Re-training a horse for EQ/Hunters
I have a Arab/Saddlebred mare that I want to turn into a Hunter and EQ horse along with Jumpers. We have been doing lessons and she has been on her hindquarters and collected! YAY!
Anyways, her pace is getting slower the more I work with her, but our main problem is that when we are approaching a jump (even 18") she throws her head up and launches full speed to the jump, so I have to do a ton of circles before and even then she rushes them, mildly. What does a good EQ horse need to have?
A good Eq horse needs to be athletic and adjustable. They also need to be responsive to even the slightest aids. Equitation courses involve a lot of technical riding and you need a partner that can handle it. I suggest you youtube some Maclay/Pessoa/USET trips and watch how their horses perform and strive to be like that.
That's great advice countercanter! Agreed. Generally saddlebred and Arabs aren't what hunter judges are looking for... I'm not seeing the combo being too much better... But you know at a lower level at local shows a lot of untraditional horses can be ok. Eq classes are judged on how well the rider navigates a course or rides on the flat but you want your eq horse to go a certain way as well. Starting off I'd just get your horse to go as smoothly a possible. Put a lead change on there and start working on obedience and adjustability. It's hard to say what's going on without a video but I'm going to guess that a lot lot lot of flatwork (aka dressage) will be your best plan.
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Your horse inverts (throws her head up) and has the let's-get-this-over-with attitude (rushes). Do not jump her until she quietly canters over a pole on the ground. Use trotting poles and tiny cavaletti to teach her the concept of roundness when she leaves the ground - make it boring. Also you didn't mention the tack you are using; sounds like she may be overbitted and worried about freedom in the air. Also, can you canter in a rhythm consistently? Can you get off her back in 2 point and still stay in control? She has to be more adjustable at the canter by lengthening and shortening her stride. These little tips that I am giving you are just the tip of the iceberg. Equitation horses and jumpers that win are VERY well schooled on the flat.
She's definately not over bitted, I ride her in a french link eggbutt. We can cant consistently once she's warmed up, but not when she's warming up. Yes, I can 2 point and stay in control.
I have just been working on basic dressage and so far, so good(:
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