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OTTB that takes the bit and runs at the jumps

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  • OTTB that takes the bit and runs at the jumps

    I have an OTTB that I have been working with for quite some time now. He is BROKE and lovely on the flat...lateral work is great, soft and supple. Working on lenghtening and shortening. We can trot jumps til the cows come home and 9 times out of 10 he lopes away lovely. He will canter poles (single) with no problem but tries to take the bit and run if the poles are a line...

    I have been successful in cantering one jump here or there and this summer he was progressing and cantering crossrails (singles) just fine.

    The problem that I have is keeping him TOGETHER to the jump. He has a tendency to brace and lift his head 2 or 3 strides before the jump, then pull to the jump. Sometimes on a really bad day, he just wants to take the bit and run to the jump.

    Any exercises, suggestions? He's currently ridden in a Myler D ring # 1 mouthpiece. I tried the # 2 last night and he hated it...

  • #2
    Have you tried gymnastics? That usually helps to slow them down and make them wait. Placing a pole in front of the jump, not as a ground line, rather 12 ft in front to make them back off a bit can help. The other thing I do is mentally tell myself that I am not riding a line, I am riding each jump as an individual fence and that helps me to ride him differently. My horse rushed very bad before I got him when a friend was training him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have a trainer working with you? Is it possible you are collapsing or otherwise sending him on landing...

      Otherwise I would say lines of pole bounces.

      Also setting up some bending lines so he can jump one not the second, jump the second not the first, jump the first and second etc.

      another really good exercise (especially if its partially you) is have three jumps in a fan from a single. Have a friend yell out Left, Right, straight, as you are jumping the first jump. That way YOU don't know what you are doing and cant' anticipate, nor can he. Add a fourth option where he jumps nothing


      this was the set up I had...you could modify it for one x, or get him going well enough to do two x's http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...Untitled-6.jpg

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        he is good through a gymnastic.. not great but good. He does NOT take the bit in the gymnastic. I dont have a trainer (no $) but when I can afford to pay my daughter's trainer to help me, I have the luxury of being able to do more. No, Jumpergirl.. i'm not collapsing or sending him on landing.. BEFORE the jump in the problem.. we dont even jump lines yet, since we can't canter into the line. We have been able to trot in, canter out... SOMETIMES. He has a HUGE step, which is p art of the problem. I can PM you a video of him trotting the jump, and you can see how lovely he canters off... but I can't maintain that canter TO the jump...

        I should clarify that this is not my first green horse, nor my first OTTB. I've been riding over 30 years and have mostly ONLY ridden greenies.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          i do like that exercise you posted.... We probably could set that up in our indoor..

          Comment


          • #6
            My guy pulled to the fence so much so I thought he'd be going over every time -until I landed on by bum - twice We went back to lots of flat work and transitions. Then on to gymastics. I second the gymnastics and lines of poll bounces, repitition, repition and there are so many variations you should be able to keep things interesting.

            Working with a really trainer helps (or even having a set of eyes on the groung watching you) - last lesson we addressed 3 of my position flaws that changed our approach to the jumps immedialty. And when in doubt I sing to myself to help me find the pace I want

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with jumper_girl. Don't do lines. Or what you and he think are lines. And don't do the same thing twice. You will want him to be waiting for your direction. You can add a 5th and 6th option to jumper_girl's diagram -- after the X or X bounce, turn right or left and do a roll back to the jump (or pole) in the upper left corner (part of the line) or the lower left corner of her picture.

              If you do a straight line, mix it up. Trot in, canter out. Canter in, trot out. (mix up how many strides in or out you make the transition). Trot both. Canter both. Add. Double add. Triple add, if you can. Canter in, circle out. Circle to just the out.

              Do a figure 8 with a jump in the middle. Canter jumps on a circle. Basically try to make jumping an extension of your flatwork. Keep him on his toes, make him want to wait for you to tell him where he is going. Don't give him a lot of long spaces of canter so he can build up steam.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                when my daughter's trainer (my friend) is my eyes on the ground it does help.. I just cant afford to pay her, so I take it when I can get it. Salymandar, he's not even at that point yet. I don't do ANY lines. EVER. LOL. All of the things you are telling me are exactly what i WOULD do.. if he didn't grab the bit and run. I think what i need to do is buckle down and ride him in the exercise,even if it;s ugly and feels gross. I never give him long canter spaces. Our life consists of circles, serpentines, transitions, etc. I am just so frustrated. His canter is LOVELY on the flat. I hate the last two strides where he hollows his back, and just takes me to the jump. I hate that feeling.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you tried just maintaining contact, no matter what, and just keep a hold of him over a small fence until he does it quietly. That's what helped with my particular mare and what I was told to do by Greg Best. She's now completely 'rush" free.

                  Or tried letting him go and not trapping him, maintaining a light feel and making sure to give him his head? I've ridden horses that the more you fought, the more of a battle it was.

                  its hard to say without seeing him go and see what exactly is going on. I'm assuming you've eliminated mouth, feet, back, and saddle issues?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are you sitting down on his back right before the fence and possibly irritating him with your seat?

                    Are you taking a hold and trying to hold his face the last two strides?

                    Have you cantered jumps on a circle, or individual jumps on a soft, floating rein while staying in a light half seat?

                    I've seen horses that will make a bid for the jump when the rider anticipates the rushing, so they take a hold, so the horse learns to make a bid. But draping the reins, and using a light half halt while staying light in the tack gets them to relax.

                    Can you post some video of you riding single cantering jumps or lines where you canter in?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I'm not brave enough to post videos on here..

                      I have been successful cantering little jumps, when he stays soft. It's when he grabs the bit.. I think i hold. He does NOT give in when you hold. I can't let go when he grabs...and I cant hold when he grabs. I try to keep his mouth soft, but sometimes that is just not possible.

                      I almost always ride in a soft almost half seat because he hates when I sit on his back too much. He gets regular vet and chiro. I have ruled out ortho issues, saddle issues, etc.

                      ok I will post 2 videos.

                      This one was from August:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxpwSlo3PG0


                      This one was from a week or 2 ago:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIzAY8B_9x0

                      Forgive my poor equitation and keep the volume down.

                      You would never know watching these that he wants to grab the bit. he was soft both days.

                      On his bad days, ugh. I hate riding him to the jumps. I really want to be able to show him some day. Ive taken a LOT of time doing flatwork and bringing him along. He was TOUGH. Unbalanced, stiff, chiro issues. Now, he is very fun on the flat.

                      I need to be patient. If you could have seen the progression over the last year.. it know the jumps willcome. I just want them to come now..

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        duplicate post

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The only two random thoughts I have that haven't been mentioned yet:

                          1. Your canter in the videos is lovely, but on the slow side in terms of tempo. Does he have the same reaction if you ride him in with more impulsion on a quicker pace? I've seen a few who had serious confidence issues that jumped well with a bit of speed on a forward pace, and charged at fences at a slower pace. It isn't a fix, but if it works it may point to a pain issue instead of a training issue.

                          2. How does he react to a big nose roll? It may give you a bit more rideability in the last few strides if it causes him to lower his head.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by myalter1 View Post
                            I'm not brave enough to post videos on here..

                            I have been successful cantering little jumps, when he stays soft. It's when he grabs the bit.. I think i hold. He does NOT give in when you hold. I can't let go when he grabs...and I cant hold when he grabs. I try to keep his mouth soft, but sometimes that is just not possible.

                            I almost always ride in a soft almost half seat because he hates when I sit on his back too much. He gets regular vet and chiro. I have ruled out ortho issues, saddle issues, etc.

                            ok I will post 2 videos.

                            This one was from August:

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxpwSlo3PG0


                            This one was from a week or 2 ago:
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIzAY8B_9x0

                            Forgive my poor equitation and keep the volume down.

                            You would never know watching these that he wants to grab the bit. he was soft both days.

                            On his bad days, ugh. I hate riding him to the jumps. I really want to be able to show him some day. Ive taken a LOT of time doing flatwork and bringing him along. He was TOUGH. Unbalanced, stiff, chiro issues. Now, he is very fun on the flat.

                            I need to be patient. If you could have seen the progression over the last year.. it know the jumps willcome. I just want them to come now..
                            One thing I can see from a quick peak...in both of those video's, about two-three strides out, your upper body starts to tip forward, and you are then jumping ahead into an exaggerated release which is probably a kick in the rear for him to move to mach 10.

                            At that height, your upper body doesn't need to move at all, and I'll bet that is enough on a sensitive TB to send him.

                            Try keeping extremely still with your upper body on approach, you shouldn't' move at all...think "lean back" toward the fence and stay completely still.

                            I will BET that will be enough to give you a substantial change.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              After looking at the video from two weeks ago, it seems as if he isn't carrying *enough* pace to the fence. That sounds kind of backwards, but coming from years of jumping my rushy TB I can tell you that I tended to approach with not enough leg and impulsion. When we finally were close to the fence, he would say "OMG i cant jump like this" and rush. Or, take my (too strong) contact and rush through it.

                              I would try keeping a supporting leg, a bit more than you think you need, and try carrying a stronger pace to the fence.

                              Also, make jumping boring! Incorporate small, single fences into your flatwork, only approaching them when he is working well.

                              ETA: Another problem I had with my rushy horse is that I would keep a strong contact and then give a huge release at the fence, which gave him an opportunity to surge ahead (this is after the fence though, not before). Not giving such large releases helped a lot!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by myalter1 View Post
                                when my daughter's trainer (my friend) is my eyes on the ground it does help.. I just cant afford to pay her, so I take it when I can get it. Salymandar, he's not even at that point yet. I don't do ANY lines. EVER. LOL. All of the things you are telling me are exactly what i WOULD do.. if he didn't grab the bit and run. I think what i need to do is buckle down and ride him in the exercise,even if it;s ugly and feels gross. I never give him long canter spaces. Our life consists of circles, serpentines, transitions, etc. I am just so frustrated. His canter is LOVELY on the flat. I hate the last two strides where he hollows his back, and just takes me to the jump. I hate that feeling.
                                Sorry about my reading comprehension error You can totally do all that with poles on the ground or mix it up with poles and cross rails/small jumps. But after watching your video, I think you can work on the jumps, too.

                                Again, I second jumper_girl's recommendations.

                                As far as bit, I know mine braces a bit in the Mylers. Have you tried a happy mouth mullen or something with multiple joints, like a french link, happy mouth double jointed, or waterford?

                                Ok -- saw videos. In the first one he is laying on your hand all the way around, so the problem is there from the beginning. Definitely cut down your long canter approaches and make him wait to the base of the jumps. Like that long canter approach to the single on the left lead. Cut in between the center jump and the jumps at the other end of the ring. You can probably even turn to the inside of the center jump, get him sitting back on his hocks and not laying in your hand. Sure, he's not going to like it, but sometimes he has to do things he doesn't like, like allow you to sit in the saddle and make him wait to the base. He'll figure it out.

                                In addition to previous examples try turning left instead of halting in the corner or turning right after the first jump in the second video. Keep the jump low and canter it on a left lead circle a few times, again, make him concentrate on keeping himself balanced before and after the jumps so you don't have to work as hard at it. Think of doing little eq or slow jumper courses with him.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Another thing you could try is turning him and doing a circle as soon as he gets stiff. Stay on that circle until he gets soft and gives his jaw again. Then reapproach your fence. I would do this at both trot and canter. Really evaluate what he's giving you at the trot and see if he's doing the same thing but less dramatically. Every time he gets stiff or speeds up turn out and do your circle until you re-establish the pace you want. Turn both ways if you can and if you want you can put a slanted pole to the side so he goes over that as he's turning.

                                  Also, doing a circle of death type exercise with poles and then every other small verticals as he gets more settled. So like pole, small vertical, pole, small vertical in a circle. This will help his mind keep busy and keep him from getting too quick. Let the exercise do the work for you. If it's ugly at first let him figure it out and let the jumps back him off.

                                  You could also try him with higher fences to see if he is just not challenged and not respecting what he's being asked to do.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    When I've ridden hot horses who run at jumps, what's worked the best for me is to always have a jump set up when I ride. I'll do my normal flat stuff and when the horse is good and listening, we'll pop over the jump before he has time to notice we're jumping. Then straight back to boring old flatwork. When he's good and listening, hop over the jump again. Repeat until the jump is no big deal whatsoever. I start this trotting, and when trotting jumps is easy try cantering.


                                    This worked amazingly on the older gelding I lease.. He'll take off and gallop at the fence (which wouldn't be so terrible if he didn't have an incredible talent for stopping hard at the last second), or he'll canter sideways so he is literally parallel to the jump (wish I had video, it's very impressive). A handful of rides doing this, we were cantering 2'6" lines bareback, and even jumped 3' for the first time ever (also bareback).
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                                    • #19
                                      He seems to be cheating

                                      I watched both videos and you should definitely not be afraid to post them ... you ride lovely. Two comments though ...

                                      1. At the canter, he has a nice even pace, but he does not seem to be riding on the bit. He is actually cheating and sucking back behind the bit right until you approach the jump at which point he pokes his nose out, feels the contact and reacts with a stronger canter. The stronger canter is not the problem, in my opinion, its the change that is making you nervous. I think you need to work on driving him from behind with lots of transitions and get him to reach for the contact on the flat. For what it's worth, I had a horse that did the same thing and that's the only way we were able to resolve the situation.

                                      2. Some horses will never back off of low jumps and cross rails. Gymnastics are the best option for getting a horse to sit back and pay attention. I would work on lots of those. Also, canter over poles with different striding, bounces, roll backs, etc. Just don't do lines. Make sure he has no way to anticipate where you are going after the jump so he has to pay attention if he doesn't want to be thrown off balance. I spent a weekend with my horse doing about a dozen jumps each day with something "unexpected" on the other side. Suddenly, he was paying more attention.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What happens if you have no contact (loopy rein) and you just stay in hover half seat. Does he still get strong?
                                        What if the fences are of real height?
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