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Horse who hits rails behind

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  • Horse who hits rails behind

    I have a 6 year old who was a dressage horse until we discovered his forte was in the hunter ring. He is a champ as a hunter, except for this one problem.
    My trainer says he might just be weak behind and the problem will go away. But his dressage background should help, not hurt his hind end muscles. And he jumps the baby oxers with 2' to spare.

    He is only jumping 2'6 now (no problems at 2') and the pro meets every jump perfectly. There are rails in front and behind to get him to take off and land the correct way. He is 6 and has incredible flatwork. And he never hits a jump in front. But I worry that this problem will become a habit.
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

  • #2
    It is usually a case of the rider coming back down in the saddle too soon .
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    • #3
      Came here to say the same thing, merrygorounds got it

      ETA: I'm not sure if this is your dressage pro or a H/J pro but regardless, its good to keep in mind that someone can be a pro in name- even deliver a young horse to every jump perfectly- and still have issues with their position and their own weaknesses. I'd recommend having a different pro or accomplished ammy jump your horse around and see if the problem persists
      Last edited by Cocorona; Sep. 11, 2019, 12:15 PM.


      • #4
        Do you have some video of this horse jumping, so we can see what is happening? Some (new to jumping) horses can be lazy in front or behind (or both) until they figure it all out. Some just lack the coordination/muscles at first to launch themselves appropriately. While it is possible that sitting up mid-air or too soon can cause a horse to drop his rear, these are fairly small fences, so I'd think that would be less likely.

        Anyway, hard to say without seeing it happen. So a video might be helpful.
        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


        • #5
          I doubt if LH is using someone not proficient.

          I got my horse as a early 6 year old from a dressage barn. Now 7. He was big and gangly. Tons of scope and a big stride. The smaller jumps are easy and 1. they get sloppy and 2. they are young so sometimes just lose their focus. As you will raise the jumps..he will over jump and then probably have the same thing happen. I wouldn't worry about it during the green years.


          • #6
            Is this the turn-and-bolter?


            • #7
              do baby gymnastics help him sharpen up? Sometimes the younger ones (especially if they're big) kind of forget where their legs are. Gymnastics can help them focus on their form.
              Also, make sure all your jump poles are heavy, solid wood. --No PVC. The plastic rails are so light, the horses barely feel it when they hit a rail. Solid poles give solid feedback. (similarly, don't use polo wraps)
              A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's does that...



              • #8
                Just guessing but...

                Put the rails up and add more substance. He may not be paying attention and lacking respect for what he is stepping over. He’s 6, an age where many don’t start them over real low, airy fences to avoid starting them out as sloppy jumpers. 2’9” or 3’ simple verticals with good ground lines is a bitter place to start...sometimes something as simple as painting the rails get more of their attention then faded, dust incrusfed, chewed up schooling rails.

                How are his hocks and rest of his hind end ? Discomfort behind can make them not want to rock back or pick up behind and there could be some conformational hip and shoulder angles the aren’t letting him fold up so he has to overjump to get all the parts over or just hit the rails on the higher fences.

                Could be rider induced too.

                Have to see some video and a still shot from the side to see what you got here.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by tinah View Post
                  Is this the turn-and-bolter?
                  LOL. Yes it is. We decided not to lunge, but to ride him every day. Pro rides
                  im 2 to 3 times a week, depending on her show schedule. Other days he works in the ring or on the trails (in SP we have 4000 acres of land to ride on). This horse is really fancy and worth all the challenges he is throwing at us.
                  "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"


                  • #10
                    I'd treat for epm and see how he does. I know it's kinda off the wall, but over the past couple years I've seen all sorts of weirdo behavior and not-quite-rightness fixed by a course of epm meds.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tinah View Post
                      I'd treat for epm and see how he does. I know it's kinda off the wall, but over the past couple years I've seen all sorts of weirdo behavior and not-quite-rightness fixed by a course of epm meds.
                      I’d probably try some weighted boots behind before I got too far into meds. Or a square rail that has a little more bite to it. If that’s not enough motivation, then by all means pursue medical intervention. I do appreciate the trend we’re seeing toward understanding and diagnosing neurological issues.


                      • #12
                        Try v poles. IME they fix a lot of greenie bad tendencies. Also aluminum gates are great, light but make a horrible sound when hit. Have you jumped him through a chute? Does he do it then? Sometimes they really need the chute for 2-3 days to figure their bodies out. Obviously you don’t want to lunge him over jumps lol! And please post video so that we can drool.
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