Lately Damper has been going bonkers when we jump, rushing the minute you aimed her at the jump. Even my dressage instructer (she owns Damper) was battling to keep control over her.
Today, same thing, went mad etc...at the end of the group lesson, the other two went to untack, but my instructers told me to stay behind, then my jumping instructer climbed on board....
He walked her around a little, then trotted over a knocked over pole a few times, when she calmed down he took her over one upright a few times from trot. He went around just playing with her and everytime she freaked out he took her away from the jump and took her over the pole again.
Eventually after a while he was cantering her around with hardly any contact on the reins and she was going calmly over the jumps, it was unbelievable! (what did he do to the real Damper?! LOL)
He explained to me that all I have to do is to USE my body to keep her calm, and only use the reins to check her if she speeds up a little, and guess what? It worked! It was amazing! I got on her, cantered her around using my seat to keep her slow, then went over the jumps and I only had to use my hands twice to slow her!
It just goes to show, that sometimes when a horse is freaking out and going fast maybe the fact that you fight her to get her to slow makes them freak out more. As soon as Damper went fast, I would always lean back and try to slow her with the reins, then she would just throw her head up and fight the whole way. Now, I will first use my seat, if she doesn't listen use my hands then as soon as she calms down I give her her head.
I love days like these....