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Over jumping.... So now what?

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  • Over jumping.... So now what?

    I have dealt with my fair share of green beans over jumping. Usually they got better with more mileage and confidence at shows as they are usually the 'spooky' type. However I have a new guy that just keeps surprising me. When I bought him this summer he was fairly out of shape but quiet (nothing scares him!) and had zero mileage at shows. So when he over jumped at his first couple of shows (which was only by 9" or so) I chalked it up to just being a little green and enjoying his new job. Those first couple of shows were just 2'3" hunters. As the summer progressed he got to where he was jumping solidly around 3' at home so we went to a couple AA shows where I showed him at 2'9". He REALLY over jumped those (by a solid 18"-24") the first week but by the second week at the AA show he settled back into only overjumping by 9"-12" or so. This made the lines difficult but certainly not impossible.

    This guy also has a tendency to get heavy on the front end, especially as he gets tired, so I spent a lot of the early fall really working on his fitness and flatwork. We went to several dressage shows where we got very solid scores in first level (65%+) and have been schooling 2nd level and parts of 3rd level at home.

    So fast forward to last month. I now essentially have a horse that is very fit and is much stronger through his topline, lighter on the forehand, and really able to engage his hind end. We did a B show and did some 3' jumper classes. He overjumped like crazy over the oxers in the show arena, sometimes landing nearly 12' out from the base. At that point he still was not happy with getting very close to the base in front of the jump either though he had improved from when we first had him.

    After that show I went back home set up some grids and practiced trotting into both oxers and verticals and had landing poles on the opposite side with trot poles in front.This helped quite a bit with getting him to move up to the base of the jumps and jumping more conservatively. Great, right? Well apparently trotting into the jumps has also helped him get even stronger through his back and even rounder over the jumps so when we showed at an A show this week he jumped the crap out of everything. He normally doesn't over jump in the warm up but at this show he was very eager to overjump everything. I started him in a low level jumper class 2'6"-2'9" but could not do the in and out due to him jumping WAY too far into the line, so we ended up bumping him down into a tiny hunter division at 2'3". Finally by the last day of the show he was jumping more reasonably (though no where near 'normal' for the height) but he was also fairly tired at that point.

    So it seems that the more we work on him- grids, flat work, etc. the stronger and more capable of over jumping he becomes. In the hunter classes that we have done it isn't as big of a deal because when the lines are set at 5+ strides, I can still fit in the strides even with him landing far from the base. It is the jumper classes that just aren't doable because of the one and two stride combinations being too close together. I've never had a horse that got worse at over jumping as they progressed in training, so I am a bit at a loss. My husband seems to think he is just bored and I need to just jump higher (he knows everything, right? ). I honestly am not sure how to progress at this point. He is a very confident and laid back horse so it doesn't feel like he is doing it from being overly cautious or worried about the jump. Any one with similar experiences or suggestions?

  • #2
    This is going to sound trite, and I don't mean it that way, but maybe it's time to start raising the jumps to fit his jump?

    My TB was that way over little jumps, only in a less attractive way. He wouldn't bother bending his legs over the jumps and would just power up and over, always over the top of the standard with his shoulder. The year he did the 2'6" - 3'3" was the worst, followed by his year in the 3'6"-4'3". Fortunately he was sane and smart about combinations, and even if he over-jumped coming in he would back off on the out. So my only word of advice with your guy in regards to combos would be to either increase the bit (I'm saying that with the caveat that I know you're an experienced rider with good hands who can appropriately use a stronger bit when necessary and not when it's not).....and primarily as a way to get his attention heading into and through a combination. Or I would let him eat it a few times and force him to figure it out himself (this might take bigger jumps at home for it to have any sort of a "take home" message since 2'6" and even 3' is too easy to get out of for a scopey horse). My baby tried that a few times when we first started jumping 3'6" at home and it took him 4 times through the combination I had set up (with me literally floating the reins) to figure out himself that it was HARD if he over-jumped into the combo.

    Anyhow, with my major over-jumper, I just kept moving him up the levels and more of less ignored his tendencies and figured he would eventually stop over-jumping. It took the 1.40m jumpers to get him to start using his body appropriately and stop overdoing it. We joked about it at every height ("ha ha! Maybe he's just telling us he wants to jump bigger!"), and it turned out there was some truth to that. Once I "captured" his brain I also got a hold of his body. And though he was always sane about getting out of combos, he did used to jump WAY in. It took year 2 in the 1.40m for that tendency to go away, and it did make a comeback in a GP last year at an inopportune time (really, when is eating a combo ever opportune? ). Boy was he awesome through every combo for the next week, though, lol.

    I guess my thought is that rather than trying to perfect the ride at the lower levels it might be time to "test" him a little over bigger fences. If he's a big, scopey, sound baby, then there's no reason that he shouldn't be doing bigger fences where it's a bit more of a challenge for him. He doesn't sound like the type to scare easily, so while I might be inclined to go a different direction with a scaredy cat, I would up the jumps on one like this relatively quickly.
    __________________________________
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
      My TB was that way over little jumps, only in a less attractive way. He wouldn't bother bending his legs over the jumps and would just power up and over, always over the top of the standard with his shoulder.
      I think we may have the same horse. He is square with his knees but doesn't bother to fold with his lower leg at all when he over jumps the little stuff. I don't have any video of him jumping under saddle up on youtube but here is a video of him that the previous trainer took of him free jumping to give you an idea of what he looks like over a fence (though now he is even more fit ) . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaQiVAaFDa8

      I think I will start challenging him more at home with some bigger jumps and see if that helps. I know part of me being more conservative with showing him is due to me coming back from knee surgery (actually due to one of my other horses jumping over a standard from a stand still- gotta love the babies, right?!) but my knee has been doing quite well and I think it is time for me to go back to jumping big again. That was definitely a blow to my confidence- not that it was anything that could have been avoided on my part, but moreso it was a harsh reminder that riders are breakable, especially when you start jumping the big sticks.

      I think he will be a really fun horse in the jumper ring if we can put everything together!

      Comment


      • #4
        So bump him up to bigger fences. He may be a jumper and not a hunter. Nothing wrong with that.
        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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        • #5
          Horses will often jump "too high" when they are traveling too slowly...In which case making the jumps bigger is inviting an accident. Are you working with a trainer/ground person? Do you have a video?

          Comment


          • #6
            I would go bigger, too, but would keep on keeping on with the grids and placing rails (canter in, too). This does sometimes just take time for them to basically stop being so enthusiastic with their athleticism. A horse I started was a serious overjumper as a youngster (And continues to this day, though to a much lesser degree). I remember one ride where he was being a little unruly and left from in front of the 9ft placing rail and landed beyond the back placing rail

            Also, be sure you are riding him in the right rhythm. Maybe try clicking him up half a notch and cantering some things like that. he may be feeling under powered if you are just loping softly down to fences. Give him a little more quality and energy, and see if he jumps a little more conservatively.
            Amanda

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            • #7
              I ride a warmblood baby like this and it's in his breeding, every single one of his siblings that I have watched video on over jump just like he does one of the things that have really helped him is jumping on the circle. I'll jump then gently circle one way or the other until he's thoroughly bored and starts jumping normal. Hell, sometimes I get excited when he rubs a rail cause I know he's not over jumping. I think with this type age and milage are key as well as jump size. Mine won't over jump when the jumps get big but he's always going to over jump the little stuff. Good luck =]

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you thought to notice if there is any difference in how he jumps different types of fences... such as a plank vs a vertical with rails?

                My first though is to rule out a vision problem, and if he does not seem to over jump certain more highly visible obstacles, then you may want to investigate that possibility.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                  Have you thought to notice if there is any difference in how he jumps different types of fences... such as a plank vs a vertical with rails?

                  My first though is to rule out a vision problem, and if he does not seem to over jump certain more highly visible obstacles, then you may want to investigate that possibility.
                  I've thought about that possibility but he doesn't have any of the obvious signs that you normally would see. We have a hunter who has cataracts and he had issues with certain types of jumps like you mentioned, but also struggled during low light hours (early morning and late evening), tended to spook at show decorations, dropped his head at the jump, etc.

                  This guy, however, doesn't seem to mind any particular type of jump- solid huntery jumps with tons of brush filler or airy jumps with minimal rails. He is super brave over a jump and never blinks an eye. He doesn't have the classic "suck back and gawk at the jump as we sail over because it's scary" it's a very rhythmical, "explode off the ground and say 'WAhoo!' " type jump.

                  Well anyways, I bumped up the jumps in his last training session and it felt more comfortable. His jump feels the same but at least now the fences more closely resemble his effort. I think it is easier for me to mentally prepare for a big jump when the fences are bigger. So now we are aiming for roughly the 1.20m jumpers this next year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
                    I've thought about that possibility but he doesn't have any of the obvious signs that you normally would see. We have a hunter who has cataracts and he had issues with certain types of jumps like you mentioned, but also struggled during low light hours (early morning and late evening), tended to spook at show decorations, dropped his head at the jump, etc.

                    This guy, however, doesn't seem to mind any particular type of jump- solid huntery jumps with tons of brush filler or airy jumps with minimal rails. He is super brave over a jump and never blinks an eye. He doesn't have the classic "suck back and gawk at the jump as we sail over because it's scary" it's a very rhythmical, "explode off the ground and say 'WAhoo!' " type jump.

                    Well anyways, I bumped up the jumps in his last training session and it felt more comfortable. His jump feels the same but at least now the fences more closely resemble his effort. I think it is easier for me to mentally prepare for a big jump when the fences are bigger. So now we are aiming for roughly the 1.20m jumpers this next year.
                    Sounds that you've got the eyes covered. (no pun intended)

                    The horse looks like he may be short coupled from what I can see in your video.

                    Combine that confirmation with powerful hunches and your horse may just be jumping most efficiently for his own body type and musculature.

                    I think you said he's still young. In time he may learn to use himself differently.

                    Your instincts of letting him jump at the level he chooses, seems to makes sense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jumping Horse

                      Originally posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
                      I think we may have the same horse. He is square with his knees but doesn't bother to fold with his lower leg at all when he over jumps the little stuff. I don't have any video of him jumping under saddle up on youtube but here is a video of him that the previous trainer took of him free jumping to give you an idea of what he looks like over a fence (though now he is even more fit ) . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaQiVAaFDa8

                      I think I will start challenging him more at home with some bigger jumps and see if that helps. I know part of me being more conservative with showing him is due to me coming back from knee surgery (actually due to one of my other horses jumping over a standard from a stand still- gotta love the babies, right?!) but my knee has been doing quite well and I think it is time for me to go back to jumping big again. That was definitely a blow to my confidence- not that it was anything that could have been avoided on my part, but moreso it was a harsh reminder that riders are breakable, especially when you start jumping the big sticks.

                      I think he will be a really fun horse in the jumper ring if we can put everything together!
                      That is obviously a very unruly horse and I think you should sell him to me!

                      Comment

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