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Hyper over jumps

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  • Hyper over jumps

    Ok, I have a 1/2 Arab/NSH that has been doing wonderful jumping 2" - 2"6 until about 2 weeks ago & all of a sudden he is rushing jumps & my trainer thinks he is actually scared of jumping. We have just moved out of crossbars & doing verticles. He seems more comfortable with higher jumps than lower ones. My trainer has taken him back to just cantering a line of ground poles to help him lengthen his stride. Any suggestions other than get rid of him cause he is an Arab I love jumping him cause he is so fun but if I try & take ahold of him to slow him down it only gets him more wound up & he starts this hopping stuff to the first jump. This is usually just happening when I do a line not a single jump. Any ideas? He is 12 years old but just jumping a couple years now in crossbars.

  • #2
    Sounds like either pain or confusion.

    Does he act the same way with your trainer in the stirrups?


    • #3
      My pony gets very fast when doing a line...she just gets excited. Talk to your trainer about doing some gymnastics. For instance, at my last lesson, we trotted in over 2-3 poles, over a small jump, then trotted out over 2-3 poles. The poles after the jump do more to slow them down than the poles on the way in, IMO. We continued to work the gymnastic, gradually adding in a second jump (trot poles, jump, one stride, jump) and then reversing it (jump, one stride, jump, poles).
      You can also try doing some rollbacks, or some randonly placed jumps, instead of a line. Surprise him a bit, trot by the jump a few times, then take him into it. Perhaps he just loves it and is getting too excited, like mine?


      • #4
        Just a guess but, since you have only recently moved up from crossrails to verticals and he only does it in a line, not over singles????

        Your problem is between the fences when they are in a line, not with the jumping itself.

        You know, I'd never say get rid of him because he is an Arab and actually he is a NHS which is a Saddlebred cross. BUT his conformation may limit him as far as jumping is concerned, he may be doing the best he can. When you start putting your jumps in a line where they have to land and take off again in a few strides, shoulder and hip angles become very important to enable that comfortably. He may have shoulder and hip better suited to Park action.

        Think about that, some of them just can't do it.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • Original Poster

          Ok, lets me see if I can answer everybody at once.

          Yes, he does this with the trainer too.

          He has jumped almost 4 ft with the trainer & still way clearing it. She said he is very athletic its more his mind causing the problem. It's like he is afraid he can't hit the correct stride & is scared he is going to hit the pole as he goes over. We have cantered the line next to the jumps doesn't help either. He just gets excited upon the approach and when i won't let him go he freaks out. He is even scared to walk a raised pole. It's like he thinks he is going to hit it with his hooves.


          • #6
            Could he have gotten bored with the lower height? Or stopped respecting it when the jumps got bigger?

            It sounds like you're saying he's been great, you raised the height, and then after two weeks he started rushing. But that when you raise it even more he doesn't rush (or rush as bad.)

            What makes your trainer think your horse is scared of jumping? No to question your trainer, I'm just surprised with that conclusion if your gelding is even better over a bigger jump.

            Originally posted by pwrpfflynn View Post
            He just gets excited upon the approach and when i won't let him go he freaks out.
            What happens if you do let him go? We had a few who had jumping anxiety and rushed. If you sit there, don't touch their face, and just keep supporting them with leg they loose some of the anxiety that someone is going to grab them. It takes a few times but eventually they start to relax when they realize no one is grabbing at them.

            It sounds like maybe once the jumps went you started taking too much bridle and that made him nervous. He's still nervous with the trainer, so the trainer grabs too much as well and he rushes. And then when the jump go up they back him off, and the trainer doesn't grab because he's not rushing. Just a theory


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
              It sounds like maybe once the jumps went you started taking too much bridle and that made him nervous. He's still nervous with the trainer, so the trainer grabs too much as well and he rushes. And then when the jump go up they back him off, and the trainer doesn't grab because he's not rushing. Just a theory


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                What happens if you do let him go? We had a few who had jumping anxiety and rushed. If you sit there, don't touch their face, and just keep supporting them with leg they loose some of the anxiety that someone is going to grab them. It takes a few times but eventually they start to relax when they realize no one is grabbing at them.

                It sounds like maybe once the jumps went you started taking too much bridle and that made him nervous. He's still nervous with the trainer, so the trainer grabs too much as well and he rushes. And then when the jump go up they back him off, and the trainer doesn't grab because he's not rushing. Just a theory
                Also agree with this. Pretty typical, especially for the temperamentally sensitive horses. You pulling sends "holy sh*t, freak out" signals to the horse. Hence the hopping and bouncing when you do it. You've got to get him and yourself going well over the little jumps and increase jump height and difficulty only as fast as you are both capable of doing calmly. I also think these upset rushing horses are much more at risk of catastrophic miscalculations and accidents.

                Also, why is the trainer trying to get him to lengthen his stride? In my experience the ideal canter to jump out of is a short, bouncy one. Longer strides typically equal flatter strides, equal lower quality form and lower potential jump size. The only time I would lengthen to a jump is if it was critical to making a distance, like a 1 stride too long for your horse.

                Obviously my knowledge of your horse, skill level, and trainer is very limited, but it does concern me you have a nervous, rushing horse and your trainer wants to lengthen his stride?


                • Original Poster

                  The reason the trainer is trying to lengthen his stide is because he gets too balled up for lack of a better word & can't relax & see his distance. I had been letting him loose thru the jumps but his speed has just got to the out of control point & it had to be addressed. He finally dumped me almost 2 weeks ago because he took off way to soon & probably jumped a 12 ft span over the 2nd jump. He has been jumping these higher verticals for probably 3 months now & this just started a couple weeks ago which was a few days before I got dumped. I didn't start taking up too much bridle until this all happened. He started rushing long before I started taking up the bridle. That has only been the last couple rides I have done that.


                  • #10
                    I had a similar problem with my mare. What was happening is I would land from the first jump in the line and expect her to take off to the next. Resulting in me grabbing her face as soon as she landed.

                    My trainer set up a four stride line, I would jump in and give my horse her head for the first two strides, in the third stride I would half halt and ask her to rebalance and then leave her alone to jump the second jump.

                    It took a few times through but once she realized I wasn't going to grab her when she landed she slowed down and relaxed.

                    Another thing that helped us when the jumps got bigger (3ft and up) was to move to the automative release.


                    • Original Poster

                      That is the weird thing. I haven't changed anything & have been giving him a big release & something just happen & I nor my trainer know what it could have been.


                      • Original Poster

                        I do have a 4 year old warmblood (5 in July) that we have been working with so all is not lost. I will be jumping her this summer & I know she is what all the judges want but I just love the feeling the Arab gives me when he jumps & I will truly miss that if I have to give up jumping him all together but if he is comfortable or unhappy with it I will for his sake. He is a wonderful horse & I would never sell him.


                        • #13
                          I agree with Just My Style. Make sure your not in your horse's face, you don't have to be pulling back for them to get anxious. I have had to force myself to grab mane and support with leg for my horse not to rush. When I do this and leave him alone, all is good. Keeping the jumps lower and starting by trotting in over a raised cavaletti and then cantering to the next jump has also helped. Good luck!!!!


                          • #14
                            Stifle pain? Just a thought if you really think that nothing else has changed and you just recently started moving him up I would check his stifles.
                            I would also check his teeth, he could have broken a tooth or a hook got just a bit sharp and it is causing him pain.

                            If you haven't changed anything, then something changed in him.


                            • #15
                              So most horse problems are caused by rider problems. Ever notice how Jane Doe's bay horse hangs on the bit and kicks out when picking up canter. She sells bay horse and buys chestnut horse, and after a few months you see he does the same hanging and kicking behavior. John Doe goes out of town and asks Jane to ride his horse for a few weeks, and you can see John's horse doing some of the same hanging things and hopping a bit into the canter. John gets back and it takes a couple months for his horse to lose the hanging and hopping behaviors. I would caution anyone from being too quick to blame the horse.

                              Some horse problems are pain related. If he is experiencing pain when jumping he will do it as fast as possible to hurry up and get past the pain. So if his joints hurt when he jumps, or his mouth hurts when you pick up the reins upon landing (even when done gently), or the saddle pinches when you land in it, etc. he will rush his fences. If you truly haven't changed your riding style then first and foremost you need to have a veterinarian look him over. Do a full set of flexions and maybe some x-rays. Check for arthritis, he's at the age to start experiencing some joint pain. You should also have an equine dentist check and potentially fix any dental issues he may have. While the dentist is there, run your bit past him and see if he thinks it's the best choice for your horse's oral anatomy. Also, you have to get your saddle checked by a reputable fitter. It's common for a horse to be tolerant of an ill fitting saddle. Especially if that saddle actually fits pretty darn good aside from one little spot that only pinches when your weight drops upon landing off a jump. After months or years of going in said saddle that pinches this particular nerve, he starts to get nerve damage in that spot. Suddenly, every time the saddle pinches that nerve he gets an electric jolt of pain. That electric jolt he can't ignore. Now he's nervous and anxious heading into every jump and just wants to land and be done with it.

                              As MMacallister said: If you haven't changed anything, then something changed in him.

                              Please be diligent and get him and your tack examined. You may spend $1,000 in the process, but it is our responsibility toward these wonderful kind animals to do everything in our power to keep them pain free and happy.


                              • #16
                                That is a difficult problem.. check saddle fit, have vet flex hocks, etc, pull a Lyme titer .. or it can be a training issue. If it is a training issue, you need to free lunge before you get on and then do small jumps at a canter forever and ever until horse gets bored... Or there is always Carolina Gold! jk


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks you guys for the info. It was about time to have is hocks injected to I went on & had that done. I get to start jumping again on Saturday so we will see. Sure hope it does the trick : )


                                  • Original Poster

                                    UPDATE.....I rode my horse tonight for the first time after getting his hocks done OMG what a difference. Get to jump again on Saturday