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ocalagirl 04-03-2010 01:15 AM

Getting Back in Shape
Hi everyone! I am just beginning to work on a regular program with my younger thoroughbred. He is looking better and better on the flat, but I am having trouble putting him back together over fences. I have tried gymnastics for a few weeks, just single jumps, and I am keeping it small but he just isn't using his body in an effective way. I'd like to see him put some effort into his jumping without throwing an out of shape horse over a big jump. He is at a spot where he can start over fences again, and he previously was very talented. Do y'all have any exercises I could try?

Also, I am limited in materials at the moment. I have one pair of standards, soon to be two, and a couple of cavaletti's to make gymnastics and trot poles out of.

Thanks for your input!

MIEventer 04-04-2010 12:35 AM

Yep, what can help alot is doing plenty of dressage. I cannot emphasise that enough. Jumping is dressage with speed bumps - old phrase that has been around for ages.

Also, what is it that you are doing, or not doing, in tack - while riding? Could you be effecting your horse over fences?

ocalagirl 04-04-2010 12:39 AM

I have been doing all the flatwork I can and I have a friend helping, but I just cannot seem to get him to work well over fences. I don't know what you mean by what I am doing, do you meet my fitness level or my position? I am not in awesome shape, but not so bad that I can't school over little stuff. I ride about twice a week and add in rides when I can. My latest theory that I was giving too big of a release helped a bit, because I put him out of balance, but he still isn't where he was...

MyBoyPuck 04-04-2010 06:26 PM

I saw a clinic with Bruce Davidson. He had his rider canter a line of 4 cavalettis spaced 6' apart!! Yes 6'. People in the stands were gasping every time a horse made a pass. It was sick, but it made the horse's collect their strides to get through them. It was very impressive and it produced some very round boyant canters. I'm not saying try this at home, but maybe try cantering him through a set of ground poles at 9' apart, and then 8' and so on, so he realizes that he had to think a little bit instead of jumping flat or looking to you to do all the work.

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