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exercise/bit suggestions for the excited jumper

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    exercise/bit suggestions for the excited jumper

    my green 8 yo TB mare has decided the jumping is super fun in the past few months. she normally jumps 1x a week (gets ridden 5-6x week otherwise). she is perfectly calm flatting (even canters nicely on a loose rein) before jumping but when it comes time to jump, she gets excited. she gets quick and sometimes rushes jumps (especially the 2nd jump in a line of 2). i try to slow her down but she doesn't seem to listen. she especially likes to put her head down and pull, which makes it especially difficult to sit up and slow her down. she's very green (just started jumping a year ago, we're doing beginner hunter course, think diagonal and straight lines in sets of 2). we jump up to 2 foot (although she also likes to overjump things [for fun i think lol]). i canter poles with her and she doesn't get excited at all (it seems to bore her actually lol). my instructor suggested i pop her over a few jumps on my own [but when she's around] to maybe make it less exciting, which i will be doing. we trot in and canter out of lines (and through in some halt after lines too) to help not rush things also. any suggestions on things/exercise i can do to help with the rushing?

    right now she's in a jointed rubber (tom thumb?) pelham. my trainer suggested we might need to move up to a metal pelham. i'd like to try some other bits before moving up to a big pelham. she usually goes well in the pelham for flatting but i don't think she's a huge fan of it (doesn't like to open mouth for bit, but she may be doing this to try and get out of work). any suggestions on bits to try?

    #2
    It's hard to say without seeing the horse go, do you have a video?
    If you could list the horses bitting history, and how the horse went in each, that might offer some clues for suggesting a stronger bit. Also some info on the horses schooling history, and at what level of education the horse is currently performing.

    But I do think it's best to make certain that this is not a rider, or a training issue before bitting up. There are lots of reasons why horses can rush fences, and I think a rider, or the trainer, should be able to explain why the horse rushes, before making equipment or training choices to fix the problem.

    How can you fix the problem unless you are certain of the cause? Are you certain of the cause? What is the cause, and how did you come to make that deturmination?

    Explaining your situation with all the facts will help others to make better suggestions. But keep in mind that the only way for anyone to really know about what any horse needs, is to personally work with the horse, and preferably ride it (or have their assistant ride it and report what they are feeling).

    Comment


      #3
      An exercise for a horse who rushes is to put 4 jumps on the 4 tangents of a 20m circle.

      The horse gets into a rhythm and as the circle goes on infinitely there is no point in rushing.
      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

      Comment


        #4
        You say she's quiet on a loose rein in canter... How loose? You do need to keep a nice, even steady contact on the flat as well as over fences. What does she do if you take this contact on the flat, like you probably do over fences? Sounds like she's not as broke on the flat as you think she is.....
        Breast cancer survivor!

        Comment


          #5
          4 jumps on a circle is pretty advanced. 4 poles is a place to start. Then one jump on a circle (keep it small--no straight approach--and don't worry about the distance--the jump is just a speed bump). Then add 2. Etc.

          I have a horse who does this. He does like to jump, but the rushing and over jumping is a sign of anxiety. Allowing the horse to lock in on lines doesn't help--they get anxious and ignore you despite your bitting efforts to have brakes. The circle jump needs to become as boring as the ground poles before you go back to lines and longer approaches. Even then, try to read the horse's anxiety and quit while you are ahead. As you go up in height, you may have to take a step back in the exercise.

          Some gymnastics can also help teach them not to rush without you getting in the horse's face.

          My horse was started well over little things and doing boring hunter courses yet he still has anxiety and expects me to be in his face. We spent a long time revisiting flatwork and poles and are now finally doing some X rail lines again. Sure, a pro can kick and pull him around a 3' course fine, but my goal is to train him well not flip him, so we are having to take things slow and basically start over with jump training. Don't rush the horse.

          Your bit sounds fine but if the horse likes other snaffle mouthpieces better, you could try those. Be careful of over-bitting the green bean. I personally like a Tom Thumb Pelham and have used one on the majority of my green horses at some point.

          Comment


            #6
            This video has some basic exercises for horses that rush fences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbMqGfcYpnM. But an X with a rail b4 and after helps keep them balanced; as well as jumping a small fence/flowerbox on a figure of 8, so that the turning helps them keep slower and the pattern helps them to relax.

            Also breaking things up so that they can not anticipate. For instance trotting jumps then coming back to a trot to go to another jump on a line or turning left or right after a jump. Halting b4 jumps.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm going to question your choice of bits for a green horse. A Pelham of any sort would not be my first choice, the leverage can be helpful with a more experienced horse with set evasions, but with a green one, it adds an action in the mouth that can make things more complicated than one would like. I'd find a snaffle that works, at this stage of training. And work with that snaffle until finding the first stage of the training pyramid, that of "free forward RELAXED motion", moving forward off your leg. That is... USING your leg, not being afraid to use your leg on the horse because she is "hot". If she is "hot" at any point in your ride, she is not accepting you leg at that point. Hacking in a relaxed manner without your leg in use is not useful training, her hind end needs to be engaged WHILE the horse is still relaxed. If she is not accepting your hand either, since she is pulling DOWN, she is still in "racehorse mode", she has not made the change in carriage and training that is necessary to make a riding horse out of a racehorse. As a racehorse, she has been taught to pull down, taking the pressure of the bit on the bars, and balancing on the rider's hands. This has got to change before she can truly become a riding horse. She must hold her own balance, not use your hand to help to hold her balance. Until she can do that, you are trying to jump a racehorse, and are finding out that that plan does not work well. And that pulling on the reins is not helpful.

              For a bit for a horse who is caught in this training conundrum, I would prefer to see a simple pulley gag snaffle with two reins instead of a Pelham, because a Pelham tends to encourage a horse to put his chin on his chest, and works on the bars of the mouth, which is not helpful if putting the chin on the chest and pulling back is currently what your horse is doing on bit pressure. Instead the two rein pulley gag snaffle simply redirects bit pressure onto the corners of the mouth instead of on the bars, making it impossible for the horse to dive it's head down and tow on you using the bars of the mouth to do so. Because any pull that the horse tries to take goes onto the corners of the mouth instead of the bars, and the effort is thwarted. It is the horse who uses the bit, not the rider. The rider just rides forward off the leg, and holds the reins lightly and softly. The horse finds out that the previous method of towing simply does not work like it used to, and a new way of going and carriage becomes more possible, where she does not tow, and does not get heavy in front. Because she can not tow unless she can get the bit pressure onto the bars. When she learns that towing and pulling down on the rider is not working for her any more, and that habit is discontinued, you can usually switch back to a regular snaffle and not need the gag again. The gag is simply a short term tool, not needed any more once the habit is gone. Let the horse seek contact with your hand without towing you, the contact is NOT initiated by you.

              So go back to your flat work. Re break the horse so that she accepts hand and leg, and is responsive to the cues that a riding horse needs. At that point, she will actually BE "broke". Then, start your jumping exercises that are geared to keeping her broke and responsive as you ask more things of her. A horse rushes jumps when they are tense, nervous, and not understanding the game correctly. Not understanding what the horse is supposed to do, and what the rider is supposed to do when jumping. It is the horse's job to hold her pace, hold the balance and carriage, and go to the jump. It is the rider's job to set the pace, line, balance and carriage and let her do these things, not interfere once set. If the rider is trying to do too much, this is confusing for the horse, and the horse gets tense, concentration interrupted. The rider does the riding, the horse does the jumping.

              Cast about for more input on training a green TB with an intent to jump. Not all coaches understand the basics of horse training, especially retraining a TB, these days. Decades ago, it was more commonplace.

              Good luck, she sounds like a nice prospect.
              www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

              Comment


                #8
                Trotting over poles, raised poles do lots and lots of grid work. Do some canter work over poles making her shorten and lengthen between a set of poles on the ground, make her understand that to jump a fence she doesn't have to do it quickly. I would also question why if she is going well and soft on her flatwork are you keeping her in a Pelham, maybe if she leans on the bit you should put something more like a French Link in her so she can't lie on your hands. Keeping her mouth shut with a flash too if you don't use one on her. Do you do flatwork on her when theres a course of jumps around? Might be worth just keeping a course set up and doing some flatwork in there so that overtime she sees a jump she doesn't think that she's going to be going jumping.

                Good luck with her, would be great to see a video.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I agree with NancyM on the bearing down. It's not just an OTTB problem. Any green horse who by virtue of age, conformation, and muscling would rather not (or maybe is not strong enough to) use its hind end can use the bear down trick as an evasion. A hot or sensitive horse who is not very accepting of the legs and seat may also trick the rider to continue to ride off the hand and offer balance. My large, young, very much not an OTTB horse had the same problem and was taught that the rider would hold him up. That he could be nice on a loose rein did not help at all when you needed to ask him to put himself together. At first, I couldn't sit the canter because either I was being pulled out of the saddle or if I did sit deeply, horse would hollow out and scoot. He might go along slowly if I pretty much posed up there, but what happens when I have to give input? Posing might work for the schoolmaster but not the one who is just winging it out there on course. There's no way I could achieve relaxation to the jumps if I couldn't have a decent canter and use my aids.

                  It's a common green horse problem to have one who gives you the option of the long spot to the jump and that's it. Because they only have a strung out canter and it's easy to fling themselves over from the gap than sit back on the hind end. Add sensitivity and anxiety to the mix and you get a horse who rushes but still wants the gap, and maybe horse is rushing to the miss, and horse is ignoring you, and then things get a bit scary. Ask me how I know. Take baby steps. Eventually, the horse not only gets stronger and more balanced but starts to learn that the run and leap is really not the easiest, most fun way to do things. And then you have developed a partnership.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    i don't have a video, sadly no one to take it because i do my lesson during the day and it's usually just me and my trainer. i bought the horse a year ago. she was w/t/c started basically when i bought her. taught her jumping using grids and cross rails mostly. in may we moved up to higher fences (up to 2 feet). she's always overjumped things when she felt like it, even a tiny cross rail. she went in this bit before:

                    the bit was changed because she needed more brakes (long story short). my trainer suggested the current bit, which improved our brakes and i had to yank on her mouth much less. i don't really want a stronger bit, i would like to try a different one and see if it helps.

                    she rushes with my trainer also, so i'm not sure it's a rider issue. my trainer is saying the reason she rushes is that she's excited and likes to jump.
                    Originally posted by Bo View Post
                    It's hard to say without seeing the horse go, do you have a video?
                    If you could list the horses bitting history, and how the horse went in each, that might offer some clues for suggesting a stronger bit. Also some info on the horses schooling history, and at what level of education the horse is currently performing.

                    But I do think it's best to make certain that this is not a rider, or a training issue before bitting up. There are lots of reasons why horses can rush fences, and I think a rider, or the trainer, should be able to explain why the horse rushes, before making equipment or training choices to fix the problem.

                    How can you fix the problem unless you are certain of the cause? Are you certain of the cause? What is the cause, and how did you come to make that deturmination?

                    Explaining your situation with all the facts will help others to make better suggestions. But keep in mind that the only way for anyone to really know about what any horse needs, is to personally work with the horse, and preferably ride it (or have their assistant ride it and report what they are feeling).

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                      You say she's quiet on a loose rein in canter... How loose? You do need to keep a nice, even steady contact on the flat as well as over fences. What does she do if you take this contact on the flat, like you probably do over fences? Sounds like she's not as broke on the flat as you think she is.....
                      i can do loose or with some contact, she goes the same either way on the flat at the canter. if she's not really broke on the flat, how do i fix this?

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        she is not an ottb. she never saw a race track or went into race training (no lip tattoo either). she was bought by the original owner directly from a TB breeder.

                        Originally posted by NancyM View Post
                        I'm going to question your choice of bits for a green horse. A Pelham of any sort would not be my first choice, the leverage can be helpful with a more experienced horse with set evasions, but with a green one, it adds an action in the mouth that can make things more complicated than one would like. I'd find a snaffle that works, at this stage of training. And work with that snaffle until finding the first stage of the training pyramid, that of "free forward RELAXED motion", moving forward off your leg. That is... USING your leg, not being afraid to use your leg on the horse because she is "hot". If she is "hot" at any point in your ride, she is not accepting you leg at that point. Hacking in a relaxed manner without your leg in use is not useful training, her hind end needs to be engaged WHILE the horse is still relaxed. If she is not accepting your hand either, since she is pulling DOWN, she is still in "racehorse mode", she has not made the change in carriage and training that is necessary to make a riding horse out of a racehorse. As a racehorse, she has been taught to pull down, taking the pressure of the bit on the bars, and balancing on the rider's hands. This has got to change before she can truly become a riding horse. She must hold her own balance, not use your hand to help to hold her balance. Until she can do that, you are trying to jump a racehorse, and are finding out that that plan does not work well. And that pulling on the reins is not helpful.

                        For a bit for a horse who is caught in this training conundrum, I would prefer to see a simple pulley gag snaffle with two reins instead of a Pelham, because a Pelham tends to encourage a horse to put his chin on his chest, and works on the bars of the mouth, which is not helpful if putting the chin on the chest and pulling back is currently what your horse is doing on bit pressure. Instead the two rein pulley gag snaffle simply redirects bit pressure onto the corners of the mouth instead of on the bars, making it impossible for the horse to dive it's head down and tow on you using the bars of the mouth to do so. Because any pull that the horse tries to take goes onto the corners of the mouth instead of the bars, and the effort is thwarted. It is the horse who uses the bit, not the rider. The rider just rides forward off the leg, and holds the reins lightly and softly. The horse finds out that the previous method of towing simply does not work like it used to, and a new way of going and carriage becomes more possible, where she does not tow, and does not get heavy in front. Because she can not tow unless she can get the bit pressure onto the bars. When she learns that towing and pulling down on the rider is not working for her any more, and that habit is discontinued, you can usually switch back to a regular snaffle and not need the gag again. The gag is simply a short term tool, not needed any more once the habit is gone. Let the horse seek contact with your hand without towing you, the contact is NOT initiated by you.

                        So go back to your flat work. Re break the horse so that she accepts hand and leg, and is responsive to the cues that a riding horse needs. At that point, she will actually BE "broke". Then, start your jumping exercises that are geared to keeping her broke and responsive as you ask more things of her. A horse rushes jumps when they are tense, nervous, and not understanding the game correctly. Not understanding what the horse is supposed to do, and what the rider is supposed to do when jumping. It is the horse's job to hold her pace, hold the balance and carriage, and go to the jump. It is the rider's job to set the pace, line, balance and carriage and let her do these things, not interfere once set. If the rider is trying to do too much, this is confusing for the horse, and the horse gets tense, concentration interrupted. The rider does the riding, the horse does the jumping.

                        Cast about for more input on training a green TB with an intent to jump. Not all coaches understand the basics of horse training, especially retraining a TB, these days. Decades ago, it was more commonplace.

                        Good luck, she sounds like a nice prospect.

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          we do lots of trot and canter pole work, no rushing there and she does great with it. will work on shortening and lengthening the stride though.

                          yes usually there are jumps in the arena while she is being flatted. if there's another horse jumping in the arena, you can tell she wants to jump too (clearly trying to head to jumps).

                          Originally posted by littlesquirrel View Post
                          Trotting over poles, raised poles do lots and lots of grid work. Do some canter work over poles making her shorten and lengthen between a set of poles on the ground, make her understand that to jump a fence she doesn't have to do it quickly. I would also question why if she is going well and soft on her flatwork are you keeping her in a Pelham, maybe if she leans on the bit you should put something more like a French Link in her so she can't lie on your hands. Keeping her mouth shut with a flash too if you don't use one on her. Do you do flatwork on her when theres a course of jumps around? Might be worth just keeping a course set up and doing some flatwork in there so that overtime she sees a jump she doesn't think that she's going to be going jumping.

                          Good luck with her, would be great to see a video.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by IPEsq View Post
                            I agree with NancyM on the bearing down. It's not just an OTTB problem. Any green horse who by virtue of age, conformation, and muscling would rather not (or maybe is not strong enough to) use its hind end can use the bear down trick as an evasion. A hot or sensitive horse who is not very accepting of the legs and seat may also trick the rider to continue to ride off the hand and offer balance. My large, young, very much not an OTTB horse had the same problem and was taught that the rider would hold him up. That he could be nice on a loose rein did not help at all when you needed to ask him to put himself together. At first, I couldn't sit the canter because either I was being pulled out of the saddle or if I did sit deeply, horse would hollow out and scoot. He might go along slowly if I pretty much posed up there, but what happens when I have to give input? Posing might work for the schoolmaster but not the one who is just winging it out there on course. There's no way I could achieve relaxation to the jumps if I couldn't have a decent canter and use my aids.

                            It's a common green horse problem to have one who gives you the option of the long spot to the jump and that's it. Because they only have a strung out canter and it's easy to fling themselves over from the gap than sit back on the hind end. Add sensitivity and anxiety to the mix and you get a horse who rushes but still wants the gap, and maybe horse is rushing to the miss, and horse is ignoring you, and then things get a bit scary. Ask me how I know. Take baby steps. Eventually, the horse not only gets stronger and more balanced but starts to learn that the run and leap is really not the easiest, most fun way to do things. And then you have developed a partnership.
                            she usually takes decent spots, she just runs to them and doesn't listen on the way lol.

                            on a weird side note, i've taken her to 3 shows and she is dead there. more lazy than at home, not rushing either. idk if all the other stuff going on just distracts her or what. we're going to another this weekend, so i'll see if she is dead there again.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My go to when a horse starts to rush is to go back to 'trot and plop' as my trainer calls it. A horse rushes when they are anxious, generally because they either don't know what they are doing or the rider is doing something to interfere with the horse.

                              Trot and plop really is just that. One hand on the reins, one hand on a grab strap, and just go and trot fences until it is easy and controlled with a loopy rein. Once you've got it down you move up to canter and do the same thing. This ensures that the rider is not getting in the way and it lets the horse figure out what to do. You can use the reins to give a quick whoa if needed but otherwise you stay completely out of their way.
                              "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by gymangel812 View Post
                                i don't have a video, sadly no one to take it because i do my lesson during the day and it's usually just me and my trainer. i bought the horse a year ago. she was w/t/c started basically when i bought her. taught her jumping using grids and cross rails mostly. in may we moved up to higher fences (up to 2 feet). she's always overjumped things when she felt like it, even a tiny cross rail. she went in this bit before:

                                the bit was changed because she needed more brakes (long story short). my trainer suggested the current bit, which improved our brakes and i had to yank on her mouth much less. i don't really want a stronger bit, i would like to try a different one and see if it helps.

                                she rushes with my trainer also, so i'm not sure it's a rider issue. my trainer is saying the reason she rushes is that she's excited and likes to jump.
                                There's a lot you can do with a green horse to teach them without going to stronger bits. But if you really feel you must bit up your horse. I'd suggest trying a snaffle gag with two reins. I've only used the single jointed type, but there are french link versions out there if you can find one.

                                http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/ce...FUyPHwodSMoHsA

                                The mouth feel should be familiar for your horse, but the gag action can be very effective when used in the right hands.

                                I like this bit as a training bit for horses that get strong. I ride off of the snaffle, and for the most part it is a simple snaffle bit. But when the horse misbehaves you can engage the gag action to the degree necessary to get the horses attention and get them listening again.

                                As a training tool this bit is nice because once the horse is listening to the snaffle, you can put the gag bit away and switch to a regular snaffle.

                                This is my go-to bit for saying 'hey listen up', and they get a very obvious reward when they do listen.

                                Use this bit only on horses that can tolerate this type of gag action. In the wrong hands this can be a dangerous bit because the gag action can be very severe, so don't uses it if that makes you uncomfortable.

                                I think you sound like you're doing lots of appropriate groundwork with her. An exercise I'd recommend that I think helps a horse to listen:

                                (I also think you should try this exercise first in the bit you're using now.)

                                Set up a pair of ground rails on the long side of the ring, and set the distance between so you can fit in either three long canter strides, or four short short canter strides. Then practice lengthening and shortening the canter between the rails until your horse is listening to your half halts, and the horse has the exercise down pat.

                                Once you're comfortable, set jump standards at the ends of the last rail and leave the rail on the ground, practice with that set up to get the horse used to it.

                                Then make the last jump into a small cross rail with a ground pole at the base (adjust the distance between rails as is necessary), and see how the horse reacts. Practice getting in the three strides or the four strides before the cross rail until the horse is listening.

                                Then you can incrementally raise the jump if the horse remains comfortable and listening.

                                The nice thing about this exercise is that you can add a placing rail in front of the jump to help the horse find his distance. If all goes well you can eventually transform the whole set up into a gymnastic of your choosing.

                                I like this because it helps the horse learn in a step by step fashion, and you're not over facing him with anything all at once.

                                But definitely mix it up with other flat work and exercises to keep it interesting.

                                Good luck.

                                Edited to add: I just wanted to say again that the snaffle gag is not a bit for inexperienced riders. To use it correctly a rider has to be experienced riding with two sets of reins with dexterity. Applying the curb rein to put pressure on the gag is an art in itself. This is a bit that most would not use on a green horse unless they knew how to use it. It would also not be my first choice to use this bit as there are other training methods that should be tried first.

                                I'm only mentioning it because you specifically asked.

                                I hope you understand the rational I'm using for suggesting the snaffle gag. If you only connected the snaffle reins to it you would essential have a regular mild snaffle bit on a green horse. But by putting the curb reins on it you turn it into a powerful gag bit, that when used with experienced hands, can make a powerful training tool. But this is not a bit I personally would ever use as a permanent bit to ride in. I consider it a training tool only.

                                If a rider using a snaffle gag ever lost control of the curb rein, and it caught on something, or the horse stepped on it, things could get really ugly.
                                Last edited by Bo; Aug. 20, 2015, 01:31 AM.

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by gymangel812 View Post
                                  she is not an ottb. she never saw a race track or went into race training (no lip tattoo either). she was bought by the original owner directly from a TB breeder.

                                  Doesn't matter. She's acting as if she was raced, or race trained, whether this is actually what happened or not. She's towing, pulling downward. Some people who are not race trainers also ride horses with the same goal in mind, pulling on the reins. Once a horse learns this, during race training or not, it has to be unlearned.
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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by gymangel812 View Post
                                    i don't have a video, sadly no one to take it because i do my lesson during the day and it's usually just me and my trainer. i bought the horse a year ago. she was w/t/c started basically when i bought her. taught her jumping using grids and cross rails mostly. in may we moved up to higher fences (up to 2 feet). she's always overjumped things when she felt like it, even a tiny cross rail. she went in this bit before:

                                    the bit was changed because she needed more brakes (long story short). my trainer suggested the current bit, which improved our brakes and i had to yank on her mouth much less. i don't really want a stronger bit, i would like to try a different one and see if it helps.

                                    she rushes with my trainer also, so i'm not sure it's a rider issue. my trainer is saying the reason she rushes is that she's excited and likes to jump.
                                    But changing the bit to something harsher because you needed "better brakes" isn't training. Training is what gives you brakes, not the bit. A horse listening to you, and wanting to do what you are asking her to do for you, understanding the game we want to play with them, no matter what it is... go, stop, slow down, speed up, go to the jump, bend, soften is all training. Can be done without a bit at all, if TRAINING is the key. And training is accomplished when a "release of pressure" is noticed by the horse. The pressure is released, and the horse learns something. "Pulling" or "applying pressure" is never the answer. You should not pull on the reins, no matter what bit you are using. And no, I am not a Parelli nut LOL. If she likes to jump, she will like to jump correctly even better. But she has to understand the game first.

                                    The horse is a TB? Then it is a sensitive animal. She is not obtuse, or thick skinned, or unresponsive. Just untrained.

                                    And yes, if you and your coach ride in the same manner, pulling on the reins and using more bit to try to accomplish "training", then the result of a rushing tense horse can be rider related no matter which of you is mounted.
                                    Sorry, I don't mean to be nasty about this. It's just such a prevalent problem that one sees around these days. You have the right instincts about this problem, and are seeking advice, which is the key here, and I congratulate you for this.

                                    Rather than blaming the bit, or the horse, instead try to train the horse. A trainer chooses the bit that works best to give a cue, that puts the right angle of pressure on the horse's mouth to be effective, and is the most comfortable for the horse to wear. Which bit that may be is unknown, as each horse is different. Show her what you want by giving with your hand when she responds. When you "give", she learns something. Your goal could be to be able to ride the horse, ride to a jump, jump into a line, and halt at any point WITHOUT using the reins AT ALL. Just your weight, and voice, no hand. Because that is a "trained" horse. The reins are for giving a cue, not for pulling on.
                                    I hope my comments have not alienated you, or made you angry, I just want to give you something different to think about regarding riding and training. Perhaps something useful for you.

                                    Again, cast about for alternative trainers/coaches in your area. Go to a horse show, watch the riders, and search for the ones who ride softly, whose horses go softly, who perform brilliantly without a lot of pulling on the reins. Find out who is the trainer/coach of these people. Sign up for some help from THAT coach, see if there is any difference in advice for you and your horse. Sign up for a clinic with a travelling BNT with a great reputation for skilled riding and training. Branch out for different ideas on riding and training from only the input you have been getting recently. See if there are some different ideas that might work for you.
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                                      #19
                                      I have an energetic (older) warmblood jumper. He loves his job and GOES to the jumps. I jump him in a 3 ring with 2 reins. If you arent used to this bit, it has a snaffle with 2 more rings below the snaffle. I ride off the snaffle rein most of the time. Then when I jump I can use the next ring below the snaffle to get a Whoa and balance agter the fence. Then I soften that rein and go back to using the snaffle.
                                      I have not ever used the bottom ring - just the snaffle and the next ring down. It gives me enough brakes and balance to get him back after the jump and then I can go back to using the snaffle rein.
                                      Hope this makes sense. Its kinda hard to explain a 3 ring bit. Its also known as a gag. the fact that you have 2 reins gives you the flexibility to only use the gag rein when the horse is VERY strong. As the other poster said, its not a bit for someone who doesnt have enough experience to only use the gag rein when the horse is strong. I use it on my warblood who gets VERY strong when we jump and he is just a saint in this bit.
                                      Last edited by Linda; Aug. 20, 2015, 02:21 PM.

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