Post
You both may be building and building together. She rushes, and you react. Then she reacts from your reaction and the cycle starts over with her rushing and your reacting.
I agree. I had a similar situation. My trainer at the time had me get in 2 point position with a loose rein over gymnastic grid exercises until I learned to relax and let my horse figure out the jumping part. Once I relaxed and stored getting in my own way, my horse stopped rushing.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oxer View Post
You both may be building and building together. She rushes, and you react. Then she reacts from your reaction and the cycle starts over with her rushing and your reacting.
My horse is pretty reactive as well, and the more fit he got the more confident and strong he became over fences. I have done quite a bit on the ground, changed his diet, and finally found a bit that he "likes" and respects.
I would say, if the elevator works for you over fences... then why not ride in it over fences, and flat in her regular snaffle?
Also... okay and this may sound a little nuts... but sometimes when my horse gets too heavy on my hands and is strung out on course, i will literally say out loud to him "hey. just relax. take it easy." sometimes my voice brings him down a couple notches. hahaha!
Anyway, i have started jumping him in the Stubben EZ Control bit. He seems to like it. He's not over bitted when jumping, but just enough that i get to have some say in where we're going and what we're doing!
I read reviews about this bit here: Stubben EZ Control D-Ring - D-Rings from SmartPak Equine

And apparently the middle joint has a defective tenancy to lock up? Does that happen to you? The bad reviews were from supposed 'experts' but the good reviews were from supposed 'novices' so I'm not sure if I want to try it, but I like that it's a D ring on the outside.

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post #6 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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What about this bit? I think it gives strength, and I'm a fan of happy mouth bits:

It says there's a twisted wire inside, and I'm not too sure about that.. What kind of stuff would this do?

And would something like the bit below (JP Korsteel Hunter Dee Ring Snaffle Bit with Copper Link) have the same effect as the EZ control bit?


Or this:


I want something I can use for both hunters and jumpers, hence the multitude of D-rings lol

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Last edited by LoveTheSaddlebreds; 02-21-2012 at 12:07 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 12:24 PM
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make sure you are getting heavy handed on the way to the fences and that you arent just holding back with no give if you feel the horse rushing. A lot of horses tend to get rushy in that sort of situation and do better with a soft hand and a supportive leg. impossible really to say if thats the problem with out videos though.

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yourcolorfuladdiction View Post
When my pony gets rushy (she generally does it because she's like "FWEEEEEE JUMPING!!!!!!") we'll spend a lot of time trotting back and forth over the same jump until she is consistent. We'll trot up, jump, then go a few strides and then halt, and then turn around and do the same thing the other way. I make her wait.

You can also try using an extra ground pole, it should be set at 9' in front of the jump for cantering. You can also try setting trot-in ground poles. if you're going from the jump it should be 9.5' from the jump and then 5'-5.5'. You might have to adjust depending upon your horse's size, bigger horses will definitely need 5.5' smaller horses will probably need 5' and ponies will probably need 4.5'.

Grid work will also back off horses that like to rush.

I doubt that a bit would cause a horse to rush but the function of an elevator bit is slightly different than the other two, the elevator functions mainly on pole pressure which might be what your horse is more responsive to.
I do a lot of grid work with her, and when I do gymnastic lines, she doesn't rush until after the line. I also work with the poles and such.

I don't get strung up, as far as I know. When she gets rushy, I sit deep, keep leg off, open my chest and pull if necessary.

What about this bit?

it's a Baucher bit which is legal for hunters, too.

I may just give up on hunters and buy an elevator and be done with it. The elevator I was using was my friend's and she has it back.. lol

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post #9 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jumper12 View Post
make sure you are getting heavy handed on the way to the fences and that you arent just holding back with no give if you feel the horse rushing. A lot of horses tend to get rushy in that sort of situation and do better with a soft hand and a supportive leg. impossible really to say if thats the problem with out videos though.
I don't have a consistent trainer, but whenever I take lessons, the trainer compliments my 'soft hands' so I'm not sure that's the problem. I'll be sure to take a lesson soon, though, to make sure.

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post #10 of 20 Old 02-21-2012, 12:37 PM
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a rushy horse should still have support from the leg! at least im my experience, and I have ridden a number of rushy horses, leg support and half halts when necessary tends to help. If the horse is still pulling on your arms and you have been soft on the mouth with some half halts, try halting the horse and then taking the fence from the trot. Hope this is helpful :) I am honestly not a big fan of using a stronger bit, Im not saying that youre doing this, but I have seen a lot of riders put on more bit when then could just work on refining their aids.

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