Exercises For Dressage/Jumping
I'm trying to train my Paint to do lower level eventing for right now. Once I do my crest release right before the jump he turns the opposite way or immediately stops so he can walk over it. I try to give him a bump with my heels before the jump but he still refuses or walks over it. I have tried spurs but they don't affect him. I have more trouble with cross rails than verticals. In dressage he doesn't hold his head into a nice frame and his trot is too fast. I free jump him and he's jumped almost 4ft. He loves free jumping, he actually over jumps 3ft jumps. He needs lots of confidence over jumps are there any exercises I can do to:
-Boost his confidence over jumps
-Get him to round/frame
-Slow his trot
-Get him to bend more
For the bending and frame you will need to do circles and serpentines. You don't want to force him into the frame it should be a natural thing and he will do it when he has built the right muscle.
Slow the trot you will need to use half halts.
I am not to sure about confidence building... maybe just go over little ones
I've tried half halts and saying "easy" with the half halts because he knows voice commands, he knows "easy" means slow it down but after a few seconds he does it again and jerks his head up as high as he can get it
to slow his trot, you need to slow yourself. Don't rise as high or as fast and he will come back to you. He can't trot faster than you. Its hard to do.
For his 'frame', ride him from back to front. Get him under himself and really working from behind and usuing his back correctly. Go through the dressage subforum for begginner exercises. You'll find some really helpful stuff.
Bending is like what redtree said. Lots of circles and serpentines. Teach him to leg yield as well. Before i start my session i flex my horse to each side standing still a couple times. That helps him loosen up a bit so he can bend a bit better.
As for your jumping, you need to boost his confidence. Keep him over small jumps and really make a big deal and fuss over him when he does something right. When you feel he's ready try putting one of the jumps up a bit more and see how he handles it.
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To slow his trot, try slowing your posting. Also to get him into a nice frame you need a lot of legs and a lot of hands. What you need to do is push your horse into the bit by squeezing with your legs and hold him back with your hands. It's easier to do while you are doing a sitting trot. Also do circles practice making the circles bigger then smaller, using your legs.
As for jumping, I'm not too sure why he is stopping, but it could be he cannot see his spot, for that I would recommend trotting ground poles, then build up to small cross rails. I know cross rails are harder for horses to see the distance on then verticals. Trotting ground poles will really help him know where to place his feet. While you are jumping always keep your leg on to encourage him to jump. I wouldn't use spurs yet unless he is stopping just to be a brat. But I'm going to assume he stops because he is unsure.
I would also quit with the free jumping, he needs to get used to jumping with a rider on him, so he can learn to trust you and listen to you and not jump how ever he feels like it.
Also, I free jumped him because when I was jumping he hit me in the face or he'd wait until he got to the jump and leap over it. It helped his jumping position and it built his confidence a bit. I haven't done it in awhile but I was also in a car accident and couldn't ride.
Boost his confidence over jumps: Sounds like your leaning at the jumps. don't go into position until he commits to taking off (Instead of a last minute or in this case already dead horse, squeeze your leg going to the jump and make his mind up before you get there. Make sure you have enough momentum as well. Not too fast but forward paced.). Try lot of poles, switch things up a bit and work with jumps as a figure 8. Set two x's up, one on either side of the long part of the ring with poles to it (Both sides poles lead up to the far end with the x at the end). go over the first side then cross the diagonal after to continue to the second set then repeat to continue to the first (Creates a figure 8 pattern). It switches up the routine of gymnastics or a normal like course and gets him thinking a little more. Keep your x's small however, it's not about height, it;s about a goal. Do the exercise and for doing it well BE PROUD! Of both you and your horse. Be happy with small achievements and your horse will pick up on it.
Get him to round/frame: Ride off your leg. Make sure you use enough leg that he engages his hind end (Just cause the head tucks doesn't mean it's round, unless the buts properly in motion it's not actually round), use your inside leg to get him to tuck the head for a bit of inside flexion, use your seat to keep the gait slower, then not overdoing it, but lightly feel your horses mouth through your reins. gently slide the bit back and forth if need be, but nothing huge or really anything to be noticeable. Just nice and light with the hands more than anything. if it comes round I had it explained it should feel like a pound of butter in each hand. xD One way of putting it but yup that and LEG. I wouldn't recommend doing this though without a coach or something (Just cause I don't know how advanced you are. If you already know how o do it cool, but if you haven't tried before you might want a professional there to let you know if you're ready for that kind of thing yet or not.).
Slow his trot: Slow him down off your seat. instead of using your reins to keep him slower, slow your post, plan every step in your mind and ride it (Absolute need be, though I recommend you just use your seat and ride off your legs, mini half halts with your outside rein.).
Get him to bend more: This exercise you do at a halt. It's the simple hold the rein to one side till the horse puts his nose to your boot, give a pat then do the other side and repeat. It doesn't mean pulling or asking the horse to turn, it just teaches them to bend their neck in. Serpentine's are good as well as spiral circle exercises.
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