Speeding through grids, help!
Ok so today I set up a grid that goes something like this...
Pole half stride to x-rail, two strides to x-rail, one stride to x-rail.
Kai took it like that first time then mixed it up with one stride and a leap through the first half and a bounce for the second :S He has issues with speed and dragging me through! I think my issue is a loose contact over the jumps and getting forward too early. But if I try to sit back I get left behind when he decides he doesn't need a stride and just takes a giant leap. So next time I ride him I will close open the gaps up and hopefully force him to take the strides as I set them and fit him.
So first time through, he rushed into it but it wasn't too bad once he was in but I tried to use my seat to slow him between jumps and well, have a look...
Second time through was a bit of a race but I tried to stay forward and with him...
* poles for every stride between the jump, then two after and two before. Add more every few times
* A bounce might help. A bounce to a one or a two stride.
* keep changing how it looks/ change the stride so that he never gets too comfortable/ expects it.
it looks like you are holding the reins a wee to tight. other than that you are an AMAZING rider!
It looks as though he likes to take long spots, or at least to the final jump in the grid he's taking off from quite a distance back from where he should be.
The third time through when he looks to have actually taken a stride and put himself closer to the jump at takeoff, his back is nice and round over the fence & it looks very good.
I definitely agree that adding ground poles inbetween will help a lot. It will make him concentrate more on each stride and not so much just getting to the jumps, it will give him more to think about.
It looks as though when you try to slow him, your not using your seat so much as your hands/reins. Inbetween fences, sit real deep in your saddle and almost think like you are incorporating dressage into your jumping. Sit real deep and give half halts, stern ones if needed, to bring him back on his haunches. It will give you more control of his pace. But just holding the reins tight, it is still allowing him to rush on his forehand to the jumps.
I have even set up a longer line, possibly a six stride line, and made the horse come to a complete halt in the middle before continuing to the next jump. I've especially done this with horses that, like your guy, like to rush the fences.
You want to be sure, obviously, not to do it close to a jump though because you dont want them learning to 'refuse', but if you set up a long enough strided line you can halt in the middle, then pick back up your canter and continue on in a nice pace.
Good luck! You two are such a great pair!
Thanks for the help! I guess I should do my grid the other way. And man up and put the ground poles in, I am just worried he is going to hit them and we will go flying, he really does speed through! So next time we jump I will update and try more ground poles and go through with the bounce first! Thanks!
I would change your grid so the distances get longer instead of shorter. So I would go maybe Xrail-Bounce-Xrail-1 Stride-Xrail-2 strides-Vertical or a variation. If he is rushing into the grid, the bounce will make him sit up and shorten himself (make it a short bounce) You say he rushes, how is he at shortening his stride? Is he easy to cellect into a short, bouncy canter? My last horse who rushed I would redirect his forward energy into upwards energey, creating a hugely impulsive, bouncy canter and he would then take a short spot over a long spot, which made him really bascule over the jump and jump up instead of flat. Also, don't be afraid to circle/halty in front of jump until he is at YOUR speed. It won't teach him to refuse, as you are asking for the halt/circle. Lots of circles on the approach to the jump work well, he will rush when facing the jump but being turned away every time he will settle, once he is settled take him over the jump.
Another good exercise is setting up jump in a line, end to end, kind of like this: - - - - But with a fair distance in between. Ride them like a serpentine, doing a half circle to reach the next jump. Ask for a simple change in the middle of your half circle, or if he is already on the correct lead, a few steps of trot before picking up your canter again. Because it is fairly tight, he will have to think about what he is doing, it isn’t a straight line so he can’t see or anticipate the next jump, and the simple change/trot strides are making him pause.
You guys are a great pair, and boy is he cute!
Thanks for the serpentine idea, sounds like a pony club game called the "Bonfield Bounce" from back in the day hehe.
I would do trot poles to x bar 1 stride to X bounce to upright bounce to x bar 1 stride to oxer. Love that one. so its like |-|-|-X--X-I-X--X|
| being trot poles
X being bar
Yep kind of, but without the poles! I love bonfield bounce, but the actual game gives the opposite effect to slowing them down lol.
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