So Cisco has been jumping for about 3 months now, and I am noticing he is having problems rounding out his front legs o/f. Any suggestions to help rounding out his front legs? Or is the jumping too small to get really round? We have only been trotting to jumps too... the occasional canter over cross rails.
Once the jumps get bigger he will pretty up his knees, Im sure. If your horse is too much on the forehand to the jumps, it can cause him to lack the ability to really rock back and use himself. So just be aware of where his balance is, but otherwise bigger jumps will cause him to tidy up his legs. It looks like anyway! :) In the 2nd picture he's just lost some impulsion and getting over it without much effort, which is okay. So long as he's doing his job and you like the way he's doing it, don't worry about it. He'll look more tidy as your fences get bigger. :)
Are you doing any gymnastics with him? Jumps in a row? For horses that are slow to lift their knees, or begin to disrespect the height of the jumps by being lazy we will raise one of the jumps in the combination. With one jump being suddenly higher than the rest, your horse's balance will be rocked back for you, and he will learn to be more careful because not all the jumps are the same time and time again. In a perfect world, of course. Haha.
Good luck though!
He will probably get better with height. My horse just falls over cross rail and pretty much anything under 2'6" but rounds nicely over bigger jumps. Try gymnastics. That usually helps alot with getting a horse to bring their knees up. If your not using to do jumps close together, start with a 2stride and progress to a one stride, possible even a bounce.
What the? I've never heard of any Trainer discuss stretching your horses legs before riding. I can see pulling their legs up and forward to adjust the girth to prevent skalls - but not for getting a horse to round their legs over a fence.
TUCKING properly at a fence, comes by proper work through Grids. GM and other top level riders talk about raising the fences, too many school grids over too small of fences, which creates a "Lazy" jumper.
BUT!!!! Riders form on approach to the fence, the riders legs and seat makes a HUGE differnce as well. We must always remain supportive through our legs, aiding in lifting our horses backs and ribs up into us. We must keep them rounded and engaged through our seat and into our legs - engaged, rhythmic, on approach to the fence. Our horses must always be off their forehand.
When we see riders with incorrect leather lengths and unconditioned legs *Not wrapped around our horses girths* we allow our horses to go flat, on the forehand - which aids in a sloppy jumper.
That is what the 1/2 hour of Dressage Work is meant to do - To aid our postions, our aids. To allow our horses to stretch, to achieve balance, rhythm. Riders achieve control, tempo, fluid movement.