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Ideas to "up the ante" on the flat

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  • #21
    Heliodoro, I think that's a good plan. He'll be worth the wait. Don't rush him.

    Also, try this - after every jump, pull up to a walk, drop the reins down to the buckle and pat him like your done for the day. After EVERY jump. Then, after 20 seconds or so, or however long it takes for him to walk in a relaxed manner - gather yourself, trot/canter another fence, then do the same thing. Walk immediately after the jump, drop reins, pat. Repeat over and over again. I learned this from a master of the local foxhunt who breaks all her own horses and it is AMAZING how well it works. Your horse will literally start SLOWING after every jump. It takes time. Lots of rides like this, and eventually string two together then walk, three together, etc.

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by Meadow36 View Post
      Heliodoro, I think that's a good plan. He'll be worth the wait. Don't rush him.

      Also, try this - after every jump, pull up to a walk, drop the reins down to the buckle and pat him like your done for the day. After EVERY jump. Then, after 20 seconds or so, or however long it takes for him to walk in a relaxed manner - gather yourself, trot/canter another fence, then do the same thing. Walk immediately after the jump, drop reins, pat. Repeat over and over again. I learned this from a master of the local foxhunt who breaks all her own horses and it is AMAZING how well it works. Your horse will literally start SLOWING after every jump. It takes time. Lots of rides like this, and eventually string two together then walk, three together, etc.
      Actually he's quite good at coming back after the fence, it's those 4 strides right before he likes to pop his head straight into my face and turn on the turbo boosters... I like to use the exercise you mentioned pretty frequently, even after ground poles. I got it from Lucinda Green a few years ago.

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      • #23
        I think I would also really make sure YOU are not getting excited about jumping.

        Most horses, and especially TBs, are VERY good at feeding off of us. Are you breathing calmly...and not holding your breath? Are you relaxed....even if he is wound up? Do you try and hold him to the fence with your reins? If yes to any...don't do that

        Soften the reins and use placing poles to slow him...trot do not canter etc. He sounds sensitive to me. If he is good initially and then gets quick if you start repeating exercises...do not repeat things without changing something. The smart ones get bored quick and can then try and entertain themselves in ways we do not always like!
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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        • #24
          I've learned to NEVER put a horse into a sink or swim scenario. It's the quickest way to lose a horse's trust. We never want to set a horse up for failure, especially jumping. It ruins a horse's confidence and their trust in you and it is the hardest thing in the world to fix.

          It sounds like you need to back off from the course work, work on some flatwork, and encorporate some gymnastics into your routine.
          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
            Actually he's quite good at coming back after the fence, it's those 4 strides right before he likes to pop his head straight into my face and turn on the turbo boosters... I like to use the exercise you mentioned pretty frequently, even after ground poles. I got it from Lucinda Green a few years ago.
            Then I would personally trot jumps until he was totally bored of it; no matter how long that took. I still would keep it simple and limit jumping to short lessons. JMHO.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
              I've started him on the Pop Rocks treatment regimine to rule out ulcers
              Please do not use this as an ulcer diagnostic -- cheap omeprazole sources lack QA/QC and do not contain consistent levels (sometimes not any) of omeprazole itself. So if the horse does not respond, it does NOT mean that he does not have ulcers as the fault may lie in the product itself.
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
              We Are Flying Solo

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              • #27
                Good for you for A) taking the time to roll things around a little and B) asking for advice then actually mulling it over and applying it.

                I think you have the right ideas. And I have always been a fan of pole work, and even more so over the last couple of months while riding with the trainer I've been working with (EVERY lesson starts with poles on the ground) and also doing some really interesting exercises with Nicola Wilson over poles.

                One thing she used in every session that helped so many horses SO MUCH were a series of poles set at 9 to 10 feet...basically, canter cavelleti. The repetition of cantering around, getting a good canter, cantering through the poles, rinse, repeat was a HUGE asset to just about every horses I watched (and I watched just about every group over 4 days of teaching). Rushers stopped rushing. Horses with poor canters developed good canters. Rider who got tense or pulled (*cough cough* me) learned to stop pulling. It was really cool (it's funny seeing these canter poles in all the rings in the neighborhood now! ). We also used lots of standard issue trot poles in warm up work (in a variety of ways, including leg yielding to them and from them, etc). All great stuff and amazing how much that kind of work really helped a lot of horses.

                Divine Comedy did a write up for EN about it. If you're interested, I think there's a little more info on the type of things we did there. It was published about a week or so ago, I think.
                Amanda

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                • #28
                  You might skip "riding" over fences for now also. When I start my horses jumping I do it sanely on a lunge line...walk over ground poles, jog over poles then work up to x rails and small verticals. ALWAYS at a walk or slow jog until they are so ho-hum that it is a non-issue. Then the occassional "quiet" canter jump and make sure they come back quietly after the jump. When the horse is sooo quiet on the lunge I repeat from lesson #1 under tack. A TB is very smart, but always more forward than the average horse. You have to deal with that mentality slowly...not harshly!! Good luck.
                  www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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