Rushing the 'bigger' fences (video, included)
My gelding has been having issues lately now that the fences are getting 'bigger'. I put bigger in quotes because they're only 2'6. He's a jumper, so fast is good, but rushing is not okay. He's totally okay with 2'3 or below, no rushing or being nasty.
So anyway, here's what's happening. I upped the fences to 2'6 about two or three weeks ago, so he hasn't been doing them long, but he's been majorly bulldozer-ish about it. He's okay about them if they're separate (like in the video) but if I have a line set up, he will drag me to the next one. I like the enthusiasm, but he give neither of us a chance to get prepared for the fence.
Any suggestions? I've currently got a set of 5 one strides going down the center line in the arena, a bounce, and a set of 3 two strides (set up in 3 different lines). I was hoping the gymnastics would help, and he's great with the one strides and bounce, he focuses and does his job on his own, but as soon as we come to the two stride line, he starts to pull on my hands to go faster and rush the fences, which ends in him not really using himself.
We have our first jumper show of the season on the 24th, so any tips are much appreciated!!
And here is our first time over the 2'6 fences (the jumps are separate, so he's much better about not rushing, but you can still see it):
Maybe try half halting him a few strides out to get him balanced up and listening to you. I don't know if it will work but it is worth a try! :)
We've tried it! (and continue to try!) Haha. I'm so confused as to why he'd rather throw himself over something at NASCAR speeds than simply respond to my aids and rock back and easily jump it. So I figured I'd post here and see if anyone had any suggestions.
Like I said, he can easily use himself and will through the gymnastics stuff. It's just as soon as we get out onto a line of 2'6 stuff where he has more room, he feels the need to pull and go fast over everything.
Have you maybe put a canter pole a stride out from the jump maybe? I have no idea if that would work lol haha! :D
I'm gonna try it. I was doing that with the smaller stuff, but was hoping he'd have placing drilled into his head by now. Haha. Apparently not. I'm hoping it's just because they're a new height and he's not used to it yet, then he'll settle down by the end of the month. But we'll see. Thanks!!
Any other suggestions?
I'm not an expert here, but what i see is:
He looks strung out, bulges with his shoulder around the corners, and although i understand you're trying to ride bending lines, You guys are fishtailing all over the place and i find my eye being lost in your path to your next fence until you're on top of it. I would personally start with easy lines that cannot be rushed. Striding from fence to fence where he has to think, listen, and respond to your riding. Not careen around willy-nilly! Don't allow him to build, grab hold of you, and take you for a drag.
I personally would also ride in a bit that had a little more "say". If my horse gets in the habit of grabbing hold of me, i will switch him back to my french link gag, half halt with some pressure on the bit, and give him a little reminder that he needs to come back.
Try trotting these fences. (:
So I had a similar problem when my pony started jumping bigger fences, it started feeling like I was riding a bull lol.
One thing I notice is that you're jumping down to your horse with your chest, that's a very easy way to throw your horse off balance by shifting your weight too much in the saddle over the fence. So he may be charging not only out of enthusiasm but because you're actually promoting a downhill ride by bringing your body down over the jump. Keep your shoulders back and square and let your horse jump up to you instead of jumping down to him.
You also need to be giving your horse a nice straight ride to every jump every time, especially when you have just moved them up in height. I'd also like to see him sitting more, work on his dressage, and ride him in a frame to every jump, and bring him back into a frame after every jump, keep that expectation and he should stop charging. If he doesn't come back to a frame, circle until he does. There is no need for him to be running around with his head up in the air at 2'6" I don't let my pony do it at 3'3". She can bring her head up a few strides before the jump but when I tool her around at 2'6" she goes slow and steady and in a frame the whole time.
i agree with oxer that you should go back to easier lines, your jumping pattern was very unpredictable and you were making unbalanced turns. it will be easier to get your horse balanced and listening to you when your lines are more straight forward for now.
what kind of bit do you use? it was hard to tell in the video.
Yeah, the lines were a bit unpredictable because we were kind of making it up as we went. Also, I think the video was taken of me riding in a hackamore, but I usually ride in a loose ring happy mouth snaffle. I'm not looking to change the bit to something stronger, because I don't think that solves problems, it just temporarily fixes them. He's been much better now that I've put him back in the figure 8 and snaffle. We've been working on framing up on the flat again and working out of my hands on the approach to fences (with straighter lines until he's back to not being a bulldozer).
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