Controlling speed into jumps - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-08-2019, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Controlling speed into jumps

It seems that Teddy maybe enjoys jumping, so Iím going to be doing some low jumps with him in upcoming lessons. He does something that I donít know how to deal with, though. Basically what weíre trying to do right now is to have him trot in, jump, and trot out. But he gets a little fast trotting into the jump and then canters out. I donít mind this (actually I kind of enjoy it) but Iím terrible with my leads so itís apparently not a good idea for him to do this until I know what I'm doing.

I think the solution is to slow his trot down going into the jump, but the problem is that sometimes he doesnít respond to well to half halts, and once we get set to go into the jump I am in two point and I donít see how to use my seat to slow him down once Iím in two point. We can keep up a good cadence until about ten feet from the jump, then he starts speeding up. It is important to keep him at a steady pace and not to let him speed up, right? If so, how can I do this without being able to use my seat and with him not necessarily responding to half halts?

Also, I think maybe the root of my problem is that he doesn't speed up until he's close to the jump, then I'm afraid to really half halt him because I'm afraid I'm going to make him miss a step and hit or stumble into the jump. Or mess up his stride with the same result. Should I maybe start half halting even before he speeds up?

In case it makes a difference, these are super ďlowĒ jumps, basically just raised poles between jump standards.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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If you're able to anticipate when he's going to jump, you can keep your butt in the saddle until he actually jumps. You can fold into two-point with the actual jump -- you don't need to already be up out of the saddle going in.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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If he speeds up, halt or walk before the jump, then walk over. Pick up the trot again after. Do this every time, even if they don't speed up, then once they start to anticipate slowing down, you keep your leg on and let them trot the fence. Allow them to canter away, then trot/walk/halt before the end of the ring.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-08-2019, 01:52 PM
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Start with three or four trotting poles, about four feet apart and adjust according to your pony's stride. His feet should land in the middle between the poles. He'll have to use his brain and body, which will stop him trying to rush.

They'll help with rhythm, balance and in time, you can use them to lengthen or shorten his stride.When he's comfortable and listening over the poles, add a small fence about a stride, nine feet, after the last pole. Overtime, remove a pole until you're left with the fence. It can be done with canter poles as well with appropriate stride lengths.

Or place a pole about nine feet in front of the fence and a pole about ten feet after it. The pole at the other side will give him something to think about rather than speeding off after landing.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-08-2019, 01:58 PM
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I agree with Steadyon, don't go intomtwo point until he is actually going over the fence.

I hate seeing people in two point going into a fence as they are ahead of the movement and should the horse refuse or run out they are already halfway off.

Top eventers and even the jump jockeys will sit the last couple of strides going into a jump.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-12-2019, 11:02 AM
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This is when show jumping needs to meet basic dressage
I donít mean long stirrups and sitting trot, just the foundations of being able to ride a horse between your leg and your hand.
You need to be able to control the speed and length of stride without losing impulsion.
Forget the 2 point. It isnít any help to you at all at this point.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-12-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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@jaydee the instructor said I should be in two point to avoid hitting his back when he jumped. Is that not the case?
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-12-2019, 11:27 AM
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You go into 2 point as the horse takes off, thatís all you need to do to protect his back.
That gives you a better chance of not ending up ahead of your horse when itís in the air, of holding a firm 2 point position in the air, a stronger leg position and not clinging like a limpet to the horses neck.

Look at some good show jumpers - a light half seat around the course, sit down as you approach the fence then into 2 point on take off.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-14-2019, 10:13 AM
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I think the poles are going to be your best option at this time. I'm not sure your jumping experience, but it seems to me like you are learning together.

In that case, I would recommend staying in a 2 point, using poles to regulate his speed, until you and him learn more, then worry about going into a 2 point at the right time, his leads, and actually riding to the base of the jump.

Right now, in the first steps of learning to jump for you and the horse, there's no sense in trying to sit at the approach, then 2 point. You could so easily hurt his back or his mouth doing that. I think in staying in a 2 point you will have to find better balance, you won't hurt him, and it's not wrong at all with a pole before and a pole after the fence to keep him trotting it.

This will help him feel what it's supposed to feel like. I don't agree with advising you to try and ride like a pro show jumper, eventer, or a jocky, unless that's what you are trying to do? Of course, watching videos isn't bad but those people are not at the level you and your horse are at so things that they are employing in your riding wouldn't be practical when learning to jump imo.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-18-2019, 12:23 AM
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Something @Filou said (and I agree wholeheartedly with that post) reminded me of our local instructor and what she has been teaching. (Right now I'm recording lessons for others.) So much of 'the approach' is going to be up to your horse's learning and practice. Poles and cavaletties are how we 'let our horses learn' how to jump - that is how we set them up for success. Put some poles out in front of the jump, correctly paced, usually 3 on the ground for trot or 1 for canter, and your horse will be forced into self-control and negotiation of the jump. Once they learn that, we can stay out of their way, let them learn, and eventually not have to worry about when they will decide to take off. I remember jumping on my TB mare years ago, and she thought she could take off early and jump huge. Other times she would try to jump the tallest part of the block-and-pole X because she wanted to, didn't matter if I was looking right down the middle beyond the jump or not! So I wish I would've had something like this setup:


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