View Full Version : Teaching a horse not to overjump

Dirty Little Secret
Apr. 27, 2009, 08:53 AM
We have a horse that jumps BIG! Too big actually. It's not that he gets stressed or intimidated by the jumps just that he jumps big (and well). He never races, never does naughty things, actually he's a lovely hunter except for the overjumping.
Any exercises to teach a horse to not jump quite so big?

Photos: http://erikolsenphotography.exposuremanager.com/p/limited_hunter9/_eop02898

He's a 12 year old qh. Been there done that.

Apr. 27, 2009, 09:09 AM
I dont have any excersizes (I've only really grown up riding school masters or trying to teach horses to jump WITHOUT knocking a rail!) but when I was at a well known sales barn full of young horses, I noticed that it was a thing that mostly just went away with age and experience. The horses settled down and realized that they didnt need to put in THAT much effort to clear the jump AND look pretty.

Apr. 27, 2009, 09:43 AM
I had a horse that did the same thing when he was green, and it did go away with time. One thing that we did was put the jumps down lower for a while and slowly bring them back up.

Is this a new thing or something that the 'been there done that' horse has done for a while? If it is a new thing, my first guess would be that he is one of those super careful jumpers who maybe happened to hit a pole hard and is over compensating. Just a shot in the dark on that one.

Good luck.

Apr. 27, 2009, 09:50 AM
Time and experience is usually the answer. How long has he been jumping, and at what level?

If he is jumping up and not over, low, wide oxers (i.e. 2 feet high, five feet wide) will help him learn to jump across the jumps. Bounces can help him learn to be handy without jumping UP so much. But be careful not to scare him -- often very careful horses can easily be ruined/turned into stoppers if put in a position where they frighten themselves.

It looks like the jumps in the pictures are quite low. Perhaps he could do with more of a challenge. Also consider cross-entering him into some jumper classes to give him more than boring outside-diagonal-outside diagonal to think about.

Come Shine
Apr. 27, 2009, 09:54 AM
Putting more leg on so he jumps across, rather than up, is often helpful.

If you look at the pictures you posted, your leg looks very soft.

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:01 AM
Time and experience, like the others have said. Does he tend to jump over poles on the ground instead of walking, trotting or cantering them? Lots of little jumps every time you flat often helps, too. Just throw in the odd little fence or cavaletti with your regular flat work and he will start to get used to it.

Apr. 27, 2009, 10:24 AM
If he's a been there done that type, that might just be his natural style, though I second the "put more leg on him".
Does he over jump the bigger fences that much?

Apr. 27, 2009, 12:26 PM
My suggestion to you is to put him in the garage and only bring him out to kick butt at shows.

He is jumping nearly picture perfect, and if that is his God given jump, don't, don't, don't mess with it.

He has an excellent bascule, pulls his shoulder up, snaps his knees, balances beautifully with his neck, and rocks back on his hocks and uses that engine behind the way it is supposed to be used.

From the pictures it does not appear that he is hanging over his fences, he seem comfortable, relaxed and fluid. If he was hanging I would try to get him to move out more, but if he is not, again don't mess with it.

Sometimes when we start messing with a horse that has a great natural jump, we "fix" it right out of them.

I suspect that once the fences get bigger, 4' or so, the added pace will make him look like he is a little more fluid, but it seems to me from the pictures that this is one of those horses who is a natural and all he needs is time, and experience.

Apr. 27, 2009, 01:09 PM
I really like your horse, as he uses himself so well. I am a bit confused by your been there done that statement; are we looking at a green horse? and you are using that phrase to describe his attitude to life?

Do you need him to jump closer to the jump so that he doesn't shake a kid or ammy loose?

Otherwise if he jumps this way out of a good rythm (sp??:winkgrin:), meaning he's not cantering up to the jump, peaking and then jumping way up. (more fences and leg fixes that!) I would just keep plugging along and see if a bigger fence when the time is right sucks up some of that scope!

Good pick and have fun!;)

Dirty Little Secret
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:21 PM
Well I know one thing, my legs ACHE from trying to hang on to that thing! I haven't been jumping much lately (rehabbing a flexon tendon on mine) and this was a catch ride. He was purchased to bring a child in to the short stirrup (which he does phenomenally!). The owner thought that he had a lot of talent and wanted to see him go over some bigger jumps so I stuck him in the 2'6". Obviously he's a bit scopy! My trainer suggested the bigger stuff next time.

Yes, this horse is NOT green. He was a lesson horse that the family purchased to help move their child from crossrails to short stirrup and pre-childrens. They loved that he was quiet as a mouse and SO rateable.

Apr. 27, 2009, 01:26 PM
My personal suggestion is place a rider on him that can handle the bigger fences and point him at something worthy of his jump! he's lovely, just under challenged.

Apr. 27, 2009, 01:35 PM
I agree with Hauwse, don't mess with perfection, especially if he jumps like that and carts around a SS rider. Some very famous hunters over jump every fence by at least 6". As long as he's soft and getting the support he needs, it's all good, and you'll get used to it. Just think about shoving your feet forward as he jumps up to you and closing a door with your rear. It might make things easier if you shorten your stirrups. It will be a bit of a mental game to ride the horse's jump, not the fence. Congratulations on such a nice catch ride!

Couture TB
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:39 PM
If he is older I would say grid work over some larger jumps.

Younger, he should grow out of it.

This is how my youngster use to jump for the first 2 weeks over anything except cross rails http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm205/MattsonTraining/AbsoluteJumping1.jpg :lol: I had wondered when they were videoing him why it felt like he was over jumping. There is my answere!

Wizard of Oz's
Apr. 27, 2009, 05:50 PM
I'd say don't mess with it. He will most likely grow out of it. Also, you said he's a been there done that horse, but has he been doing 2'6" stuff regularly? If he was a lesson horse before, and now ss, maybe he just hasn't been jumping that height in a while, so he was overjumping.

Apr. 28, 2009, 01:27 AM
Hm, I was kind of automatically thinking he was a younger horse as well. If he's been jumping like that all his life, no point in 'fixing' something that ain't broke! :D He's very cute!

Apr. 28, 2009, 06:53 AM
Is this a joke? Are you fishing for compliments? Raise the rails and pick up your ribbons. Not suspicious by nature, however, I can't shake the feeling this horse is for sale. Where does the line begin? I'll get out my lawn chair and wait for the bidding to begin.

Dirty Little Secret
Apr. 28, 2009, 07:55 AM
oh no he's definitely not for sale. He was only purchased about 3 weeks ago and I think the owners are very pleased. They actually don't care that he jumps over the bigger ones so well just that he picked up great ribbons in the pre-short stirrup and will be packing their kid in the short stirrup.
And actually my question was serious- perhaps it's naievity but one of the trainers at the gate offered some ideas on how to get him to not jump so big. I hadn't realized it was such a problem but was willing to do what I could do to correct it.
We all just thought it was so funny that he out jumped the warmbloods. He's a 15.2 QH that was a lesson horse and before that he was a please horse and before that a cow horse. Guess I will have to strap my legs down and jump the bigger ones! Will send pictures!

Apr. 28, 2009, 07:59 AM
I would love for my legs to ache holding on to this cute as a button guy!

I always hate to dumb a horse down to a division, but if you feel really strongly about it; I would follow the advice of the low wide oxers to help him learn to reach across.

He jumps so great, I would hate, hate, hate to mess that up or scare him.

Oh,,, and I tink you should let us all know if this horse ever comes around the block looking for the next kid! :):):) Not that you'll ever have any problem passing this one along.