How can you help your horse to get his striding right?
I have never had this problem before, generally horses sort of know how to srtide themselves. My new boy is not getting his strides right EVERY TIME! He has a nice jump but is knocking them as he is putting an extra small stride in and making himself jump too deep. This isnt just in doubles it is over single jumps aswell.
I was just wondering if anyone could let me know how to help him get it right as I think he has good potential if we could get over this.
Do you ever look for the distance? Do you ever hold him or move him up..? Or do you just kinda go around seeing how it'll work out? Generally distances require some help from the rider. Now this isn't true for every jump, but for quite a few, to me it sounds like you need to work on your eye for distances first. Yet I don't know you or your horse so if you could provide me with more information..
As the rider, you are the one to regulate your horse's striding. If you want 4 strides in a 3 stride, you make it happen by riding your horse. Or if you want a longer take off point, you tell the horse when to go to.
How is your flatwork? Can you lengthen or shorten his strides? Do you work at extending and collection within gaits?
Hunters/Jumpers (the riders, that is) sometimes hate to work on the "Dressag-y" work, but it makes everything easier. Your horse is more athletic, more compliant, easier to ride and gives his more confidence.
I would stop jumping for awhile, and work on the flat. Then, jump poles on the ground to train your eye before you go over obstacles. PLEASE make sure that the poles are secured so your horse doesn't accidentally step on one and have it roll underneath. Using cavaletti, or putting 4 rocks or bricks, two on each end, and on both sides of the pole, will keep them in place. Also, if your stable has those plastic blocks that hold poles, those work great for this.
I was about to write out everything Corporal just said.
Someone once told me, "Pace, Rhythm, Line: get it every time". Make sure you are on the correct pace for your horse, stay on it so you're on a rhythm, and then make sure horse horse is balanced and straight. Without good flatwork you can't do any of these things. You must be able to balance and adjust your horse. I'm not a big proponent of "don't jump unless your flatwork is perfect" (assuming you and the horse are ready to be jumping together) but I certainly wouldn't be jumping big and groundrails are the perfect way to practice. They're nice because it doesn't really matter if you miss.
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