So I've had my 8 year old gelding Sunny for a little over 2 years, and I bought him directly off the track and have been training him as a jumper since. Although I would still classify him as inexperienced as he still has quite a bit to learn. He knows what his job is. He is adjustable, lengthening, shortening, etc. But I seem to have encountered a slight issue, he's not very consistent with picking up his feet. He actually has quite a powerful jump but in the upward transition over the jump he sometimes has the tendency to round his front legs OUT and them pull them together over the top of the jump, and that's typically how he takes rails.
I have considered the fact that it could be rider issue, and I've consulted my trainer about this and what I've heard from her is that she doesn't see how that could be as I don't typically jump ahead. One issue we have addressed is that I would come back into the saddle too soon and he would take rails with his back feet as a result, but I've worked on it and haven't had that issue lately.
We have done grid work, I have jumped with the V facing poles. I do cavalleti and pole work probably once a week just to take him back and get him thinking about where his feet are yet he still just isn't careful with his feet yet he is perfectly capable of doing the height. He's just not as consistent or careful as I know he could be.
(I do work with a trainer, obviously, as I stated that above)
So if any of you could be of help to me, offer suggestions, exercises, etc. That would be great, thank you!
If you need any additional information or images just let me know. :)
The last videos I have are from March and May 2013, and we have improved quite a bit from then.
I do have more recent pictures.
Early August show - https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...87297945_n.jpg
Early September show - https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...09997544_n.jpg
October 5th lesson - https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...00276616_n.jpg
https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...48766636_n.jpg (I got him in too deep to that jump)
The videos won't load on my phone, but from the pics it looks like you do sometimes jump ahead and in general look loose in the tack. Sometimes horses will also hit a rail with a front leg if you are hanging on one rein at take off.
Do you ever jump him over low wide square oxers?
Edit..from the bolded part of the op he could also be taking off unbalanced.
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He looks as if he 'hurdles' his fences like a racehorse rather than rounding up and jumping them.
He is riding very 'flat', neck outstretched, head up in the air, opening his mouth to avoid your hands
He would likely improve with some flatwork to improve his collection and impulsion - create more energy so you can get him bouncing into his fences instead of running over them which is what he's doing at present.
Using a ground pole as part of a bounce grid like this helps a horse to focus
And if you look at this one - even over small schooling fences he keeps the horse in hand between the jumps to contain all that energy so it can be released when needed
Agree with Jaydee. Getting the job done more with speed than impulsion. Nothing some good dressage work can't fix. Flat work to get him more engaged and round over his back. When you do the exercise where you place two jumps at a distance half way between 3 and 4 strides and change from 3 to 4 strides down a line, how easy or hard is that to do with him? I'm guessing 3 is easy but 4 is a lot of work.
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