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Coming Home, Hang on

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  • Coming Home, Hang on

    My lovely, but still green mare has a tendancy to pick up the pace when we are jumping a line coming home. Doesn't matter if it is a diagonal or outside line and there is no noticeable difference between the right or left lead. Sometimes it is more pronounced, other times its nonexistant.Part of it is my fault as with her I have tried to manage some of it rather than fix it because of the inconsistancy of her doing this.

    She is soft as butter away from the gate- you could float the reins at her and she will not change her pace and not miss a beat. Typical hunter. However, coming home it feels like we go around the corner nice and soft (carrying the appropriate pace for the height of a fence) and I actually feel her lock her eye on a jump and we are GOING. She doesn't flat out run, but as the rider you feel her accelerate and I simply can not figure out how to correct it.

    Sometimes it feels like she puts her head lower and hangs on my hands, other times, the only way I can describe it is that I feel like I am on a jumper- puts her head up a little, I can't keep her in the corner, shortens her stride but quickens it at the same time. We are very competative in our rated division but when this happens, like yesterday, it ruins the rest of an otherwise winning trip-- I simply could not work out the one quarter line/diagonal single, she just PULLED me to it and my reaction is to hold,(my trainer says I should let go) but I feel if I do we would be a runaway train.

    I've tried poles, not letting her go to the jump by circling when I feel her do it, jump in a line, circle, jump out....

    Thoughts or suggestions are welcome as I want to fix it rather than try to manage it anymore. Thanks

  • #2
    Is this because she knows were the exit gate is? Perhaps you can exit at other end of the arena? Mix it up a bit and make sure you do not stop her near the gate, walk her out and dismount at the far end of the ring, I would always finish going away from that end too. Instead of circling in front of the jump, maybe try "shadow" jumping, where you are following the course, but going by the jumps instead of over them. Eventually she might get board enough to not anticipate the jump. Then you can add a jump, next time go by it, etc... My old horse did this too and pulling on thier face never works.


    • Original Poster

      I must pull bc my trainer says LET GO but i feel like im just holding and she is pulling me, not the other way around. Then the times shes feels like a " jumper" I try to leg her on so she doesnt hollow out.

      This was in a show ring yesterday so I couldn't really exit at another place. The first show in this ring was new so she really didn't do it last time. However, fast foward 3 weeks later and she figured it out real quick.

      Good thought though for when I am home. I could try exiting out of the ring at the other end- just going to have to take the derby jump out


      • #4
        My horse does this.I've found a couple things work for him.

        The thing I have found best for him are the poles. We put several trot poles prior to the first fence then a pole or two when he lands and canters away with a canter pole before and after the next fence. He will back off the fence and wait for me to direct him.

        We would also create a Y with the fences. Have the vertical in the center facing home and then two more verticals that could do a bending line to the left or right depending on where I take him. That has gotten him to pay attention to me and no assume he can just gallop off down the line he things we are doing.

        Lastly, I would make him halt in the middle of the line, stand for 5 seconds then either trot or canter off depending on what I anticipated him to do. He got really mad at first because I was preventing him to gallop down the line, but he eventually backed off cause he had no idea when I would ask for the halt in the line.

        Good luck with your mare! Lots of patience and practice!
        Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
        Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
        Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
        Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


        • #5
          Does she do it with your trainer too?

          You say you are carrying the appropriate pace, but are you sure you aren't holding her slightly through that corner, anticipating that she might rush? I know when I hold my horse too much that is what she tends to do. So we've had to work A LOT on keeping that good pace through the turn (and sometimes even slightly overpaced, depending on what I'm feeling) and me just letting go of those reins.


          • #6
            Good suggestion about exiting the opposite end but this is not always an option for people. My greenie mare decided to do this for awhile.

            What the OP suggested she has been doing is great but it didn't work for my mare. What did work is to sit a little deeper in the saddle on that line, less of a release (keep a light contact), talk to her, "Eaaasyy, Eassyy", once you land Sit back, sink your weight and Halt. It will take a few times and likely a lot of work on your part but make her stop, even if it means more contact than normal. Make her listen. If you must, put standards in a row about 3 strides from landing. Face her to it and ask for the halt. If she won't let her smuck her nose. This will get the idea in her head that if she listens to you she won't hit her nose, you are just looking out for her.

            After she has done that quietly, set a pole 2-3 strides out from the first and make that your visual stop aid, if she halts or comes back nicely to a trot let her take the second jump.

            Always halt after your second fence. It sounds self defeating but if you do it a few times she will anticipate stopping and will listen to your aids.

            You will want to do this over a few sessions or more.
            Quit when you get what you want.

            Good Luck!


            • Original Poster

              [QUOTE=KateKat;6495811]Does she do it with your trainer too?

              I am the only one who rides her aside from a girl who hacks her for me when I am not available. My trainer no longer is able to ride.

              I do anticipate it now, that is true. The mind says let go but I have to get the hands to respond.Yesterday I noticed that she did it down the straight side when we were in the hack class. At that point, I was really frustrated --three beautiful trips and the same UGLY fence in each trip will do that to a girl.

              I no longer want to chalk it up to a Chestnut Mare Beware kind of day