Cantering troubles when jumping
I have been jumping my horse and he tends to get strung out so we end up messing up on courses and it makes it difficult to get our strides correct.
Is there any way to possibly get him more collected and rhythmic at the canter when we are jumping?
Yes! It's called flatwork.
I already do a lot of work on the flat and over poles. It really only occurs when we are jumping, but thanks for your help.
Flat work flat work flatwork flat work!!! canter poles and trot poles diffrent but similar lenghts apart!!
If GP Jumpers can spend 5 - 6 days a week doing Dressage, and GP horses know minimally level 3 dressage, then why can't we incorporate this very important aspect of riding.
The question is - how do you ride? Our horses reflect 100% of what we do in the saddle, the instead of asking how you can fix your horse, stop and ask what it is that you could be doing incorrectly, to cause the result you are getting.
My jumpers do much more dressage than they jump. My good jumpers were consistently working at 3rd to 4th level, when I was showing full time. And, yes, they showed in dressage shows as well as evented. Luckily, the seasons allowed some overlap.
When you jump are you only warming up then focusing strictly on jumping? I find with a horse (and rider) that get tense and rush fences are often the ones that will focus on doing a course every time they have jumps set up. They'll warm up, start jumping, then cool out and put the horse back. Cougar needed more of a switch up or we'd both get too excited and tense. I'd pop over a fence, then go back to doing flat work and end it. Leave it for a few days, hop over another small jump, then work on a shoulder in, take him out on a hack. Kept both our minds fresh. Worked for us.
Between the jumps is the flat. If the horse is brought to the jump engaged, they will jump round, and land engaged (provided of course the takeoff spot is not overly long or tight, and the horse is not being over-faced by a jump too demanding of their current level and ability).
There should never be a difference in "time to do flatwork" and "time to jump". When you have an issue like yours it is almost always from 1) weak foundation of flatwork, 2) not riding properly when the jumps come in, or most commonly 3) all of the above (2 caused by 1).
If your horse goes well on the flat but gets thrown off kilter once you throw a jump in there, there's a good chance he isn't going as well on the flat as you think. Not only must he be rhythmical and balanced at the canter, he must also be easily adjustable in pace and length of stride, be able to move laterally, and responsive to all aids. Just to name a few.
If you're absolutely certain your flatwork is just fine, do some stuff on the flat, jump ONE jump, and immediately continue with your flatwork. When your horse is balanced and responsive again, jump another jump. If your horse lands from the first jump strung out and unbalanced, fix him. If you can't? there's a hole in your foundation.
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