Rushing Fences
   

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Rushing Fences

This is a discussion on Rushing Fences within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Pony throws her head up at canter
  • My horse gets really worked up when i jump her

 
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    07-12-2010, 08:32 AM
  #1
Weanling
Rushing Fences

So I really enjoy jumping, but I've been kinda left on my own about it. Theres no instructors at my barn, barely even anyone that rides english, or really theres alot of people who know how to ride english but they don't jump. And the person I took lessons off of who did show jumping mainly and some dressage moved away. I'm not serious about showing in jumping, but I'd like to at least show in it at fair and small local shows. My problem is that my horse gets way to excited and will literally run at the jumps, I hold her back as long as I can but about 3 strides away she bolts over it. It's kind've scary and hard to get a good position with. I've done half halts, I do them as long as I can going into a jump, but if you get to close with it my horse throws her head in the air and starts this jarring hoping like canter where she makes you slam down onto her back. (This canter she does alot, nothing new). My instructor seen her do, she remarked she looked like she wanted to be a cross country horse. She used ground poles to slow her down some.I can deal with the speediness, but I'd like for her to slow down. I've asked this same question on other site once and got told it was normal =(, I don't think it's normal. Not when the jumps we're going over are only 18", 2', and she rushes over a pole lying on the ground -.-'. I work on making her walk calmy over the things she can step over
     
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    07-12-2010, 05:28 PM
  #2
Weanling
I had the same problem with my horse Indy for awhile, only he mainly did it cross-country. It is a common problem, but not one you should have to deal with. Work on lots of relaxed dressage and transitions with her (especially trot-halt and halt-trot and even canter-halt), for one thing, and also trot fences instead of always cantering them. You can even walk up to a fence of about 2 to 3 feet (but MAKE her WALK ALL THE WAY up to it...its ok if she canters after), and then they have to use their back ends and "pop" over it...its also good for your position and teaches your horse that she can indeed jump without having to gain enormous momentum.

You can also do an exercise...you trot or canter to a fence, and as soon as you point your horse at it, a few strides out, halt. Completely. Say whoa. Let her look at it, then trot up to it and hop over (although be assertive and don't let her stop or run out). One or two strides after the fence, sit up, lock your core (tighten all your stomach muscles) and again squeeze her into a halt (the trick is not to pull...just use your thigh and "push" her back end in to your hands and make her stop). Do this with a small fence at first, and eventually you should be able to trot or canter quietly up to a fence, hop over, and then stop or turn whenever you want her to.

You will have to be pretty assertive at first and might want to consider getting a good jumper trainer. Just make sure your mare understands how to "halt from behind"...halting when you push her into the bridle with your legs and seat, not just when you pull (that is when she will put her head up and do the bunny canter). Also review "whoa"...it is a very useful technique, even for english riders, to teach your horse that when you say whoa it means STOP, right now, every time. Make sure you are relaxed when you jump too, breathing deeply, sitting tall, eyes up, and talking calmly to her all the way over the fence will often help both of you. Make sure to praise her a lot every time she jumps quietly.

Hope this helps! I remember the same problem and it is not at all pleasant, so let us know how you're doing!
     
    07-12-2010, 05:52 PM
  #3
Foal
The ground pole in front is a good idea to slow her down. Also maybe try doing the jump continually on a circle. She may rush the first few times but just try to follow her head up in the air, land and turn and keep going change the direction after a few times to keep her thinking about where you want her to go next. You can also practice a few transitions, canter to trot several times in between jumping to keep her listening. Halting calmly on the other side in a straight line and going back and forth over it may be useful too. Maybe to change her bridle when you go to jump her to something a little stronger then what you usually flat in. The change to a stronger bit may back her off a little too.
     
    07-12-2010, 05:59 PM
  #4
Green Broke
My mom alsways circled in front of the jump until the horse was paying attention to her, then she would take them over the jump, then turn one way right after so the hrose stayed paying attention. I've never tryed it, but I think it would work for a horse too eager to go over jumps.
     
    07-12-2010, 06:54 PM
  #5
Trained
Let me start out by saying - Dressage, Dressage, Dressage, Dressage and then some more Dressage after you've already done some Dressage. :P Seriously.

If you have a course with 10 fences, how many strides are there? 10 right, because you have 10 fences. Now, how many strides are there between the fences? Alot more, but to emphasise, that means that there is that much more time and space between the fences, to do what? Dressage.

After all, jumping is dressage with speed bumps.

Establishing Adjustability, establishing rhythm, roundness, lightness, your horse in their hind end, light to your aids. Establishing YOUR position, how to use your seat, your legs, your core, your body - before your hands.

Also remember, our horses reflect 100% of what we do in the saddle. So if you are stiff, tense - so are our horses.

Remember, if Grand Prix Jumpers spend up to 5 days a week doing only Dresage, and their horses can do minimally level 3 dressage movements - there's a reason.

Also, if you give your horse something to lean into, he will take it 100% of the time. Especially OTTB's.

I can only assume, because I cannot see video's of you riding, but it would be, that you are riding hands first. You cannot get any rhythm, adjustability or control by riding your horses face.

Forget your horses face, and focus on his hind end. Forget your horses face, and focus on getting him off of his forehand. Forget his face and focus on rounding him up into your aids and establishing a rhythm - how do you do this?

Dressage and proper body position to be an effective rider, to make your horse an effective mount.

Let me tell you my experience:

When I first started riding my now OTTB Nelson - he was great out on the trails, great in the Dressage Ring, but when it came to jumping, he was super powerful, very strong and extremely forward.

I remember jumping a small CC fence with him, and by the time I got him back down and under control, we were already clear over on the other side of the CC field. Rediculous.

So, at that time, Dorothy Crowell was coming to my barn for our Local Pony Club to give a Clinic *Dorothy is a CIC**** and CCI**** Eventer, who has represented the U.S.A in the Olympics* so I signed up to ride in her clinic because I wanted and needed help with Nelson's power over fences.

She set up a grid, 3 jumps * I cannot quite recall the striding now * but the first fence was an x rail I believe, to a 3 or 4 stride, to an Oxer, to a 4 or 5 stride and to a verticle.

Nelson and I approached the first fence quiet and at a nice rhythmic pace. The moment he landed from that first fence, he took off. That 3 or 4 stride became a 2 or 3 stride and the 4 or 5 stride became a 3 or 4 stride. I remember I was standing in my irons pulling on his face.

She stopped us and pulled us aside. The first thing she told me was "you give your horse something to lean into, he'll take it" and that is exactly what Nelson did. I pulled on the reins, he said "thank you!" took it and leant into it and was gone.

She taught me Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften.

Your seat controls your horses hind end. You establish a rhythm with your seat. You establish impulsion with your seat - you activate that hind end with your seat.

You tense your seat - your horse becomes tense. You relax your seat, your horse relaxes. You slow your seat, your horse slows down to you. You quicken your seat, your horse quickens.

It comes from your seat. You must learn to ride on all 3 points *two seat bones, and crotch*

Remain over his center of gravity. Do not lean forward, do not lean back - remain over his center. You cannot allow your seat to lock, it has to be fluid and soft.

The moment you get what you are asking for from your seat, you activate your legs. Your legs continue that rhythm you've created through your seat, and your legs lift the horses ribs/spine up into your seat.

Your hands come into play lastly. Your outside rein must be there to allow that energy to recyle. You do not want that energy to gush out your horses front end. But they are soft, supple and must be giving at all times.

I was shown this by Dorothy and I immediately had a different horse.

She had me approach the first fence, when I was a stride away, she had me release my arms, sit and close my legs. The moment we landed I had to sit back down, slow my seat down, close my legs and rock him back through my upper body and core. Then a stride away, I released my body and allowed the fence to come to us.

If he tried to speed up at all, I was to make him to exercises - whether it be figure 8's or serpentines or circles, I had to work on slowing my seat down, lifting his ribs and bring him back down under me.

Then we would repeat the fences.

Learning Adjustability is very important on the flat first, before you jump.
     
    07-12-2010, 07:09 PM
  #6
Weanling
Thanks for the ideas, I'm going to try them tomorrow, I plan on just getting back into the swing of riding english tonight. She does halt, she knows how to use her butt. She really does jump beautifully, always snaps her knees up, she's just in to much of a hurry for me. She's basically always ridden on the flat because she's my barrel horse, but she's always collected like any horse should be while doing any gait. I pretty much always start out trotting to the jumps, then will canter. I can't change her bit, she's already ridden in a kimberwick. But anyways I plan on taking more lessons whenever I can afford them, hopefully I'll be able to on her. But like I said I only jump for fun and something different, even though I like to do everything the best I can. I don't like looking like I have no idea what I'm doing lol. Thanks, I'll let you know how this all goes =)
     
    07-12-2010, 07:18 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
Let me start out by saying - Dressage, Dressage, Dressage, Dressage and then some more Dressage after you've already done some Dressage. :P Seriously.

If you have a course with 10 fences, how many strides are there? 10 right, because you have 10 fences. Now, how many strides are there between the fences? Alot more, but to emphasise, that means that there is that much more time and space between the fences, to do what? Dressage.

After all, jumping is dressage with speed bumps.

Establishing Adjustability, establishing rhythm, roundness, lightness, your horse in their hind end, light to your aids. Establishing YOUR position, how to use your seat, your legs, your core, your body - before your hands.

Also remember, our horses reflect 100% of what we do in the saddle. So if you are stiff, tense - so are our horses.

Remember, if Grand Prix Jumpers spend up to 5 days a week doing only Dresage, and their horses can do minimally level 3 dressage movements - there's a reason.

Also, if you give your horse something to lean into, he will take it 100% of the time. Especially OTTB's.

I can only assume, because I cannot see video's of you riding, but it would be, that you are riding hands first. You cannot get any rhythm, adjustability or control by riding your horses face.

Forget your horses face, and focus on his hind end. Forget your horses face, and focus on getting him off of his forehand. Forget his face and focus on rounding him up into your aids and establishing a rhythm - how do you do this?

Dressage and proper body position to be an effective rider, to make your horse an effective mount.

Let me tell you my experience:

When I first started riding my now OTTB Nelson - he was great out on the trails, great in the Dressage Ring, but when it came to jumping, he was super powerful, very strong and extremely forward.

I remember jumping a small CC fence with him, and by the time I got him back down and under control, we were already clear over on the other side of the CC field. Rediculous.

So, at that time, Dorothy Crowell was coming to my barn for our Local Pony Club to give a Clinic *Dorothy is a CIC**** and CCI**** Eventer, who has represented the U.S.A in the Olympics* so I signed up to ride in her clinic because I wanted and needed help with Nelson's power over fences.

She set up a grid, 3 jumps * I cannot quite recall the striding now * but the first fence was an x rail I believe, to a 3 or 4 stride, to an Oxer, to a 4 or 5 stride and to a verticle.

Nelson and I approached the first fence quiet and at a nice rhythmic pace. The moment he landed from that first fence, he took off. That 3 or 4 stride became a 2 or 3 stride and the 4 or 5 stride became a 3 or 4 stride. I remember I was standing in my irons pulling on his face.

She stopped us and pulled us aside. The first thing she told me was "you give your horse something to lean into, he'll take it" and that is exactly what Nelson did. I pulled on the reins, he said "thank you!" took it and leant into it and was gone.

She taught me Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften.

Your seat controls your horses hind end. You establish a rhythm with your seat. You establish impulsion with your seat - you activate that hind end with your seat.

You tense your seat - your horse becomes tense. You relax your seat, your horse relaxes. You slow your seat, your horse slows down to you. You quicken your seat, your horse quickens.

It comes from your seat. You must learn to ride on all 3 points *two seat bones, and crotch*

Remain over his center of gravity. Do not lean forward, do not lean back - remain over his center. You cannot allow your seat to lock, it has to be fluid and soft.

The moment you get what you are asking for from your seat, you activate your legs. Your legs continue that rhythm you've created through your seat, and your legs lift the horses ribs/spine up into your seat.

Your hands come into play lastly. Your outside rein must be there to allow that energy to recyle. You do not want that energy to gush out your horses front end. But they are soft, supple and must be giving at all times.

I was shown this by Dorothy and I immediately had a different horse.

She had me approach the first fence, when I was a stride away, she had me release my arms, sit and close my legs. The moment we landed I had to sit back down, slow my seat down, close my legs and rock him back through my upper body and core. Then a stride away, I released my body and allowed the fence to come to us.

If he tried to speed up at all, I was to make him to exercises - whether it be figure 8's or serpentines or circles, I had to work on slowing my seat down, lifting his ribs and bring him back down under me.

Then we would repeat the fences.

Learning Adjustability is very important on the flat first, before you jump.
Actually I don't ride with my hands, my little paint mare is probably the most resposive horse I've ever had. She neck reins like crazy so really even in english she's ridden in a looser rein. My instrutor taught me to ride with my seat, turning my hips with my horse and everything. My horse leg yields, does lead changes, her headset is natural, and she knows how to use her hind end very well.
     
    07-12-2010, 07:35 PM
  #8
Trained
Video's would be very helpful if you can get them. It's hard to decipher what is going on without being able to see it.

When you are riding, are you using your seat to slow her rhythm down? Are you rounding her spine up into your seat, and are you blocking that energy from gushing out her front end, and allowing it to recycle back through your outside rein?

My horse can do lead changes, and can half pass and can use his hind end quite well, but that doesn't mean he is truely off of his forehand.
     
    07-12-2010, 08:15 PM
  #9
Foal
I haven't read all the other responses so I apologize in advance if anything I say has already been said. :)

It sounds like before you even think about jumping, you need to get her in a steady, rhythmic canter. You said, "my horse throws her head in the air and starts this jarring hoping like canter where she makes you slam down onto her back. (This canter she does alot, nothing new)." If she's doing this a lot, that's not good. Jumping is simply another canter stride, so if your cantering is not balanced and relaxed to begin with, then jumping will definitely not be.

I always believe jumping should be taught with an experienced jumping trainer. You can really do some hard damage to your horse not just physically, but also mentally, without the help of someone who really knows what they're talking about. (Anyone can call themself a trainer, it's up to you to make sure they're the real deal. Myself, I never train with anyone who hasn't competed regionally and placed consistently well; I also have to have a chance to see them ride and make sure they aren't abusive of the aids.)

It sounds to me that you need to get a more rhythmic, balanced, relaxed canter before jumping and always work with a professional. :) Good luck!
     
    07-13-2010, 09:52 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourtwentyam    
I haven't read all the other responses so I apologize in advance if anything I say has already been said. :)

It sounds like before you even think about jumping, you need to get her in a steady, rhythmic canter. You said, "my horse throws her head in the air and starts this jarring hoping like canter where she makes you slam down onto her back. (This canter she does alot, nothing new)." If she's doing this a lot, that's not good. Jumping is simply another canter stride, so if your cantering is not balanced and relaxed to begin with, then jumping will definitely not be.

I always believe jumping should be taught with an experienced jumping trainer. You can really do some hard damage to your horse not just physically, but also mentally, without the help of someone who really knows what they're talking about. (Anyone can call themself a trainer, it's up to you to make sure they're the real deal. Myself, I never train with anyone who hasn't competed regionally and placed consistently well; I also have to have a chance to see them ride and make sure they aren't abusive of the aids.)

It sounds to me that you need to get a more rhythmic, balanced, relaxed canter before jumping and always work with a professional. :) Good luck!
She only does this canter when she's stopping while ticked off. If I do to many half halts she starts slowing down to much and I basically just have to turn away from the jump or else it's just ugly. My mare is very witchy, she's not one to put up with anything she doesn't like. I watched the woman I took lessons off of ride and train, so I know what she was doing. Plus I liked the way she taught me, she concentrated on my posistion and timing mainly, taught me how to count the strides between jumps. But like I said she moved away and right now I can't afford lessons, though this fall I'd like to find somewhere to take dressage and jumping lessons alternating. I have to wait till the off barrel season though.
     

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