X track horse with jumping issues...what to do next?
Ok, I have an X-track horse mare, who is 16.1hh and is generally good to ride. Anyway, I rode her in a jumping lesson the other day and she was amazing in the begining. But near the end she was getting hot and throwing a fit because I kept her down at the trot (we dont jump at the canter yet) instead of letting her race around like she wanted to. All she did in her 'tantrum' was crowhop and do this 'quarter' rear. This was our first time jumping in about a year, so I know she is perfectly capable of jumping calmly. My riding instructor said she didnt know what to do with her and I am looking for opinions on what I should do next:
Keep jumping and work her threw it.
ride her at flat and dressage for a while longer
Other sudgestions are welcome!
She was trying to tell you, that she had enough. You wern't listening.
My TB gets like that - I went on a Hack with some friends, and the hack ended up being much longer than anticipated - and he had enough. He started to back up, he started to piaffe and jig and he was even ramming me into tree's - he was trying to tell me, "Mom, I've had enough"
His brain went fazizzle. So I got off and walked the rest of the way and he was perfectly happy with that.
The best thing to do, is keep your sessions short.
ALSO - saddle fit, teeth, rule out any pain issues. She is definately trying to tell you something. Your coach should of seen that too.
End your short session on a positive note, and leave it at that :) Better off to do something right within 10 mintues, instead of lots of wrongs in 1 hour.
My OTTB will canter all day if I let him. He sometimes comes into disagreements with me about whether we should be trotting or cantering. If we've been jumping, that's the only time that he will actually hang on the bit to try to get his way. At that point it's time to switch gears completely to establish who's calling the shots.
I agree with MIEventer that she may just have been done for the day, but I would not let any session end on a bad note, if at all possible. Even if it's only from a walk, get something positive to end on, a few good leg yeilds, serpentines, anything that gets her mind back on listening to you, then end it. I would also try to keep the sessions shorter and tone it down a notch before she gets to the meltdown point. What age are we talking here?
True as well, OTTB's like to hang onto the bit - least that is what I learnt with Nelson. You give them something to lean into, they'll take it.
So doing things to get their minds off of their "issues at hand" by incorporating dressage into your rides, helps immensely.
The other posts nailed the correct answer. The only thing I would add is when you DO jump her...never do the same course twice. My trainer had a horse that would memorize the jumps in a snap and the second (much less 3rd) time you tried to ride the course with him he would try to "take charge" and do the course on his own accord. We usually avoided that problem by always keeping him guessing.
Thanks for the crits. You are right how she had enough but it was not that she was tired...Sallywanted to jump the course HER way and not mine...
I was thinking of putting up some poles on the weekend and trot her over some then do LOTS of flat to keep her mind buisy.
The lesson ended on an ok note, when she threw her tantrum I spiralled with her and made her bend, she was an angel!
I rode her flat the next day and she was , again, an angel! So I think that her issue is more dominance then 'I have had enough, I'm tired'.
I really like the idea of keeping her guesing hotreddun. We jumped the same three jumps in the same order over and over. After about 2 to 3 times she knew what was going on and threw her tantrum when I said "No, you are jumping at the pace I want you to!"
Thanks again for the crits. I will post when I get her jumping well.
Thanks for the info. Sally loves jumping and she was saying that she had enough but it was "I had enough of you keeping me at this pace and direction" I was thinking of doing the jumps with lots of dressage.
The lesson ended ok... I made her walk and we spiralled at the trot. She was an angel. I rode her the next day flat and she was amazing.
MyBoyPuck-Thats totaly true. My mare never took the bit till jumping. Oh and the age, is that for me or my horse?
hotreddun- that may have been her issue. We jumped the same three jumps twice then she tried to take control.
Other stuff that may have affected-Sal's saddle fits great, her teeth where floated and she had no sores or bruises.
Thanks for the information.
oops i kinda posted twice... i thought my computer deleted it... sorry
Horse's age. Just wondering is she was the older set in her ways type or young, green and not aware of who's supposed to be in charge yet.
I've gone through this personally and hopefully I can shed some light on the situation.
My TB is off the track and he's done allot competatively and all that whoo haw. So when he was available for sale and I started riding him for his previous owner, he was quite a handful for me.
At the time, I was riding front to back. Hands first - as we all are taught - or accumulate as a bad habit over time.......BUT because I gave him something to lean into, he took it.
I, unknowingly, was causing this very forward, very powerful horse. I remember being out on the CC course, going over a small BN fence and ending up at the other side of the CC field by the time I was able to bring him back down under control.
So at the time, Dorothy Crowell was coming to my barn to give a clinic. She is a Rolex Eventer, Olympic Eventer and readily competes CIC**** and CCI****.
She set up a 3 jump combo. I cannot remember the exact striding, but I remember we took a 5 in 3 and a 4 in 2 - it was horrible. So Dorothy stopped us and took us on 1 on 1.
She taught me to ride Seat into Legs into Hands to soften. Use my seat to control my horses tempo, rhythm, strides, pace - into my legs to aid to lift his ribs/back into me, and lastly my hands.
She showed us how important flat work is, and how to incorporate proper flatwork between our fences, especially for a powerful, forward mount - incorporating seat into legs into hands to soften.
Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften. This is something that every clinitian I have ridden under or audited teaches.
I have a competely different horse now. I am a completley different rider now. I no longer give him something to take, he no longer leans into the bit - because I ride back to front, instead of front to back.
Remember - Jumping is Dressage with Speed Bumps.
My Friend Robyn, she competes Prelim and just recently rode in a Clinic taught by David O'Connor in Toronto, Ontario. He taught his class how to use their seats to control their horses.
He taught Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften.
He was able to get on a students horse - with no reins what-so-ever , using only his seat and legs - he was able to bring the horse from a hand gallop, to a canter. From a canter, to an extended trot, from an extended trot to a collected trot. From a collected trot to a lengthened walk, from a lengthened walk, into a collected walk - and finally to a halt.
ALL by using his seat.
Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften.
Our seats are SO POWERFUL we must learn to use them FIRST. Hands LAST.
Hope that helps.
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