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Perfect bit and excercises for a horse that lands/stays on the forehand after a jump

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  • Perfect bit and excercises for a horse that lands/stays on the forehand after a jump

    I have a greenie who has learned to wait and is excellent and quiet to the fences, but he puts so much effort in to jumping them that he lands on his forehand and likes to root down and run.

    I have tried gymnastics, most recently a wide oxer around 2'9" to two strides of raised placing poles to canter over to a large 2'9" double bounce. He is catty and clever to all of those, as soon as he finishes the bounces... you got it, roots down and runs forward. ARG!

    He is very soft in his mouth so a twist is not something that we have had good luck with. He is best in a regular single jointed full cheek snaffle, save for the backside of the fence.

    We have done halting after fences and turn on the haunches to canter to the same jump back and forth, bounces to three strides to hogsback to three strides to bounces... tried the oxer to the three jumps and having to wait for the line I pick, 5 one strides in a row at 18" apart, he learns that exercise but doesn't seem to "take it to the bank" for when we jump something new.

    I am looking for thoughts on more exercises we can try and possible a bitting combo that might help me be soft in front of the fences and over, but have some "wake up and stay up!" for the backside. I was thinking a pelham or a three ring with two reins.... Or staying with the same bit and adding a lever noseband.

    Thoughts?


    eta: his dressage is actually getting quite good, he is very adjustable at the canter from lengthenings to collected canter, easily can canter 8 or so raised poles 6' apart on both leads, so it is THERE, he just chooses not to listen/doesn't know he is supposed to land and stay up.
    Last edited by TSHEventing; Apr. 10, 2011, 05:15 PM. Reason: expand

  • #2
    I would definitely try putting a canter pole on the back side of the jump, so he learns that he's not done after he jumps. Other than that, I would have bet halting is your best bet, but you've already tried that.

    Hopefully others will chime in.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Divine - We did that, actually two canter poles to the double bounce. Perfectly in balance, over them, thinks for himself, then grabs the bit and runs after the bounces.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you tried jumping on a fairly small (not so small he can't balance, but small enough he has to work at it) figure 8.
        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

        Comment


        • #5
          I like a three ring on this type of horse. As far as exercises, set up a line of three to four fences. Make them about 48' apart, put a take off pole on first one, then a landing pole afterwards, then take off on second, landing pole afterwards etc on each fence. Now jump first fence, over landing pole and then circle out and around coming back between fence 1 & 2, then jump 2, land, circle, go to three etc. Most effective if you can put in a place that can circle either right or left and alternate as you go down the line. This helps the horse to learn to rebalance after the fence instead of pulling forward to the next fence
          www.shawneeacres.net

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
            Thanks Divine - We did that, actually two canter poles to the double bounce. Perfectly in balance, over them, thinks for himself, then grabs the bit and runs after the bounces.
            I meant canter poles AFTER the jump. Before is good too, but maybe place two after the jump, so has pole, pole, jump, pole, pole.

            Sorry if that is what you meant when you said you already tried that.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I like that one, Shawnee... I'll try the elevator... I have one that is very simple (simple snaffle), but I was thinking it would help on the backside too.

              We have done the "wheel of death" and we missed a couple, then he figured out the exercise.


              We have flexed everything on him and he is fine in his hocks (and everywhere else) and his teeth were recently done.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                I meant canter poles AFTER the jump. Before is good too, but maybe place two after the jump, so has pole, pole, jump, pole, pole.

                Sorry if that is what you meant when you said you already tried that.
                Yeah, that is what I meant. We did Oxer, land, raised pole, raised pole, 2'9"vert. bounce 2'9" vert, bounce 2'9" vert

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                  Yeah, that is what I meant. We did Oxer, land, raised pole, raised pole, 2'9"vert. bounce 2'9" vert, bounce 2'9" vert
                  That implies poles between the jumps, but what about poles after the very last jump? Agreed I have usually used a 3 ring or something similar with a friendly mouth piece. If he doesn't do it in the middle of say a 5 stride line then I am thinking maybe you are collapsing as well in the corners? Or after the jump? Just something to think about.
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay, I feel like I'm missing something. You did a line and there were poles (NOT raised so he doesn't have to jump them) on the ground AFTER the entire line?

                    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be obtuse, but the way you keep explaining it seems like the poles after the jumps are in the middle of the line. And perhaps they are raised so he might even be thinking he has to jump them. I don't know for sure. I'm suggesting poles on the ground, plain poles with no height, after the entire line, after he is done jumping.

                    So for example, the line you just said was, as I read it:

                    Oxer, raised pole, raised pole, vertical to vertical bounce.

                    I'm suggesting doing:

                    Oxer, pole, pole, vertical to vertical bounce, pole, pole. With the poles being just placing rails on the ground, with no height to them.

                    It seems like you are saying that as long as he is in the line and there are jumps in front of him, he thinking and is not on his forehand. But once the jumps are done, he drops his front end because he knows he is done.

                    So I'm suggesting putting placing rails on the backside of the jump so that he realizes his job isn't done once he finishes jumping. I'd even add several poles, one for each canter stride if he behaves quite well. It could be a pretty difficult exercise, but it sounds like this one needs to learn his job isn't finished when he's done jumping.

                    I apologize if I seem like I'm being deliberately dense if this is exactly what you've tried. It just seems to be the way you are explaining it, you only have put placing poles in front of and between the line of jumps instead of after. I might be misunderstanding, and I'm sorry if I am.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                      Okay, I feel like I'm missing something. You did a line and there were poles (NOT raised so he doesn't have to jump them) on the ground AFTER the entire line?

                      I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be obtuse, but the way you keep explaining it seems like the poles after the jumps are in the middle of the line. And perhaps they are raised so he might even be thinking he has to jump them. I don't know for sure. I'm suggesting poles on the ground, plain poles with no height, after the entire line, after he is done jumping.

                      So for example, the line you just said was, as I read it:

                      Oxer, raised pole, raised pole, vertical to vertical bounce.

                      I'm suggesting doing:

                      Oxer, pole, pole, vertical to vertical bounce, pole, pole. With the poles being just placing rails on the ground, with no height to them.

                      It seems like you are saying that as long as he is in the line and there are jumps in front of him, he thinking and is not on his forehand. But once the jumps are done, he drops his front end because he knows he is done.

                      So I'm suggesting putting placing rails on the backside of the jump so that he realizes his job isn't done once he finishes jumping. I'd even add several poles, one for each canter stride if he behaves quite well. It could be a pretty difficult exercise, but it sounds like this one needs to learn his job isn't finished when he's done jumping.

                      I apologize if I seem like I'm being deliberately dense if this is exactly what you've tried. It just seems to be the way you are explaining it, you only have put placing poles in front of and between the line of jumps instead of after. I might be misunderstanding, and I'm sorry if I am.
                      I see what your saying... so like the line I did, then add several regular canter poles after the bounces (or whatever line I am doing)... so like adding canter poles to a jumping line. That is good.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                        I see what your saying... so like the line I did, then add several regular canter poles after the bounces (or whatever line I am doing)... so like adding canter poles to a jumping line. That is good.
                        Exactly. This helped my horse a lot when he was younger.

                        And also the three ring. That's the bit my horse goes in permanently. :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can you halt him after the line? I did a clinic with Anne Kursinski once and she wanted us to half-halt between 2 fences. When most of us didn't manage to do that, she said, OK, HALT between. We all did that. So she said "Um, if you can do a full halt, why can't you do a HALF-halt'. We all got the point that we weren't insisting enough when it was just a half-halt.

                          Since he's green and sensitive you do need to be careful that you don't scare him, but if he will halt after a line, he can half-halt and balance. Sometimes they just need a REALLY firm ride a few times to get the message, even with your regular bit.

                          If he can't halt, fix that first. He should be able to halt in a straight line after any fence(s) - (FYI, if he can't , don't clinic with Wofford, Lucinda or Anne until he can!)

                          What about 2 verticals, 60 feet apart. Practice trotting in, trotting through. Trot in, canter out. Canter in, trot out. Trot or canter in, halt, continue. You can spend a whole session with 2 fences. Or three - add a third at an angle, so you bend to the 2nd and do the same. You have enough time to do something, but the 2nd fence comes up fast too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TSHEventing View Post
                            I have a greenie who has learned to wait and is excellent and quiet to the fences, but he puts so much effort in to jumping them that he lands on his forehand and likes to root down and run.
                            When I have a horse that roots after fences, I kick him forward on landing.

                            It's awkward at first -- you'll lurch a bit -- but it usually solves the problem fairly quickly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Her are two other exercises I just posted on the H/J forum when someone was asking about exercises that would also be helpful

                              I have a variety of other things i work on, exercises using bending lines, rollbacks etc. One other I do is set a fence in the center of the ring, then along the side of the arena put 3 or 4 fences at related distances, 3 to a 1 to a 3 stride is nice, then "loop" thru the fences, i.e. jump up thru the middle fence ride to end of arena, nice smooth, balanced turn to the right (or left depending on the direction you are going), down thru the four fences, then turn right, back up over the middle, repeat. Then change direction and do it the other way. Helps you to learn to gallop to a single, bring horse back for a balanced rollback type turn (I make it reasonably tight, the fence in the middle is not set on the centerline of my 140' wide arena, but probably about 20 - 30 feet over towards the line of fences), then approach and find the "Right" dsitance for a related line with a combination, balance for the rollback and then gallop to the single again. It's all about teaching the horse to rebalance and adjust stride easily and without a fight, and about teaching the rider to sit UP thru the turns, use effective halt halts and ride nice straight lines.

                              Another one I like is to set four fences like the "circle of death, BUT when going to the right around the "circle" after each fence you turn the OPPOSITE way and make a circle, then proceed on straight line to the next fence, so like a "cloverleaf". I usually set cones at each "leaf" of the exercise and ask the rider to ride the circle around the cone. So going RIGHT you jump fence 1, then circle LEFT around the cone, meet the centerline to fence 2 as you complete your circle, jump fence two, circle left around the cone to the line to fence 3, etc. Again work on this both directions. Can also be used with just ground poles and be VERY effective!
                              www.shawneeacres.net

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                All of these exercises look great, I'll have to try them too!
                                My mare has a similar problem. She loves to pull and root to try and get on the forehand, so I like to jump her in either a waterford or the stubben golden wings gag (pretty much the same thing as a wonderbit with bit guards). She has a very sensitive mouth, and didnt like elevators at all, even with a rubber/happy mouth, mouth piece.
                                Eventingismylife
                                http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  These are all excellent! I'm going to have to make a little notebook to take to the tackroom with me!!

                                  Thanks! I'm going to try the elevator, I've also had horses who hate it, but I'llk know pretty fast... I do have a wonderbit as well, thought about a gag... we'll see!

                                  I feel like he is the type of horse that once he learns what he is supposed to do I'll probably be back in the snaffle.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JER View Post
                                    When I have a horse that roots after fences, I kick him forward on landing.

                                    It's awkward at first -- you'll lurch a bit -- but it usually solves the problem fairly quickly.


                                    If he is rooting, bump him up off the contact, get him to raise his head (it will look ugly--that is okay) and then shove his hind end up under him. If your dressage is good you should be able to bring the haunches in or out. Haunches in may be your best bet, then change the bend and correct his canter. This sounds like more of a dressage problem than a jumping problem. Actually, a cantering problem.

                                    Remember, jumping is just a dressage test interrupted by jumps.

                                    Dunno about the elevator bit. I have never needed one.

                                    Hope this helps!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      That is true, correcting one that wants to root is NOT pretty, but if you get the point across they usually listen and remember. It works much better than trying finesse a rooter. Like the other poster said you want to sorta bump them, I try to make it where they hit my hand, I keep my leg and we go on like nothing happened. Usually after once or twice in a ride they get the point and a simple half halt works from there on out. If you consistently just hold them all they do is lean and continue on how they want to.

                                      ETA: I usually do not so this in an elevator unless I know the horse really well, some do not react that well, and bumping them with your hand in an elevator maybe too much if they are not use to either.
                                      http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Try a 3 Type Bit...

                                        if you don't want to go 3 ring or for a real Gag bit, you can try this one:

                                        http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/GAG/HM3TB.htm

                                        I bought one for my mare for schooling XC, but it's a 1/4" too small (mine is up for sale for less than half price, and it still has tags on it It's a 5")
                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                        Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                        www.elainehickman.com
                                        **Morgans Do It All**

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