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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

I am in need of some ideas for some fun exercises to get my horses brain moving and happy, and at the same time getting her to jump a little higher.

We are schooling 2'9 - 3'0 at home, but pop over 3'3 - 3'6 occasionally. I want some new, fun ideas for exercises to get her to not be as careless with her front and hind. She likes to just dangle her front and not pick up her hind until we really start to jump, but even then its hard to get her to really pick up. I also want to be able to collect her faster and get that connection back faster after a jump.

All suggestions would be great, feel free to ask more questions to better analysis our situation and how I handle and ride it.
 

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When you say she dangles and doesn't pick up until you start jumping, do you mean she does this at all heights, or just when the jumps are lower she doesn't use herself the way you like?

I like doing an exercise where you collect on the short side and lengthen on the long side. I usually start at a trot and do a regular working trot along the long side and a sitting trot along the short side. I would just ask for the transition to happen a little quicker each time, like within a few steps, then one step, then a half step without losing the quality.
Then I do it at a canter. It might take a few steps for the horse to get it, but eventually they should start coming back to you easily and quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a great idea, I will have to try it out. I are working on getting her more balanced and really tucking her belly and engaging her hind on flat and over fences, but I am starting at small jump and building my way up so she can start working better and listening more. She was trained incorrectly when I bought her so we are in the process of retraining. She just likes to run away from me when the jumps are small, so I am working on getting her to relax and collect and get an easier transition to slow her down after the jump, but it is hard because when I have halt she feels my leg pressure and speeds up, because of the way she was trained before. She has been doing great, but I still want to continue some bounces where I can get her used to higher jumps again, but also going back to the basics and teaching her to pick her feet up and really focus. When she jumps, she soars over jumps and tends to keep her hind in the same position and not tuck them as much as she should, which causes us to knock a rail and/or get unbalanced because we land wonky and she takes off. If the jump isn't perfect, then you will know because she will gain speed after and not be happy. She is a great horse to ride, but its just going to the basics, but also training her with fun ways to keep her mind going. If that made any sense at all, lol.
 

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I love the exercise Filou suggested. I've been doing this exercise for a few months now(not every time I ride of course) and it has been of great help.

I would suggest doing A LOT of transitions. Those transitions should be well thought out too. It's good if you have something you can us to divide your arena into parts. I have dressage letters in mine, but you can really use anything. So for example you can think out your transitions like this:''I'm going to ask for a trot in A, slow down to a walk in E and halt in H.''

Also maybe try using placing poles in front of your jumps, if you haven't already. Place a pole about nine feet(I used a conversion tool since I use meters, so you might want to check it) infront of the fence. They help your horse find the take-off point. My horse would raise one of her hind legs slower than the other, causing us to knock over poles and placing poles helped us get rid of that problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will for sure have to try these exercises. I have tried the pole in front and a pole behind the jump and it works better with my younger horse. I honestly just haven't been consistent with that exercise though with my show horse, so I will have to continue working on it. I have been doing a single jump and stopping her at the fence, backing her up a few steps and doing a walk to canter transition and sitting through the corner to the long side because at the start of a canter she likes to resist and not accept, so I have been trying to go right into contact and collection, which she isn't doing terrible at, but we can do A LOT better.
 

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With jumping, I would recommend the placing poles in front of and behind the jumps like was mentioned above. You can add more than one pole on either side, maybe 2 strides worth of placing poles.

Another exercise you can do is similar to the halting and cantering off again. Except you don't just canter off again. After you halt do a turn on the haunch, then trot or canter back over the same fence. Just going back and fourth over the same fence with a halt can get them to sit back and prepare themselves for another fence. Instead of just running off after the fence and having the opportunity to be unbalanced before the next fence, you are taking that away and making them be ready for the next fence right away.
 

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So which horse are you having trouble with?

If you are schooling 2'6" to 3' and looking at 1* and 2* where jumps are 3'3" to 3'11" and up to 4'3" respectively, I am going to say you need a trainer that is hands on and eyes on you. Not rely on answers here to get you through. Adult Ammy also has an age requirement that is 18.

If this is with the 4 year old that is a bit young to be pushing for those heights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is with my horse named Lillie, she is 15 year old Dutch Warmblood who I have owned for about 3 years now. I know she can jump the height, I just need to pull it together and really push myself. I am working two full - time jobs, so it is more of a dream of mine, not really going to push for it if I know we aren't ready. Before I bought her, she was showing a Junior around in the high jumpers which scope to go higher, but I bought her due to an injury she sustained so she went on stall rest for about 11 months to a year to heal. We have only just been into work about 4 months and are taking it slow (hence the low schooling heights). I actually just recently took an online class/lesson with an old trainer of mine so I may rekindle that partnership we had and start taking lesson over there again once this COVID things relieves itself.

As of right now I am not planning on going to WIHS because it is 1. a little late, 2. I can't take lessons anytime soon, and 3. I am very busy. I am going to try to qualify just because I think it would be amazing, and maybe I could have a shot at it, but I am not going to push my horse or myself to ungodly lengths to get to where I want to be. Since she has lost a lot of muscle, I don't blame her for how she is right now, but I am trying to go back to be able to go forward.

I started riding her again because one of the jobs I work at closed due to COVID, but recently opened up again so now I am back to two Jobs and not enough time to fully ride and work with her. One of the reasons I reached out to my old trainer is because I was thinking that I could put her in a training program at her barn, so she can be ride and be in work and also get trained by people that are by far better than myself.
 
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