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RedTree 02-02-2014 06:03 PM

Going flat over jumps
I took my boy to his first ever XC training round yesterday, now I have taken him over some XC jumps before, but this was the first time around a whole course.

My question is like one stride before the jump he sort of lurches himself and goes really flat, I can feel it as I'm riding him, he can tend to do it a few strides before it but I started half halting so he become more collected, but I'm worried if I half halt him that close to the jump he will refuse, he doesn't really refuse so I don't really want to start that in him.

He tends to do it in jumping as well, when I'm practicing at home though he doesn't, I'm not to sure how high my jumps are at home though, will measure tonight and put up if there too small.

But can anyone recommend any exercises that I can do to help :)

Have another one this weekend coming up, first comp is in March so will probably be getting lessons before then as well :)

But can't get lessons for another 2 weeks at least as I'm going in to surgery next Tuesday....

RedTree 02-02-2014 06:04 PM

And I just realised that this should of probably of gone in eventing....

xJumperx 02-02-2014 06:39 PM

95 Attachment(s)
Impulsion + Collection = Success.

My arabian mare does that. The thing that works for me is to really sit up and back, with a good amount of hold in her mouth. Now this means a decrease in impulsion, which means you have to increase the pressure in your legs as well. Pretend that you are 'packaging' your horse, making them compact like a spring, so that when they go over the jump it's like the spring uncoils, making the horse round over the jump.

Does that make sense? I can see where it would be confusing.

RedTree 02-03-2014 02:49 AM

I think it does, it'll be the putting in action part that gets confusing though lol

Pretty much what your saying is though, need to collect him, while pushing him on more?

picup436 02-03-2014 03:12 AM

RedTree, is this your SB boy you are having issues with?

How is the quality of his canter? Is it balanced, a regular 3 beat canter? Or is he heavy on the forehand, gets strung out and becomes 4 beat? You need to improve the quality of the canter to improve the quality of the jump. If the canter isn't great, then the jump will struggle.

Pole work, grids, bounces etc will all help.

RedTree 02-03-2014 07:04 AM

He's a tb,

Canter is usually pretty good, but when you out jumps into the mix he just timers to charge (can't think of a better word) at some jumps, not all of them just some.

He's just soo different to my old horse who pretty much was a point and shoot horse

picup436 02-03-2014 07:59 AM

Does he feel like he's anxious when he takes charge? Or is it more of a "YEEHAAA!" Kind of thing?

If he's anxious, and he's rushing to get it over and done with, then you need to support him, both with your hand and your leg. Make sure you have him in front of your leg and into the bridle, also make sure you are giving him that support right up until his feet leave the floor. It's really important to not desert him in that last stride, if it's a lack of confidence, then softening off will only make him less confident.

Don't be afraid to go right back to basics either. Build up the confidence with poles. Get a good canter, work on striding in between poles, that sort of thing.

If he's rushing because he's excited, then I would probably ride him the exact same way, I might even halt in front of the fence, back him up etc get him listening to what I want him to do. Or I would halt afterwards, depending on how he lands.

RedTree 02-03-2014 08:46 AM

I think he gets excited, not really 100% though! I've tried the stopping after but he gets keen and doesn't like the stopping it consists if a lot of head tossing if I do.

I've been putting him in a circle after the jump if he tends to rush it as usually when he rushes into it, he rushes out of it as well.

updownrider 02-03-2014 12:04 PM

A placing pole in front of the jump might help. I'm not sure you'd need one behind the jump like the one in this video, since you say your horse gets flat before the jump.

horselovinguy 02-03-2014 01:19 PM

Have you ever tried or done "bounces" with your horse...
He needs to sit back off his forehand, collect, push and send himself, balance land and do it again.
Bounces will help you with the rushing you feel, timing, balance of both of you and he will need to "lift" to clear that fence not go fast forward flat...

Here is a "technical definition" but very accurate in what it achieves...

A bounce, also called a no-stride, is a fence combination sometimes found on the cross-country course of eventing. It is also very commonly used in grid-work or gymnastics. It consists of two fences placed close together so the horse can not take a full stride between them, but not so close that the horse would jump both fences at once. The horse "bounces" between the two jumps, landing with his hind legs before immediately taking off with his front legs. The distance between the two usually is 7-8 feet for small ponies; 9 feet for large ponies or small horses; and 9.5 to 11 feet for horses. A bounce (or several can be used in a row for more advanced horses) teaches the horse good balance, to push off with his hind end, and to fold his front end well. It can also be used to slow down a speedy horse, as a horse can not go flying over a bounce (he/she will knock a rail) as he could with a single jump.

This is a "rule of thumb" and needs tweaking slightly as every horse has their own striding for optimum success ...
Here is a link to common distances for height, number of and spacing in between the fences you desire.

I think working on low and slow, careful controlled approach, execution and moving on down the line would help.
The bounces will help him to learn to arc better, more consistently and be more careful with his feet.
You need not have height, but succession of fences to work the problem.
Save the big stuff for the small stuff while conditioning and teaching the horse to slow down, ride to the base, push off, arc and land clearly each and every fence in a even tempo, not rushing nor pulling himself along but pushing off with that big motor of a hind end he has..

Good luck.

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