Should a horse be round when it's jumping?
I find that my horse and I both perform best in show jumping when his neck is free, forward, and he has complete movement of his head and neck over the jumps. Lately, however, I've noticed that many people ride with their horses very round; neck arched, head almost straight...you know what that's like. I'm not saying that my way or the others' way is bad. But what do you do? Should I start jumping my horse more round? We do dressage and he sure knows how to get on the bit. But for jumping? Insight please. (:
depends on the horse, their style, and what you are looking to do with them. for hunters i believe you want a nice bascule (correct me if i am wrong you show hunters out there!) where for eq you want a horse that jumps a little flatter to show off your eq easier. for jumpers you want power and scope so usually a horse with more roundness will have that but again it really varies!
There was an article in either Equus or practical horseman recently on that very subject. The conclusion was, no it should not be traveling in a round frame to jump, at least for the larger fences. For a horse to properly size up a jump, it needs to be have it's head at the same level as the top rail of the fence.
Not that I have a ton of expertise in this area but I find it differs from horse to horse. I know the big draftx I ride has a VERY round jump. But I have rode a TB thats much flatter over the jumps but hes also a little strung out between fences.
my trainer always says that when a horse is jumping they should be in a second level frame. even if they arent to that level yet, their nose should be higher than their hip. horses see things at a distance from the lower half of their eye, so they need to be able to put their head up. they see close objects with the top part of their eye, thats why they often yank their head down towards the jump when they are stopping at it =P
hope this helps
What CJ said! I would do whatever is best for your horse. If she is jumping just fine then I'd leave her alone. If she could use some help being rounder so she can jump better or help folding her legs I'd fix those problems with good flatwork to get her strong and balanced and a whole bunch of gymnastics.
As in dressage round? I sometimes ask for it if my horse is not paying attention in long turns or approaches, just to keep him focused(attention span of a banana) but otherwise i let him be :) But i always want him off his forehand and engaged with his hind end!
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