View Full Version : Exercises to improve horses form o/f?

May. 28, 2010, 12:51 PM
I've recently started riding an Arab-cross mare and started her lightly over fences. She is very game and we've jumped about 2'9" with room to spare. She recently jumped out of our 5ft arena fence to go graze with her buddy, so she definitely has some scope.
Her form over fences isnt "bad", but she is a bit loose with her front knees. She jumps up and with her forelimbs out in front of her, and doesnt "dangle" one leg or anything, but I'd like her to 'snap' her knees a little more. Honestly, the problem is that she is not afraid of the jumps and is totally confident she can get over, so she seems a little lazy about it.
Ideas to get attention and get her to try a little harder over fences? She never has rails so its not like she is sloppy, I just want to improve her technique a little.

May. 28, 2010, 01:18 PM
Elmar Pollman-Schweckhorst's great book, Training the Modern Jumper, has fantastic information about improving a horse's form over fences.

It is quite comprehensive and discusses it from every aspect, from conformation to tack to riding techniques. I highly recommend it.

May. 28, 2010, 01:21 PM
Awesome, thank you!
I just got a new "Nook" from Barnes&Noble.. I'll see if I can download it! :)

May. 28, 2010, 02:13 PM
You might try jumping your horse over a series of bounces- no stride in and outs. Tends to make the horse a little quicker with their knees.

May. 28, 2010, 04:07 PM
I'll try that. She seems a little befuzzled about having more than one jump to deal with in a row, so it would probably do her some good across the board.

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May. 28, 2010, 04:32 PM
A good way to sharpen knees is by doing steep crossrails (to sharpen my horse up, my trainer sometimes puts each side of the crossrail on the top hole of a 5' standard. The middle ends up only being 2'6-2'9, but they have to jump a little higher to clear the slanted rails, and it tends to encourage really tight, square form.

May. 28, 2010, 04:36 PM
I agree with STA - if she's a quick-learning and scopey horse, 'easy' stuff will get boring. Gridwork with various distances - including bounces - will encourage her to actively participate in the ride, if that makes sense.
Do you put spooky stuff in your jumps? Maybe adding panels or flower boxes will also help!

May. 28, 2010, 04:41 PM
I'm thinking maybe combine those ideas.. gridwork composed of some big, lanky crossrails? I'm wanting to decorate them as well.. see what she thinks of flowers and saddle pads, haha!