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post #1 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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rushes jumps

I started getting lessons with Hero - finally! Yay :)
We are doing small courses at the end of our lessons, mostly poles and low xrails.
My trainer is all about letting him figure things out and stay off his mouth,
So he does really well with the trot poles etc, and cantering smoothly but soon as we introduct the line of 2 xrails he speeds up between them.

My first instinct is to of course pull back but she is telling me hands forward and let him figure it out.

She said if I keep up with this repeatedly he is going to realized - "oh hey she isnt going to fuss I don't have to go this fast"
Is that right? What other methods can I use to show him he doesnt have to fly over them seriously he could walk over these cross rails.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 02:21 PM
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Dressage.

I know when you read that you are picturing some GP level Dressage Horse and Rider Team - but that isn't necessarily the case.

Dressage will help not only balance the both of you, but also aid your horse to be rhythmic, light, round, engaged.

BUT, your form is just as important. If you are riding around with your bodies weight on your horses forehand, you aren't helping at all.

What do you do when you come off of a fence? Do you remain leaning forward *upper body ahead of the verticle* or do you sit, rock back and pick your horse back up and re-balance?

It is not JUST up to your horse to figure it out, you need to help your horse to be the best he can be. Our horses reflect 100% of everything that we do while in the tack, so if you are riding forward - your horse will be too.

I highly recommend the both of you start taking dressage lessons, once a week, or once every 2 weeks - whatever you can afford. Take up reading, go to your local lybrary and get books written by Sally Swift and many other greats out there. Rent DVD's on dressage, read books on dressage exercises like 101 Dressage Exercises For Both Horse And Rider and etc, etc, etc.

Do you have a video of the two of you riding? That'll help as well to see what is going on with the two of you.

Remember, you are a team. You cannot just sit ontop of him and be a passanger, you must be a rider - while your horse cannot do his job without you. You both must work together, to accomplish the tasks at hand. It takes 2.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 06:21 PM
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I agree with MIEventer. I was having the exact same problem with my mare a few weeks ago. My trainer told me to look at our flatwork and what was lacking there first. I figured out that her head was WAY too low and she couldn't see the jump because of it!

So going back to dressage and working with a trainer are the best things you can do for him.

I had the same instinct with pulling back. But that just made her rush more. Don't let him have anything to pull against.

OH. And I also figured out that part of the problem was her teeth. She didn't have a bit seat and it was making her uncomfortable. Maybe check that too.

Look like a SUPERSTAR, Ride like a FOUR STAR, Win like a ROCKSTAR
Eventers: Making BAD Dressage look GOOD!
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-08-2010, 03:46 PM
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Generally a horse rushes b/c he's either 1) afraid of something 2) in pain.

Dressage (good flatwork, whatever you want to call it) is crucial just as MIE said, but there could be a whole lot more to it then just dressage, esp if he's green.

Is he rushing IN the line? Horses that rush, esp the 2nd jump of the line, often do it b/c you come in too slowly to the first one and it becomes uncomfortable to jump the 2nd, so they respond by running in the line. This actually can stem from coming out of the corner at too slow a pace. People's tendancy on a horse that rushes is to slow them down, but this usually is NOT the answer. The answer is to find the "optimal" speed and stay with it. Dressage comes in handy so that when you tell your horse to slow down or stay on the same pace, they actually listen!

If your trainer is telling you to let him figure it out I'm assuming he's a little green and I wonder if he's just not sure what to do with himself. The hardest thing for a horse when learning how to jump is what to do with their body. This is where gymnastics are key! Gymnastics, gymnastic, and more gymnastics. They will teach him where to leave from the ground, where to place his legs, how to hold his body, etc etc. When they don't know this stuff they worry and some horses react by running. Lots of bounces and series of gymnastics are a great way to make a horse back off on their own and think through the jumps. This would be my biggest recommendation to you.

Alsol, it is very important that you hold your body still, relaxed, balanced over the fence. You want to be secure so you don't hit him in the mouth over the fence or hit him in the back before/over/after the fence, or duck over the fence. Be sure you don't hang on his mouth or clench your body in any way. Any hot horse (and some not so hot) will react by running.

Last but not least, make sure there isn't something hurting him! Soundness, saddle fit, etc.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-08-2010, 04:33 PM
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I'd be introducing gymnastics. I'd even free longe over gymnastics first. Personally I'd set it up 3 ground poles - x-rail - vertical - small vertical oxer. If he rushes through the line he's going to chip and horses are generally more comfortable flowing through a line with an easy motion.
I did a whole pile of gymnastics with my Arab sport pony who rushed headfirst at everything.. after a few times he started to steady and slow and really think his way through a line, and it translated into our single jumps as well.

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-09-2010, 04:45 PM
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Yes, like they said, definitely check your position between the fences. Your hands should stay forward and you should stay out of his face, but your upper body should be back if not sitting in the saddle altogether to give him time to rebalance between fences. A great way to play figure out the most effective position for you both is to set two ground poles 4 1/2 strides apart, or any something and 1/2 apart. Practice cantering them as if you were jumping but adjust the strides (without using the reins as the primary aid) so you get 4 strides, then 5, then 4, you get the idea.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-13-2010, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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yes he is rushing IN the line - its a nice pace to the jump and I'm off his mouth etc, then coming up to the next one at a trot is fine but god if we are cantering he rushes and just flys over the thing, my instructor said just keep practicing and he'll learn to balance himself I just have to stay OFF his face,
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-14-2010, 12:13 PM
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YOU need to HELP HIM balance himself.

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-14-2010, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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yeah I know I know its me some how because he loves to jump and he is so calm and easy going when he free jumps,
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 09:03 PM
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My paint mare had a terrifying habit of rushing jumps. It was hard for her, and her balance was never ideal due to her being built on the forehand. The more I tried to steady her with my reins the more anxious she got. So I did as your trainer is advising. We would head to the jump, she would build in speed and I was not to react. Im not talking about a subtle change in speed, she really got clipping. After the jump as she would be torpedo-ing along I just quietly circled her and headed to the next one. After awhile she would take more and more relaxed jumps because I didn't feed into her anxieties. It definitely worked, but it was a hard mind over matter situation. Every part of me wanted to tell her to slow down but it only made it worse.
You can help re-balance in between jumps, but I have found that in my case I couldn't hold her slow.
Another great thing I learned from her was that although she was light and speedy, the more leg I used to "keep her in a package" the better she got.
I have a horse in training right now that rushes a little. Not a running away type rushing but anxious about organizing himself before the jumps. I realized yesterday that I was trying to hold him slow which was just holding his neck higher and giving him less of a shot to relax. So if he needed to take a couple canter strides before the jump I'd just go with it. (Trotting jumps) In between jumps I'd take a moment and slow him, but I wouldn't hold him there. He then took more and more relaxed jumps and wasn't so frantic.

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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