How well can you improve a horses jumping form?
My friend is looking for a horse and she found one that she really likes but his jumping form isn't so good. He is very green, an OTTB with not a lot of over fences training. He is extremely brave and a pleasure to ride. The horse is owned by a friend of a friend and our friend test rode him to see if his form improved if the jumps got bigger. They were up to 4'3" and he was not touching anything but still jumping behind at the knee (knees lagging behind, not tucked up). She really likes him a lot but we are not sure if this is something that we can work on in training (we have a trainer) or will never change. She'd like to do Equitation and or hunters, but honestly, she hasn't really ridden in about 6 months since the horse she was leasing went lame so she'd do jumpers too if needed. She just wants to ride something fun and trustworthy.
Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. She has a video that I can post of him jumping higher but here is one example at a lower height.
does this really look that bad? I know it's not good for a hunter but wouldn't he be fine for jumpers?
Sep 8, 2012 9:22am | Facebook
O_O I apologize if this sounds rude, but that horse does not need to be jumping much over 2'6" for a while. In the first video, he is so incredibly strung out, and in the second video he's not much better.
Quality of canter = quality of jump. If you have a crappy, long, unbalanced canter your horse isn't going to jump in a scopey, nice form. Period. End of story. This horse needs to go back to ground work to become more adjustable, responsive, and balanced. And he needs to cut out that head tossing thing. It's one of the most irritating things I see in a good deal of horses that jump nowadays.
Now, to answer your question, for the most part I've always been told you can fix a horse with a bad front end but you really can't fix a horse that doesn't have a catty, snappy hind end. So with this guy I would say yes, you can improve his front-end style. It's going to take a lot of want I mentioned above though. He needs to be able to maintain an established, balanced canter and be responsive to you, the rider, without throwing his head around. I''d be doing a whole lot of flatwork with him and once he starts to become more established in his flatwork I'd be doing a lot of grid-work with him. He needs to learn to jump from the base of the jump, not from a stride and a half out, and he won't be physically strong enough to jump from the base of the jump until he can be balanced and relaxed in the canter.
I know you said he's green and I can definitely tell. If you friend wants a fun, reliable horse, this is not the horse for her right now and she should keep looking.
yes, I agree he's not ready for this for his actual training. they just wanted to see if he snapped up his knees when the jumps were higher. I'm surprised they went THAT high with the jumps but well... whatever.
Thanks for the response =)
Some horses never have perfect hunter knees, but they jump high enough over that it doesn't matter. This could be one of those horses, but since he's still green and, let's be honest, getting run at the jumps, he might just need some extra work put into him.
It's just so hard to tell what a horse "could" be. He needs a ton of work but he's honest and brave even with bad distances. Obviously, she has a road ahead! She said he doesn't have a half halt at all so it's really tough to add. If she buys him then she can work with ground poles, cavaletti, grids etc and fix that part.
Thanks for the response.
see i struggle with this sort of thing. This pony is game. He's packing that rider around and letting her miss miss miss to the distances. His form isn't superb, but he's honest and gets his butt out of the way over fences. I'm a jumper rider and i bought my horse simply on talent. He can jump the meter thirties in the most impeccable form... but he's a spook, and he's not really all that honest. So, as it always is with horses, sometimes we have to take them for the good, the bad, and the ugly! hahaha!
Needless to say, i'd buy him. I'd buy him up, put six month on him, take him to a few shows, and sell him as a ammy friendly jumper. :)
Yes, to an extent, you can fix his form.
However, that horse is going to need some retraining. I'm no professional but geez. That was not pretty. If I bought him, I'd go WAY back in his training. So keep that in mind, as that is time consuming.
Coming from someone who is having to retrain a young horse, it is frustrating. But if the horse has the right temperament, worth it! :) I agree with Oxer.
I think the horse is cute. And obvious very willing, despite being ran at fences and not hitting any distances.
(I'd take him!)
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