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Any advice on how to get a speedy jumper to stop rushing the jumps. Johnny an amazing jumpers but when he sees the jumps, if we are trotting he'll speed up and try to best to break into a canter. And when we are cantering, he trys to lunge ahead when we get close to the jump. Any tips would be great.
 

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Horsegal16,
I often experience the same situation with my gelding, Cody. It least we know that they love their jobs, right? My horse is pretty funny when it comes to jumping, he will and can jump anything that you put in front of him, depending on his mood. If he is in a really great, excited mood, he'll jump all the obstacles in the ring, flawlessly. Now, if he feels antsy, or irritable, he will rush the jumps, and he will refuse the ones he doesn't rush. When he refuses, he is REALLY tricky about it. He has the speed going, and he acts just like he is going to jump it. So, you loosen up on the reins and believe that he will soar right over...right? WRONG. At the last minute, he bolts off to the left. It's enough to send the inexperienced rider over his neck, luckily, I've adapted quite well and have minimized my falling experiences.

I have never met your horse in person, and you didn't provide much information about him. However, I can tell you this much. The majority of horses tend to get "worked up" or "excited" right before they jump. They will lunge forward at the last second, sometimes leaving you unprepared, to jump. The easiest way to break them of this habit, is simply to tire them out. If you think that your horse is starting to rush, make a circle, don't be afraid, show him that it is NOT acceptable. Also, prior to jumping make sure that you do plenty of cavalettis and trotting in circles, such as figure eights or the likes. This will exhaust him and he will be much better behaved when you jump! :) Try hard NOT to overwork him, though. Just tire him out enough where he becomes submissive and will respond to your aids.
 

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do not tire him out....

you need to go back to basics with him & teach him how to jump properly from the pace you want him to jump at. i would start out by putting some trot poles up to an X and work him through that until he is relaxed about it.

another good exercise is to set up a 5 stride line a couple feet short of 12ft strides & practice doing 4,5, & 6 strides down that line.

how high are you jumping him ?
 

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Ahh I know how you feel! My pony Khabi was the same. He adored jumping and even though he hardly ever refused and would jump the moon if you asked him, he had some bad manners when it came to taking the jump. My mom would always get scared because he would just charge at the jump as fast as he could. What my teacher had me do is circle. Every time he tried to rush I would do a circle and calm him again. Sometimes when we got around and faced the jump again he would speed up so I would circle again. It takes patience and sometimes I circled over and over but eventually he would quieten down. Good luck!
 

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We wouldn't build a house on a foundation that isn't strong, or complete would we?

No, of course not, that would be foolish right? Why would we want to build a house over a foundation that is incomplete or not done right, knowing that the house will not be stable, strong? We'd just have to go back and do the job over again to get it right the 2nd time.

So - why do we allow our horses to jump, without instilling a strong foundation in them? Horses are careening through the fences, riders are going around without understanding how to keep their horses rhytmic, fluid and round - while yet, just because they get over a fence, they think they are good?

I am left scratching my head with how assbackwards riders are.

There are so many who want to jump, without understand how important a strong foundation is first.

Jumping is Dressage, with speed bumps. The barn I am now at, have primarily H/J's - and the majority of them have no clue how to do Flat Work properly, efficiantly to benefit them while going over fences.

The problem with horses who are too fast over fences, isn't the fact that they "Enjoy" jumping *not all cases* it is that they are not balanced, heavy on the forehand, flat and are permitted to jump - with no basis of a foundation under them.
 

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I always analyze the rider when I see this problem. I find that, more often than not, the rider is causing this problem with over nervous/aggressive/uncertain riding.

When I get a student whose horse is behaving this way, we trot small (2'-2'6) jumps and practice mental relaxation techniques. I almost ALWAYS see an immediate result. Riders don't realize how much they influence their horses by what they are thinking. When a horse gets tense, they get tenser, then the horse gets even tenser....on and on. The rider needs to diffuse this by WILLING themselves to relax, breaking the nervous cycle. Make your mind and body soft.

My favorite quote;
The tenser the horse gets, the softer you ride.

I had a new student who jumped like she was steeplechasing, when she first came to me. The horse charging the jumps like her life depended on it. Within 15 minutes, she was calmly trotting fences, using these techniques.

Don't just focus on the horse having all the problems.
 

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I completely agree, if the rider is not doing their job correctly, the horse cannot do theirs. Our horses reflect every movement we make in the sadle.

As many Top Level Riders say - 99.9% of mistakes that occur, is rider error.

Also, if the rider is riding hands first and seat last, this will be the effect as well, but that falls under the "dressage" category to ride seat into legs into hands to aid your horse to round and come up into you.
 

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try lowering the jumps and walking next to him him over small xs then slowly increasing hight and increasing speed (use a lunge line instead of walking with him when you speed up if need be). Reward him for doing well, but don't use negative reinforcements when he does wrong as this can frighten him. If he lurches forward to a jump, lower it and slowly take him towards it until he gets it right. Remember not to tense up when you ride, stay relaxed and your horse will stay calm, too!
 

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First you really need to figure out WHY he is rushing. Do you have a friend that can try him, that is either REALLY good (not saying you aren't) or knows NOTHING about his rushing?
My sister's event horse rushes jumps really bad but he is naturally a very calm horse. and after alot of struggling, she's realized that it is her making him rush. She had a friend who knew nothing about him get on him and he jumped like a hunter, and was ALMOST lazy. The Problem is she was pulling on him on the approach, trying to keep him from rushing. This is what you DO NOT want to do. She took a lesson from Kim Severson, and though its taken her ALOT of time to work through it, he is a completely different horse. Kim had her loosen her reins and bridge her reins so she could NOT pull on him at all. It is really a miracle how well he jumps with her now.
Then there are the horses that are just naturally hot-headed and more energetic horses. This is my event horses' problem. He gets worse the more I pull but he is also just naturally like that, whereas my sisters horse is always so laid back. What I find works best with him is walking jumps. Set up a course of about 2' or lower and walk the course. about 2 strides out from the jump, let him pick up a trot, then halt after the jump, and continue at a walk to the next one. I did this with my horse for a few weeks and it worked GREAT. If he gets hyped up again, go walk a few jumps.

Make sure your horse is not on the forehand going to the jumps and your not using too much hand. This is hard to believe but you really should use MORE leg on a rusher. My horses' previous owner used spurs on him for jumping and I thought he was insane, but now I'm starting to understand why. You need to push him forward from back to front, into a connection when your jumping, just like dressage. When a horse is on the forehand, they almost have to rush the jump in order to catch up with themselves and make it over the jump.
Another thing you can try is doing a slight leg yield all the way down to the jump, this also worked great with my horse. Seems kinda odd at first, but it does work.
 

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When a horse is on the forehand, they almost have to rush the jump in order to catch up with themselves and make it over the jump.
Another thing you can try is doing a slight leg yield all the way down to the jump, this also worked great with my horse. Seems kinda odd at first, but it does work.

Absolutely! Horses who are heavy on the forehand are less able to rock back onto their haunch and PUSH thmselves over the jump. Instead, they will use momentum to PULL themselves over the jump. Yes, leg! Jumping is just dressage over fences. Same rules apply regarding bend/straightness/balance/engagement.
 
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