4' horse is rushing BAD over smaller fences.... FIXED IT!! Update
I can't figure out why a horse that smoothly jumps around a 4' round (hunters and jumpers) will lean on the bit and take the last 3 stride in 2 to smaller fences. I've tried packaging (we've showed at 2nd level dressage with 70%+ scores which means this horse is well schooled on the flat and understands early collection). I've tried no contact, more contact, no impulsion, more impulsion, halting in front of the fence, pulling him off (difficult and confuses him), gymnastics, gymnastics, gymnastics, poles on the ground, poles in front of the fences, after fences, tight turns (does this fine, but reverts back to rushing when presented straight with at least 3 strides) making the fences scary (he doesn't care), walking the fences (he does this fine) trotting the fences (he does this fine) canter super slow (doesn't work) Raising the fence: wahla, perfect hunter horse.
Whats the deal??? What else can I try? Does anyone else have a horse like this?
Maybe a low, wide oxer would be something inbetween in his mind. I will try that next.
Last edited by flyracing; Feb. 15, 2010 at 08:11 PM.
video would help of him jumping the "bigger" stuff and not rushing and also a video of the smaller stuff.
You do not really give someone enough to go on.
Generally unless a horse is backed off by size their way of going is not going to change that much. Which is why some people crank the fences to "slow" horses down which does not work for long and inevitably causes confidence issues all the way around as well as a wreck in the making. Maybe you have reached him comfort zone with the bigger fences and he is backing off and jumping with more care or fear as he knows he can not fling himself over? Maybe you do not have the same quality of step over smaller fences as you both may lack respect for the "little" guys? Odd indeed
Sometimes I see the older hunter or hunter moving down from 3'6 or 3'3 to the speed bump long and short stirrup or very small hunters and they sometimes tend to get longer and and quicker. THE OLDIES but goodies sometimes will have to "run" a bit as aging bodies does not have the same bascule so they land a wee tad short and will hustle.
FYI I use low wide oxer for a lot of things BUT NEVER to slow a horse down. Make sure you slant a pole over top
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Hey guys, thanks for the helpful hints. I rode him today in his old saddle and guess what, I also had my old horse! Yeah! I got the new saddle for Christmas and it was custom fitted to him (and checked by well known saddle fitter) because the last saddle lifted up in the back a bit. Although the old one doesn't technically fit, he likes it and that's the most important part.
I think the reason he only rushed on the smaller fences is because he was trying to tell me he didn't like the feel on his back, but he couldn't run at bigger fences as he probably realized he'd get himself in more trouble than having his back pinched. I must say, I love me horse! He is so honest and keeps right on truckin... actually my vet has said before that he is one of the toughest (works through pain) horses he worked on.