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How to Shorten a Horse's Eye

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  • How to Shorten a Horse's Eye

    The horse I have here for Flash Jr to jump has a looooong eye. She has some draft in her and is pretty athletic as well. He is only jumping 18"-2' since he is still working on the basics. She is a great horse to ride, but is not totally balanced at the canter yet. She also has a long stride for her size, and sometimes when you are trying to get her a little more organized, she trots. However, she will hunt right down to a jump. I can see her getting a little long coming out of the corner, but Flash Jr is not advanced enough to steady her and wait for a better distance, and we get the loooong spot. I set up a tiny grid in my tiny ring with a trot pole, X or small vertical, pole, X or small vertical, pole. It's just a smidge tight for her, and she is smart enough that she remembers the distances and adjusts herself accordingly. Anyone have any exercises that help with this? Trotting jumps with ground poles? Remember, my ring is tiny, and really can't do much more than an in-and-out as far as lines go.
    Man plans. God laughs.

  • #2
    Dressage. If their gait going in isn't right, the spots won't be either. And if the horse doesn't feel its hind end underneath and an ability to push off from behind, it's going to take a long spot to make it easier to get over.
    Originally posted by Silverbridge
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Flash44 View Post
      Trotting jumps with ground poles?
      Yes, but more importantly, cantering jumps with placement pole. I'd start about 9' in front of the jump, and adjust as needed. This has been a great exercise for my school horse who loves to see the long, reachy one.

      And of course, improving the canter on the flat...but you already know this and it's not a quick fix like the above.
      Please don't sabotash my conchess.


      • #4
        Placement poles and groundlines. Adjust the placement poles for the type of distance you want at the jump (farther out if you want longer spot, closer in if you want tighter spot). Do this 100 million times and the horse will learn where the correct spot is.

        Also working on the canter. If the horse gets heavy and flat cantering to the jump, she's not going to be able to find a good spot. She has to learn to carry her rhythm.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Haalter View Post
          Yes, but more importantly, cantering jumps with placement pole. I'd start about 9' in front of the jump, and adjust as needed. This has been a great exercise for my school horse who loves to see the long, reachy one.

          And of course, improving the canter on the flat...but you already know this and it's not a quick fix like the above.
          There you go.

          You want the horse, not rider, to make the call for the shorter distance, right?

          You need to do the remedial work on her canter/hiney.

          Then when you put Flash Dinky up, use a 9' cheat rail every time.

          First she needs to be able to collect. Then she needs to learn that jumping never means "the long one." Many moons from now, you can nix the cheat rail.

          Oh, and I really like the "stop over the ground pole" for both parts of this process. If you do a search, I think you can find the full recipe among my posts.

          It does a few things you want:

          Helps make her strong

          Lets her know that when she sees a pole, there may be a stop coming so why not just cut out the middle man and rock back on your hind end first? (You can, of course, keep cantering and get the soft, close distance you want over the pole.)

          You need to teach the mare what you want and get her strong enough to stop accurately. But then let Flash Dinky do it. Kiddo will get accurate and learn to "stop pulling when you feel her slow down, and let go then 'cause less is more with horses."

          You can do this in a ring of any size.

          There are many variants on it.

          It gets a lot done without putting milage on the body of the horse or the jump builder.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • Original Poster

            Thank you! We've only had her for 4 months, and when she got here, she felt like she was going to trip and fall on her face at the canter. I will work on the "stop over the ground pole" exercise and then use poles generously when Flash Jr jumps.
            Man plans. God laughs.


            • #7
              canter poles. but 9' might be a little too hard.
              I'd start 2 poles set 12' apart. If she can do that then add 2 more and do 4 poles 12' apart. (do it in 2 point)
              Work down to 10'. then add an X at the end.
              eventually add poles on the landing side.

              no need to make the horses feel like they are unaccomplished.
              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


              • #8
                Horse has no eye at all, short or long, at this point over 18"-and, at that height? It doesn't matter.

                I'd spend more time developing that canter, extend, collect etc. Then go to the ground poles and do that excercise where you do 4 strides, 3 strides, 5 strides in a random order. I wouldn't go back to "fences" until that canter gets more polished-it is hard for the horse to be successful if there is no canter to work with so don't set him, and DD, up to fail.

                This is also one case where jumping small to "protect" them backfires and makes them sloppy. Go back to flatwork for awhile, and ground poles, and then give him something to jump and he will work it out better then a lopeover.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.