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overjumping, tips and when does it stop?

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  • overjumping, tips and when does it stop?

    My mare and I went to a two day show last weekend, counting the schooling day we jumped 3 days in a row. I'm a bit of a wussy so the highest we jumped was 2' 3".

    This is Nikki's second year jumping at shows (I think she jumped twice the year before that) mostly crossrails until this season, she jumps like this every time. She never stops and she never hits a rail (she did hit one when I landed on her early and spent the next round jumping even bigger). However, she seems to be enthusiastic about jumping and always clears the fences by a country mile. She can get nervous about not being around her buddies but once she sees the fences she focuses (she is having trouble in dressage where she is alone and there are no fences) and I probably don't do a very good job of keeping her quiet through being forward. We trot a lot of our fences.

    I know that as a rider I tend to stand in my stirrups and not fold enough, but when she jumps big I get left behind. I'm really really good at slipping my reins to compensate but of course then I spend the next several strides reeling them back in.

    So two questions, what can I do to make sure I stop getting left behind? If it helps this fence was taken from the trot.


    Second, when exactly does she stop overjumping? I'd like to move up next summer but I am afraid she'll leave this much room over the bigger fences and I'll get jumped right out of the tack.

    Last edited by enjoytheride; Oct. 29, 2009, 06:18 PM.

  • #2
    I have no answer for you but I'm curious to hear the responses. My horses don't overjump regularly but I tend to have the same problem as you regarding standing and not folding enough. I also, am very good at slipping the reins so I don't punish their mouth, but I'd like to hear some tips for staying with them better.


    • #3
      a lot of green horses will start out jumping like that because they want to make sure the boogey man in the poles don't get them, however i doubt that is her problem if she's been jumping a couple of years.

      some horses just overjump in general. my old prelim horse did the same thing, she consistently jumped at least a foot over the pole. looking back i should have sold her as a showjumper and actually made a real profit

      i'd try her over some bigger jumps and see if she did the same thing (she's obviously comfortable jumping 3'9, so set the pole there and see what she does). if you don't feel comfortable doing this have someone you trust take her over it. sometimes horses figure it out when the jumps get a little bigger and start paying attention to the game a bit more.

      that said, getting left behind is typically a factor of mis-coordination between the rider's eye and the horses rhythm. so your best bet is to work on rhythm, and even no stirrup and no reins work in grids. you might be a bit scared to take away the stirrups and reins, but if you're gonna keep riding that jumping machine you're gonna have to "cowboy up" (please excuse oblique reference to boyd martin thread)


      • #4
        GRAB MANE.

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


        • #5
          I had a horse years ago who used to over jump. It was something that went away as the green-ness went away. We practiced over low jumps of all different types (sometimes with trot poles in or takeoff/landing poles) until he found better balance and comfort with his job. We made a point of not rushing him to jump higher so that he really had confidence to the fences.

          On the subject of staying with the jump, the issue sounds like position strength. We all get jumped loose every once in a while, but that is all it should be - once in a while. I notice that your leg has swung back and that is probably causing some of the security issues. Lots of two point and working without stirrups should help. Also, working through grids (perhaps on a horse who doesn't over jump so you feel more comfortable) without reins with arms out to the sides, on hips, etc. For some reason that drill always seemed to cure my ills, lol.

          Good luck!
          The stirrups aren't just "home," the damn things are in the storm cellar.


          • #6
            Assuming that the picture you posted is at all typical of your riding, it looks like you're pinching with your knee, which is taking the weight out of your heel, which is making your leg swing back. Lots of practice in two point with letting your weight sink into your heel will help. Maybe try shortening your stirrups a hole for jumping.

            Does she jump better from the canter than from the trot? Like someone else mentioned, grids may help her become more confident. It did wonders for my pony.

            And like Janet said, grab mane!

            Good luck with your mare, she's really cute!


            • #7
              Originally posted by MustangSally00 View Post
              I notice that your leg has swung back and that is probably causing some of the security issues. Lots of two point and working without stirrups should help.

              Your lower leg has slipped way back. You don't fold because you can't, as that would tip you forward right over your horse's shoulder. Get your leg under you and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. (Much easier said than done!)

              On the over jumping I would definitely try addressing this with grids of small fences and distances to compliment the smaller effort. The big jump will land your pony too deep into the distance and make the next effort a little awkward. If you'll stay quiet and let her screw it up the first few times, I bet she'll be smart enough to start figuring out how to be a little bit more efficient. The gymnastics would be great for you too!


              • #8
                Use a neck strap, and make sure you grab it (or mane) with both hands at least 2 strides before, so that there is no way you can get left behind.

                If you have steering issues by doing this, then you need to break it down into smaller steps - practicing your position over trot poles, or in grids with guide rails, so that you don't have to worry about steering too.

                You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                • Original Poster

                  I think it all traces back to some of my earlier jumping lessons where I was on horses that stopped or ran away after the fence. I learned to be defensive by sitting way back then jumping at the last second. I jump better at home and in lessons but at shows my nerves get the best of me and I forget to fold at the waist.

                  Now does anyone think she needs more miles to stop overjumping or is this pretty much it and I need to learn to ride it? Several people have suggested moving up the height so she wants to overjump less, does that work? Obviously not until my position is better.


                  • #10
                    I love this stuff!! It is so much fun figuring out how to develop the horse's confidence, right? It is like a riddle!!
                    My advice, believe it or not, is to shorten your strirrups at least two holes, and think about keeping your leg just a bit in front of you (which means it will probably just about where it should be--at the girth). Sometimes horse over-jump in conjunction with stalling a bit at take-off; does she do that? I would say dont increase height of fence until she has this figured out. Grids with placing rails 9" out on the landing side should help too. Come through the grid quietly, soft rein, and let her make the mistakes, and repeat enough times, once you build the grid to its final state, to give her the opportunity to figure it out.
                    Horses are the kings & queens of efficiency. Once she figures out the most efficient way to get her job done, she will act like she invented jumping!!
                    And regardless of all the above, never be too proud to GRAB MANE. Ha! good luck & have FUN with this!
                    You can either be a good example or just a really horrible warning...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                      I think it all traces back to some of my earlier jumping lessons where I was on horses that stopped or ran away after the fence. I learned to be defensive by sitting way back then jumping at the last second. I jump better at home and in lessons but at shows my nerves get the best of me and I forget to fold at the waist.

                      Now does anyone think she needs more miles to stop overjumping or is this pretty much it and I need to learn to ride it? Several people have suggested moving up the height so she wants to overjump less, does that work? Obviously not until my position is better.
                      Your leg looks slipped, which could be goosing her and causing a more exuberant leap than needed. Also, if you are making a bid for the fence at the last moment you can be encouraging the sling shot effect. Sitting in the back seat and riding defensively is not quite the same thing as pinching and slipping!

                      One of my over leapers didn't really settle down until the fence height was more comfortable for her to come out of stride over--Training level is where her desired pace and the bascule over the fence seemed to mesh.

                      Regardless, I agree that gymnastics can help her balance and sort out her style.