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Old 7th May 2006, 07:34 PM
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showjumpuk showjumpuk is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Super Strong Horse - HELP!

Hi Everyone. i am new to this website but it looks good.

A brief bit about me and my boy. My name is Roz, I'm 23 and i have a 10 yr old 16hh Connemara X TB called Jack or Dakota when he's competing. He was previously affiliated before i got him and has jumped up to Foxhunters. I have had him 1 year and have jumped up to 3'6. But generally we compete around 3ft.

Jack is a stunning boy and i would never part with him but he is so strong when showjumping!

I have had him in a dutch gag but thi smade him throw his head around. I now have him in a plain eggbutt snaffle which he seems happy in. I don't want to bit up.

He is incredibly strong towards jumps but i hasten to add never ever stops. It does create a problem however with going flat and knocking off poles.

I am comtemplating getting a 'Worcester' noseband or a 'Kineton' to apply pressure to his nose as he doesn't react to poll pressure very well.

Does anyone have any advice??
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Old 7th May 2006, 07:46 PM
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PinkGlamourGurl PinkGlamourGurl is offline
Wont you shine, shine on.
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Hello and welcome to newrider! Lots of circles before the fence, make sure he is in a nice rythm before you even think of jumping it. if you do lots of cicles he will gradually relax and feel like he's sont going into the fence so he shouldnt charge off. Also plenty of half halts and use your seat to slow him Natxxx
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Old 8th May 2006, 07:38 AM
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showjumpuk showjumpuk is offline
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Thanks Pink. I will try the circle's. I do try and half halt but he is so strong that they make little or no difference. I will work on these on the flat though.
I have attached some recent photo's of XC if anyone would like to add to helpful advice?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Blue Anchor edited.JPG (21.5 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg Firle edited.JPG (18.4 KB, 176 views)
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Old 8th May 2006, 07:50 AM
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Wally Wally is offline
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Posts: 32,544
I had a mare like this, if she thought she was going over a fence you went over it like a dose of salts.

I had to re school her, take her into the showjumping paddock and ride around in front of jumps and not jump anything, until, maybe the last one on the way out. Only when she was settled and not pulling or rushing.

She loved jumping and soon learned that the rewards of being allowed to jump only came with being steady.
Rules are for the guidance of wise men and for the strict adherence of fools.
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Old 8th May 2006, 07:53 AM
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casey casey is offline
Certified equine dentist
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Location: NSW Australia
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Firstly, i'm a great believer in the power of the snaffle I love them, even for my stronger horses.

I agree with PGG. Setting up a few jumps at home, I would school him with the intention of only jumping when he is calm.

ie...Ride to a fence, and just as you approach it, turn it into a circle and ride away from it. Get as close as you can reasonably do, then bend him and circle away again and again. This will teach him not to anticipate the jump. Do this over and over until he rides in rhythm then pop the fence and plenty of praise.
Honestly if you keep this up, it will be NO time before he comes right.

Also put out jumps and dont jump them. Ride in figures of 8 all around them. Then put them away. Again so he doesnt automatically think poles=jumping.

I find with strong horses, that weight aids really work too. Particulary as it gives their mouth a break, and makes them listen to subbtle movements.

Ie..I teach my horse to collect by sitting my shoulders back. Particulary usefull for verticles. (Or your going on a deep one etc) So I dont have to woe them verbally or physically

Keep us informed

Edit to add. PGG NOT PPG. (Sorry Pink )

Last edited by casey; 8th May 2006 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 8th May 2006, 08:53 AM
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DavidH DavidH is offline
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The pictures give a clue to where the problem might be. In both of them your lower leg has slid back and you are gripping strongly with your heel. This is in effect telling the horse to go faster. A few sessions getting your lower leg more stable may have considerable benefits
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Old 8th May 2006, 11:35 AM
Roskie Roskie is offline
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I agree with the circling before and after fences. It has worked for me. Also I find grid work useful.
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Old 8th May 2006, 03:54 PM
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PinkGlamourGurl PinkGlamourGurl is offline
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Originally Posted by casey
Firstly, i'm a great believer in the power of the snaffle I love them, even for my stronger horses.
Me Too. when i bought fleur she was in a dutch gag and was extremely strong but after a couple of months i bought a full cheek snaffle with a french link. The girl who used to ride her was like "oh she'll take the mick with that and she'll kill you" She was soooo WRONG! Shes been in a snaffle since. A few weeks ago i bought a pink dutch gag, bad move. I've never been so scared in my life, she had no respect, just head in the air flat out for the fence. Not good when your in a down and out trying to contain the energy Strong bits work on some strong horses, but sometimes snaffles just work better Natxxx
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Old 9th May 2006, 06:25 PM
crazylegscapony crazylegscapony is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington
Posts: 6
I know the feeling... I just got an 11 y.o. Chestnut Thoroughbred mare that has done up to Preliminary in eventing (up to 3'7" in U.S.) But she was ridden by a very hand-sy rider and was taught to run at the fence, get over it, and keep running. The previous owner's pretty much lost control over her, and started bitting her up and stick tons of gadgets on her. For cross country they were riding her in either an elevator or a gag and a running martingale, and for stadium jumping she wore a full cheek twisted wire with a running martingale. When I got her i stuck on a fully flexible solid rubber bit and no martingale. She would stick her nose in the air and gallop headlong towards any fence, any size. So we went right back to the basics... literally walking cross rails for a week, slowly moving up to walking 2'6"-3' fences. Horse who rush or are overly hot while jumping is typically a result of improper training--- a horse has to undestand the concept of jumping and be comfortable with the placement of their bodies before ever trotting or cantering fences. This important step is often looked over, and is the root cause of many rushers. Go back to walking fences in a tiny rubber bit, so he understands that a.) its not that exciting and b.) It's not as scary if you know what you are doing and where your feet are.

Okay, i hope that made sense, cause i sure as hell aint proofreading!
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Old 19th May 2006, 07:47 AM
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showjumpuk showjumpuk is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone for your advice. I have indeed but Jack in an eggbutt snaffle which he does seem happier in.

I have been spending the l ast few days just walking jack up to little jumps and asing him to move off when a couple of strides out. He does seem better but if i string two or more jumps together he gets stronger and stronger and faster and faster!

Which in turn means i have to take a tighter and tighter hold.

He is however alot better XC as he can go at his own speed and i don't tend to interfere with him, whereas with SJ i have to take a hold in order to be able to turn etc.

I have pictures attached of a XC we went to last week. I would love people to give me some constructive criticism.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg East Byshee edited.JPG (19.1 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg East Byshee edited 2.JPG (21.4 KB, 86 views)
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Old 19th May 2006, 09:59 AM
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Rips Rips is offline
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Location: Eire
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Welcome to the board Jack is stunning - just like an overgrown connie

I sympathise with your problem - my mare is the same, well not as predictable - sometimes you might be able to ride her happily in a snaffle and she'll pootle around the SJ ring, and sometimes she might like to try and rip your arms out of your sockets if she likes the look of a fence

Theres an extension of the circles excercise where you set up two slight dog leg related distances after the first fence (one on the right one on the left) and after you go over the first (circling if nesscesscary - he must be calm) you might either go straight between them, go over the right/left one, or circle out to the left/right. He'll really have to listen to you and slow down and wait for you to tell him where exactly you are going this time.

Good Luck though, it worked well for me and I can school my mare quietly around jumps most of the time but sometimes still (like if you are doing a perfect leg yeild across by a jump) she'll lurch for it
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Old 20th May 2006, 03:23 AM
dilaika dilaika is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NJ (home), MD (school) USA
Posts: 216
I agree with what people have been saying (big fan of the circling thing). Something else to try is with switching it up. Eventually, you do need to practice jumping. Here're a couple a excercise that may help. The idea is to get him listening to you - not anticipating. Anticipating is the root of all evil (with horses at
-Try setting up one jump and then several others next to each other in a kind of semi-circle several strides in front of the first. The idea is you do the first jump each time, but your horse doesn't know which jump you are going to next as their are several different ones you can go to. Great practice for steering and collection.
-Try circling around the jumps...I mean do a circle which includes the jump, circle one jump and do it a varying number of times, than go to another. One time circle around the first jump in a line and the next time go straight and do the full line.
-When schooling, try setting a line with poles at each stride before/in between/after the jumps. Do it over low jumps at first, and don't adjust his stride. He'll learn that if he charges through he's going to fall on his face (not literally, but he'll get the idea). If he's paying attention to where his feet are, he won't be charging at the jumps.

Another thing is to make sure that your horse isn't going too much on the forehand and getting flat...try to keep him collected. Try setting short distances in which if he gets long he won't be able to make the next jump. aware of yourself. Make sure that you are not expecting him to get fast and strong in between jumps. Sub-conciously, if you expect your horse to get strong you may be reacting as if he is going to get strong before he actually does it (hope that makes sense) Often, if you ride a horse as if they're going to do something wrong, they will.

Some basic dressage work on the flat may also help.
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Old 20th May 2006, 02:42 PM
Emz Emz is offline
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Location: East Sussex / Kent
Posts: 267
Agree with others - circling thing and lots of gridwork

Have you also considered trying a grackle? I use one on my boy when jumping (Hes in a loose ring snaffle) as just the extra bit of steering and brakes i need if he gets excited, whereas he managed to work his way around a flash.
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Old 5th Jun 2006, 08:26 PM
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showjumpuk showjumpuk is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone for your advice. I have put Jack on Steady Up which I am hoping will take the 'edge' off him. We'll see. Does anyone have any stories of this stuff?

P>S Does anyone read 'Local Rider' magazine?

I am in it. There is an article on me winning St Bede's HT at Hale Stud.
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Old 9th Jun 2006, 05:24 PM
Emz Emz is offline
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Well Done!!! Haven't been to Hale for about 3 years has it changed at all??
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Old 13th Jun 2006, 10:38 AM
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joey_olop joey_olop is offline
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My boy is exactly the same-he is uncontollable before a jump so my instructor suggested that I let him do it but then stop immediatly after the fence. Keep doing this-jump and stop, it has helped him no end and he is realising there is nothing to get excited about bless him!!

Good Luck
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 08:26 PM
Disneyland Disneyland is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7
I know what you mean........

I have a retired Grand Prix showjumper and there is no retraining him because he's 21, but what I found is that he is very strong when it comes to combinations and gymnastics. I could circle all day long, but unfortunately for some horses that just does not work and the 3 trainers I have had are all Grand Prix riders. I can flat him in a french link, but jump him in that and I might as well kiss myself good bye. He's a very good boy, but just gets excited and strong you should see the muscles in my arms from trying to half halt after a jump. Sometimes I would have circle like 3 times to get him back. I jump my guy in a snaffle pelham and I leave the chain on slightly loose to start with. He goes fine in it, but my guy is much older and has been around the block. Don't be afraid to "bit up" I know folks are against it, but a bit is only severe when it is used in the wrong hands. My horse has been ridden in everything under the sun, corkscrew, double twisted wire, but I won't ride in those bits because I can be a bit heavy handed, but he's fine in the french link on the flat and when I use the pelham for jumping I have much stopping power without being abusive. If you have the opportunity to experiment with other bits do so it can't hurt, but be careful what you choose. Remember those bits are out there to help otherwise everyone would be showing in a snaffle and every horse is different so what works for one does not always work for others. Don't restrict yourself. I say this because I was with a trainer who would not put my horse in anything stronger when I first go him and I wasted 3 years of not showing him because I could not handle him. She didn't believe in anything, but a snaffle. Now the other trainers have shown me the light and you know what my horse is probably alot happier because he goes with the program and is very happy and doesn't have me pulling on his mouth to stop. I had to do a few pulley reins just to get him to stop. He makes lots of lipstick now whether we ride in the pelham or the french link. Anything over 2'6 and my guy is majorly strong. Read about the bits before you make your selection and understand what they can do if used wrong. A pelham is only severe when the chain is on tight if it is kept hanging lose my horse never knows its there, but when I need it I don't "crank" on it - slight pressure will stop him - again he is educated to the feeling. He was ridden in a gang and that was very painful for him - he was totally not happy with that. Experiment if you can and good luck - watch your horses reactions. I here Waterfords are good for strong horses and I'm looking to invest in a Waterford Pelham if I can find someone that has ridden in one. A friend rode her horse in a Waterford snaffle, but her horse seemed miserable - why the rider has uneducated hands and now the horse is miserable and acting out every time she rides. Her parents don't understand why the previous owner had no problems in this bit EDUCATED HANDS. :-)
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 09:46 PM
Baunilha Baunilha is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 60
I agree with all that has been said, but you know your horse and try various things. I had the same problem with my eventer. Have you cheked his teeth?
Try difrent bits and also if you try anything with a chain you can always put an elastic chain on, it makes it softer on the horse. now on mine I use a rubber strait bar continentl with an elastic chain.
If he is NOT a horse that refuses you can try halting in front of small fences and also put him on a circle with a small jump and keep jumping from a trot or keep jumping untill you can keep him at a trot (it may take sometime, but don't stop untill you win) you can also go down to walk in beetwin jumps.
When practesing over a course as soon as he starts to go, go back to walk and star again.
Try one thing at a time and find what works with your horse, you are the one that knows him!
Good luck.
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Old 30th Jun 2007, 07:56 PM
spoton92 spoton92 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 14
strong horsey

hey im new to this too!!
iv ahd my mare for bout a YR NOW WHEN I BOUGHT HER SHE WAS IN A LOOSE RING STRAIGHT BAR SNAFFLE!she is extremely strong and all she knows to do is gallop into a jump and go as fast as she can!!she has a massive jump and real potential!!i have been schooling her in a dutch gag on the ring below the snaffle she has become alot more calmer in this bit!recently iv been riding in a baucher that has help her so much b4 i couldnt even canter into a jump i have know been trotting in a sanffle!
Heres my handy tips:
1.sit tall relax ** ankles nd hands.
2.concentrate on the space after the jump not the jump.
3.think slow think rthym
4.dont give ** horse a to long run up
5.this took a while to kick in but as u look for ** fence halt ** horse.nd then walk on look at ** line then halt again pat her and just stand there give her/him some fuss!then slowly ask him/her to go forward leave ** hands soft and only squeeze slightly then as soon as uv jumped it halt it!!

really really works my horse spots took 3 times then she got th hang of it,probably the best advice i can give
hope it works
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Old 30th Jun 2007, 08:30 PM
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CurlyWurlyRach CurlyWurlyRach is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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schooling is the only answer really.
My mare used to bomb at jumps but my RI had us work on trot and canter poles, raised poles and then 3 trot poles, jump and then 3 trot poles - we did that upto a 3ft straight and then began to do 3 trot poles, canter pole, jump, canter pole, 3 trot poles.

She just trots in with perfect manners now Its taken a LONG time but its so much nicer to jump now.
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