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Suggestions for an odd jump style/ habit-video added**critique please :)

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  • Suggestions for an odd jump style/ habit-video added**critique please :)

    Ok so I am sitting here frustrated at a loss not knowing what to do. I have a 5 year old mare, just turned five, who has developed a habit of jumping oddly with her back end. It is almost like she kicks out over the jumps. Sometimes it is not as bad as other times, but man when she does a good one it hurts my back the reins slide and we land discombobulated!! I think* it is because she is not working off her hind end properly. I just dont know what to do to fix this. Things I try already:

    On a long side, ask for a straight upward transition and a quick response
    Lots of transitions
    I dont ask her to go into a frame or anything just focus of forward forward forward the whole ride

    But yet I am still not seeing an big improvement over fences...and getting very frustrated.

    She gets chiro done on a regular basis, just for maintenance, has had her teeth done recently and goes in a plain d-ring snaffle. She tends to suck back when I put leg on, so that is why I do transitions to get her to respond to my leg quicker... Help?

    I will link to a picture of her conformation (i bought this picture), which I have never thought was downhill. This is when she was 3 so could be a bit bum high.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...d&id=747950577
    Last edited by *styxie*; Jun. 4, 2010, 02:01 PM.
    ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

    *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

  • #2
    I was going to ask what type of jumping you do but I will go out on a ledge and say hunter? What size are the fences out of curiosity? If you recently moved her up to larger fences and she started this it may be her natural way of going. I think I am confused about what you mean by kicking out. A couple of my jumpers kick up their heels a little over larger jumps making them a difficult ride, but I put up with it since I know they are doing everything in their power not to hit the jumps behind.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      yup hunters. It is really hard to explain, it isn't really kicking out, it is like she just over exaggerates but it is not a quick motion, she jumps the with her front end then the back goes wayyy up and she lands very heavy on the forehand...and unbalanced

      No I havent moved up, it just sort of developed, because I have videos of her freejumping younger and she didnt do it.

      edited to add they are max 2.9
      ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

      *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmmm. You might want to try quite a bit of small gymnastics. Probably something easy at first a trot in 1 to a 1, and make them pretty short so she has to sit back and use her hind end and stay off of her forehand. Before setting up the second and third jumps of the gymnastic though I would just put the poles on the ground in case even the looming jumps dont help the discombobulation.
        After she is going through it with the poles raise them to regular jumps and see if it helps.
        If you are already doing gymnastics and it isnt helping enough, perhaps add ground poles in between the jumps to help her sit back and get off of that forehand a little more. If she cant plant her forehand after the jump she probably will think a little bit more about what she does with her hind end over the jump in preparation of what she is going to have to do next.
        Also as she starts handleing the gymnastic better and better over time I would change the beginning to a bounce (very low jumps....like xes at first) to encourage more quickness off of the forehand. As she does that well you can switch it up and add a low bounce to a one stride to a low bounce going out.
        I probably wouldnt ride her to lines or single jumps (except of course in warm-up) until I was sure that she was more together and less discombobulated.

        Using cavaletti in warmup and on flat days (set at lowest level) at both the trot and canter may help as well. As would anything that forces her to sit back, use the hind end on the ground and stop planting her front end.

        I hope my random thoughts can be of some help to you. Your intuition about lots of transitions should help, but I would also try to work on transitions within each gait as well....such as collection to medium or lengthen and then back to collection ect. Good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by *styxie* View Post
          I think* it is because she is not working off her hind end properly.
          If you think this is part of the issue, then...

          I dont ask her to go into a frame or anything just focus of forward forward forward the whole ride
          Why?

          IMVHO, a horse who is being asked to jump should be working in some sort of "frame". "forward forward forward" without some "frame" doesn't really get the hind end engaged, it just gets (when done correctly as opposed to rushing) relaxation and rhythm, though the horse can still be strung out to some degree.

          Go back to your flatwork instead of jumping for now. Your thought of not using herself properly is probably not far from the truth, and you fix that on the flat first
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I dont ask her to go in a frame much because she is also a curler, and generally that just exacerbates the problem. But* when I ride her forward, and begin doing circles serpentines etc she does goes nicely on the bit, so I just mean I dont ask for it much, let her come into my hands rather then pushing for it.

            http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1166830774946

            Try this link to a crappy video, this isnt me riding her, and if you watch closely you can see her habit at the extreme. She doesnt do this as much anymore, so I guess there is some improvement.

            I had a lesson from Hyde a few weeks back and he had her going much better, but I know it is because he much stronger them me in his ability to get her off the fore hand. So maybe I just need exercises to strengthen me....
            ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

            *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the video is set to private.

              While riding does take SOME strength, it shouldn't take "much stronger" to get a horse off their forehand. That makes me think the rider is pulling the horse up, which isn't the right thing. But, that may be just my interpretation of your words
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment


              • #8
                If she is landing heavy on the front, can you try grid work? The video might help once the privacy setting gets changed.
                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                Comment


                • #9
                  Over the years there's been a heck of a lot of great show jumpers that habitually kick back with hindlegs while in mid-air.

                  It often starts out when a horse has been jumped young when it's unbalanced or perhaps because it's caught a hind leg and rattled it on a jump.

                  Yours is a youngster and so just starting out and she's not going to be balanced and dependent on what you're doing with her other than jumping she may not be well developed hind end.

                  I'd suggest a programme to help her develop hind end musculature and balance and only when you've got her working well on the flat, progress to trotting poles and then to jumping.

                  Start off with small sequences of jumps that will make her focus on what she's doing and learn to balance. Nice and low too and aim to maintain a nice working trot momentum. It's concentration and balance you want to try to achieve.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have answered your own question. If you cannot get her to go correctly and balanced on the flat? She is not going to be balanced or strong enough behind to get you a good jump and no excercise will fix that. If she cannot get her back end under her and is jumping out of an open stride? I bet it's not pretty. More likely long and weak with no push from behind-that can get you in trouble. Almost sounds like you are running her at the fences and are totally unable to help with rein and leg aids, just taking what you get.

                    She HAS to learn to accept contact properly, without dropping behind or duping you into just dropping her head and letting her get all strung out.

                    If she goes better for your trainer? Have your trainer give you some "homework" on mastering the aids on the flat and teaching this mare to accept that rein aid properly.

                    Time to mention that D word again. Get some dressage lessons to learn leg to hand and proper use of all aids. That will help the heck out of her over the jumps-teach her to rock back and come from behind so she can take off instead of launch.

                    Little mare is kind of cute and there is nothing conformational, oh-a little straight behind but not limiting.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      ok try this one, meeka is at 1:00 minute mark (not me riding so dont critique the rider),

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0NoBUCULdM&feature=fvsr

                      this was last summer early, and she has improved. I guess the key is leg to the jump, I just find I cant seem to hold the amount of leg she needs throughout a whole course or exercise.

                      I agree that flat work needs to be improved, and we have focused alot on it, but she still reverts to the dive sometimes. Its hard to get a dressage coach in as I am at a barn where the coach is hunter...so I cant really bring in another coach.

                      Jb-I think he is stronger in the leg and is able to steady her with his hands more then I can I guess.

                      I just wish the answer wasnt always start over lol! We did gymnastics for along time and took it very slowly with her...frustrating!
                      ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

                      *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by *styxie* View Post
                        ok try this one, meeka is at 1:00 minute mark (not me riding so dont critique the rider),

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0NoBUCULdM&feature=fvsr


                        this was last summer early, and she has improved.
                        it's hard to know what to say about a horse ridden a year ago by another rider without critiquing how the horse is ridden LOL

                        I guess the key is leg to the jump, I just find I cant seem to hold the amount of leg she needs throughout a whole course or exercise.
                        That's part of the issue right here. The more often you "hold the amount of leg she needs", the more leg you'll have to use and the more often you'll have to use it.

                        Go to the Dressage forum and search on threads of how to get a horse hot off your leg. She has to learn that your leg means go, go now, and stay going until I ask you to do something else. You cannot get in the habit of continually asking asking asking because that just creates a horse who requires more, harder asking.

                        If she is approaching jumps in any way similar to the video, then it's a whole package problem. She's approaching strung out, on her forehand, and literally heaving herself over.

                        I agree that flat work needs to be improved, and we have focused alot on it, but she still reverts to the dive sometimes. Its hard to get a dressage coach in as I am at a barn where the coach is hunter...so I cant really bring in another coach.
                        This is the truly sad thing, that a Hunter "trainer" cannot teach flatwork conducive to proper jumping

                        Jb-I think he is stronger in the leg and is able to steady her with his hands more then I can I guess.
                        Another issue - hands are not for steadying a horse in the sense of holding her up, which is what I'm getting out of the words. If that's not what you mean, that's fine - it's just how I'm reading the various posts "steadying" really should apply to quieting down a horse, either one who is excited, or one who is nervous, or just too eager. Steadying hands are not for holding up a horse

                        I just wish the answer wasnt always start over lol! We did gymnastics for along time and took it very slowly with her...frustrating!
                        The answer usually IS "start over" LOL It's "start over" so you can find exactly where the holes are. You may start completely over and run up through "things" before you find the hole is not as far back as you were afraid of.

                        Gymnastics are there to help with the jumping efforts themselves, they can't replace a lack of quality flatwork, which is what sounds missing here.

                        If you can't bring in another trainer, is there someone you can trailer out to?
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Ok, thank you for the suggestions. I have talked to my coach about it, and she does think that at the point we are in our flatwork we are ok to be jumping too. She is a very reputable and knowledgeable trainer so I do trust her, I just feel a little like we have plateaud. Most jumps are ok and then the odd one is unbalanced. I will take these suggestions and see if there is any improvement. Like I said the above video is an extreme, thats what happens when she gets completly strung out and just throws herself at the fence.

                          If I was to ship out to someone else, how do I approach this without making my coach feel as though I dont trust her judgement?
                          ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

                          *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe its just me being a showjumper, but I didnt see too much terrible in way of the back-end on that one jump. Looks to me like she is just snapping up the hind end a bit like a jumper Hunters completely boggle me in what they are looking for. I totally agree with the packaging thing on the other hand, and dressage is certainly the answer for flat work in this case, IMO. Gymnastic (grid) is what helps to fix horses jumping form (although without proper strength I dont know how much its going to help), so if you and your trainer feel you should move forward with jumping without a flat work sabbatical, then I stand by my above post.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Hunter trainer" and "good knowledge of Dressage basics" are NOT mutually exclusive. The same basics that create a Dressge horse create the ability to adjust stride down the line and create a good jump engaging the hindquarters. "Good" Hunter trainers also have good Dressage basics because they are the basis for good horsemanship.

                              The statement "There are no dressage coaches around and I have a Hunter trainer" is pretty sad.

                              Now, don't know you. Don't know your trainer. Don't know your area. But...if you think you have basic problems in packaging/balancing this young mare and your trainer still thinks you are fine to jump up to 2'9"?

                              Wouldn't be my choice.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by *styxie* View Post

                                If I was to ship out to someone else, how do I approach this without making my coach feel as though I dont trust her judgement?
                                Tell her that you want some basic dressage training. If she is able to provide it, then she will start you down that road herself. If she cannot, mention that you want to incorporate some basic dressage training into your regimen and if she knows of any trainers that you can consult for this purpose. Up front and honest is the best policy.
                                Every jumping horse should have basic dressage anyway. Lengthening and shortening of stride, basic lateral movement, certainly a frame that enourages engagement. Your trainer knows these things, and more than likely can send you down the right path, either with her renewing her focus on your flat work, or setting you up with a dressage trainer for a while as well.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                  The statement "There are no dressage coaches around and I have a Hunter trainer" is pretty sad.
                                  truly sad, but also truly not uncommon, even when the trainers are well-liked and well-known

                                  I was watching some horses at Sedgefield's A show a few weeks ago, and was totally appalled at the lack of topline muscling of many of the horses (ridden on Friday, so these were professionally ridden/trained horses, not just Ammy's hacking around) and how most of them were strung out with hollow backs going around the courses. I don't know who was saying this, didn't recognize the face, but it was someone who was not new to horses at all, but they were describing Dressage to a non-horse friend as "like trotting around in a small ring, and cantering in small circles"
                                  This was an A show, not some dinky schooling show.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Hey, styxie? You in Wellesly? As in outside of Boston?

                                    If so there are plenty of Dressage and good Hunter trainers in that area. You can always just go take some basic Dressage lessons on a schoolie then transfer what you have learned to yours in your flatwork. Or, maybe, take a few from other H/J folks on their horses and see what you think.

                                    Sometimes we get as barn blind with trainers as we do with our favorite horses. Good to occasionally test the waters elsewhere. I get the idea you are not in a full training situation? Just lessons and an occaisional ride? Should not be much of a problem to do some experimenting. Just be aware they can and do share info...but, again, if your training situation is casual, it may make no difference on either side.

                                    Your little mare is just off 4 years old and certainly deserves a proper education before proceeding with her career that could last 15 or more years IF you get that right start on her.
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The best thing I did for my horse was to find a dressage trainer to work on the flatwork. I was up front with the hunter trainer and I am still just taking dressage lessons because I want the horse to be more consistently on the bit and using his hind end before we jump again. I am much happier and horse is much happier.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        First off I didnt say there was no dressage trainers around just that I ride with a hunter coach at a hunter barn and I feel like I would be stepping on toes to bring in another coach-well I know I am because she wasnt happy when I asked if I could. I very well might ship in to another coach for dressage, but I know there is still tension about me doing that.

                                        Nope not boston, a small town in Canada!!

                                        As for training, I take one lesson a week and my coboarder also does, and she gets ridden usually 5-6 days a week. My current coach does not ride her.
                                        ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

                                        *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

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