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Tidying up his knees

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  • Tidying up his knees

    Self proclaimed eventer here, but I'm thinking about taking my guy to some low level hunter shows over the winter.

    I need some advice on exercises that get my horse to snap his knees up. He used to have lovely form, very square, very even and he uses his neck and looks through his knees. Nowadays, he's slower to get them up and out of the way. He still leaves the rails up and is not in danger of flipping by catching a knee, just lazy about it. His other fault, which contributes, is that he loves to be on his forehand! We do lots of canter work and transitions, but it is a tendency. He is very much not a fan of jumping "in a frame!"

    I have a book of jumping exercises that I will consult as well, just wanted to know from people with experience what has worked for some in the past.

  • #2
    Do lots of upward transitions and lots of halt to canter transitions. Jump him through a lot of gymnastics. Take off those boots and let him really "rub" a few rails even if it means raising the fences for him. Don't scare him but the only way to get those legs up is to let him know its gonna hurt if he touches one. Won't take much. It will also help with him wanting to jump off of his front end. He will pay a little more attention to what he is doing.

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    • #3
      I've used Gymnastics with V's to tidy up my jumpers' who have loose or slow front ends.

      Before As a 5 year old
      After As a 6 year old
      Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
      Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
      Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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      • #4
        Have you had his hocks checked? Could be a minor unsoundness which makes him less willing to use his hindend.
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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        • #5
          Big, steep x-rails work wonders.
          Bonus - they also work straightness

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Have you had his hocks checked? Could be a minor unsoundness which makes him less willing to use his hindend.
            He does have some fusion/bone spurs going on. I have him on a joint supplement and have had the OK from vet to keep jumping, though I haven't noticed a huge help from the supplement!

            Transitions are a constant with this guy since he is a bit downhill and loves to drag himself around on the forehand. Actually foxhunting has helped greatly with using his butt with all of the sudden changes of pace, he can't get too buried in his knees!

            Take off those boots and let him really "rub" a few rails even if it means raising the fences for him
            He doesn't rub the rails as a habit, if he does his knees go to his eyeballs at the next jump! I usually only boot up seriously for xc, opens on show day for that reason specifically.

            Gymnastics, more transitions and killer V's are in the plans!

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            • #7
              Also, maybe he's bored? How often are you schooling him over fences? Try popping them up a few holes, even if you are showing at a lower level, just to keep him interested. And obviously limit the jumping, good for body AND mind!

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              • #8
                a simple tip would be to trot/canter cavalettis

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by *Liz* View Post
                  Big, steep x-rails work wonders.
                  Yep! One of my favorites.

                  Also a square oxer with set poles in front and behind. I like to do the oxer exercise back and forth...jump, relaxed canter about 5 strides, stop straight, pat, turn and right back over it. Should help with his leaning problem too. Maybe try schooling him in a 3 ring or any bit with some elevator action.
                  Animals are not disposable!!!
                  http://www.pawsnela.org

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                  • #10
                    Low wide oxers.
                    Janet

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

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                    • #11
                      Gymnastics for young and old

                      MUST MEASURE-


                      Pole 9ft then vertical Pole 9 ft then Vertical I do this pattern that will include 5 verticals . I make the verticals 2'6-- if they run them after a while I make the out bigger then the 3 rd bigger and then the 1 st . 3' is maxium.
                      This cleans up old and educated young , make it as long as like and don't protect. You can ride both ways and you can trot in . You need to look up and maybe say whoa and haver a supportive leg.

                      _________pole
                      9ft
                      _________ Jump
                      9ft
                      _________ pole

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                        Also, maybe he's bored? How often are you schooling him over fences? Try popping them up a few holes, even if you are showing at a lower level, just to keep him interested. And obviously limit the jumping, good for body AND mind!
                        Yeah, I think he's bored with doing BN eventing for the past couple of years (sporadically, though). I'm going to bump him up to Novice in the Spring with a nice non-rec horse trials and go from there. We don't jump a whole lot in the ring, he got a bit sour last year and when we do I take it "his" way starting easy and progressing. I can't throw him in front of a 2'6" verticle with evil flower box and expect good results!

                        We do jump out fox hunting and he's great! Apparently the first coop he must touch just a tad, but then he's nice and clean the rest of the hunt with logs and coops of varying heights.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by JenRose View Post
                          Yep! One of my favorites.

                          Also a square oxer with set poles in front and behind. I like to do the oxer exercise back and forth...jump, relaxed canter about 5 strides, stop straight, pat, turn and right back over it. Should help with his leaning problem too. Maybe try schooling him in a 3 ring or any bit with some elevator action.
                          His jumping/hunting bit is a 3 ring elevator with a snaffle rein and another on the lowest ring for some poll play. I do need to get him to relax at jumping so more. He's not uncontrollable, but he's becoming a bit quick right before the fences!

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