So I've been jumping my mare lately, and she just gets so happy and excited doing it, that she wants to run around like crazy. She tends to be a bit quick 2-4 strides from the jump and if we are trotting tends to break into a canter. (My friend who was watching says I didn't have her forward enough. It could possibly be me as to why she is doing this. I'm going to have a lesson next week and see). So that kind of worries me that she won't go a slower speed. Then again, that was over small cross rails. My trainer suspects she is bored with them as she was better over 2' and 2'3.
But after is the main issue. She really speeds up AFTER we land. I know the general "just halt her" but that isn't easy. She basically picks up a hand gallop, for lack of way to put it. Not quite a gallop, but it ain't no nice canter either. I've tried stopping her but it...takes to long. She will usually get 5-7 strides past the jump before I can slow her down. She kind of sticks her nose up and just won't slow until she gets tired of the pull of the reins. I sit up stright and lean back and tell her "ho!" in a strong voice.
I had to circle a few tiems to get her to slow. Any tips on what I can do? She listens just fine to commands on the flat and has a pretty quick ho or down shift in gaits when asks. She just loves jumping and we've been doing it more lately, that she is just getting a little over excited. Any tips on ways to slow her down would be great. Thank you.
My old horse used to land the jump, plow into my hand and take off. I know you said you know the just halt thing, but it really worked for me. One stride after landing the jump (so basically immediately) make her stop. Make her stop NOW. And make her stop straight. No running through the corner still trying to stop her. Back up a few steps until she gives if she's being hard in your hand. At the start I would set up the jump going across the short side so I wouldn't have much time to stop before I hit the arena wall. It helps because if you can't stop the horse, usually you can still keep her going straight, and she'll stop when she gets to the wall. Then you turn around and trot the same jump. You keep doing this, trot the jump, jump, stop, turn around, trot the jump again, until she figures out that she's going to be stopped after the jump, so there's no point in rushing after. It also helps teach the horse to stay straight after a jump. Once she's doing this softly, let her canter around the corner, trot, and trot the jump again, and ask for her to stop. You can keep doing variations of this, mixing it up whether you turn left or right after the jump, whether or not you stop, or whether you trot or keep the canter and come back to the jump again cantering. Her reward for going softly and with a nice pace after the jump, is that she isn't interrupted and doesn't have to stop. Just at any point, if she feels like she lands the jump and rushes, stop straight, turn around, and trot it again. This exercise has helped me with a LOT of different horses, and for different reasons, not just rushing.
If you want to practice controlling pace in general, I like to practice with just ground poles. I'll set up 2 ground poles as if it were a 4 stride combination, and practice getting 3 strides, 4 strides, or 5 stride in that distance. This really helped me with a horse who wanted to be really long and strung out. If I left her be, she would usually get the striding anyways, but getting her to compact to the 5 stride, or to go forward off my leg with punctuality was where we needed more work. The key is to come to the first pole with a nice canter like you would a jump, and as you land that "jump" to adjust the stride. You can also practice stopping after the second pole like before if she gets rushy with this.
Both these exercises help teach the horse to be keen, handy, and mostly listen to the rider.
Pick a place on the fence after the jump an 'park her' in it. Stop her every time in that parking spot. It's more for you than her but if you know that's where you're going to 'park' you will have a visual cue for where she is to go and focus on it.
You can also put trot poles in front of the fence to make her pay attention to her feet. She's running because she's on auto pilot, give her something else to do to engage her brain.
I am not a jumper and so I might be totally out to lunch and please let me know if I am. Have you checked your position? and your saddle fit? I am just wondering if she is getting pinched by the saddle or whacked in the back by the saddle on landing. I am just wondering if the speeding up is an escape from pain. Particularly if she is throwing her head. Otherwise, I would work on half halts.
My pony does the same thing. So, subbing as well.
Usually when a horse runs after the jump it is because they are being hit in the mouth or the back or both.
I would suggest working over trot poles to a cross rail.get in 2pt before the poles and give with your hands so there is slack in the rein.practice this until she is going over calmly.
Make sure over the j jump there is slack in the rein.on landing give her as pat on the neck with on e hand.
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I agree with others on checking saddle fit and making sure your for bumping her in the mouth with the bit. Hopefully your coach can help you with this.
Also agree with others about stoping her after the fence. I used to put a ground pole where I wanted to stop my horse. You could even do trot poles in and out of the fence as it makes her pay attention and think of where she is stepping. Of course, try to do the groundpoles after the fence once she learns to slow down a bit more and pay attention to you, you wouldnt want her coming out of the jump at a hand gallop and then tripping over those poles.
Another thing that helps lots is half halts. Work on the flat getting your half halts down good. Then before the jump halt halt and also after. It will help her rock back onto her hind end and also help the process of getting her to halt after the jump.
You may also want to try some bounce jumps or grid work. Gets her thinking more and not running off after the first jump. A friend had a newer horse she was working with that used to just gallop around and looked like he was out of control. She had to use all her strength to pull him back. Looked like she was pretty much sitting there hanging on for dear life as he ran around all crazy jumping these small fence. One day she asked for help saying she wanted her horse like mine, calm and settled over fences. I set up 3 fences close together down the centerline in the indoor and got her to half halt before each one. By the third time it started to click and he slowed down a lot more and took each fence at a nice slow pace, no more rushing them.
It will be interesting to see what your coach says during your lesson, let us know =)
I'm a little surprised that so many of you guys automatically think it is the saddle and/or my position. I'm 100% sure it isn't pain-related because I've been using this saddle on her for 3 years without any problems. There is nothing pinching or pulling her. I have a strong two point and if anything I stay up off her back for to long. It used to push my forward onto her neck, but I've worked on it heavily in the past few months and now I have a really solid jumping position. I had two trainers watching me jump last week and both said I looked good.
It is simply that she gets excited. Jumping is fun for her (as it is for me) and we both enjoy a good run. So when she lands she just wants to speed off and get to the next jump. (For the record, we are doing hunters, not jumpers, and she has never been trained in jumpers). Putting a ground pole before/after is a good idea that I will try in my next lesson. I think I might do a few circles before as well as after the jumps too if she is to excited to stop instantly after the jump. Hopefully these things will help. If anyone has any other suggestions, please throw them out.
I'm glad a few of you subbed in, it is good to know that my issue isn't something only I am having. Not that it is a good problem to have, but at least we aren't alone, lol.
You could also drop the fence very low and make her walk over it. Until she can do that nicely don't move it up. And teach her her a slow controlled approach, jump and exit
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