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Mills (Guest)
28-08-01, 05:17 AM
I'm just starting to compete my AndalusianXTB in eventing after sticking mainly with dressage previously and I've come across a bit of a problem - any advice would be greatly appreciated.
After each showjump he tries to run off. He lands and then pisses off in the next stride with me frantically trying to turn, slow or stop in time for the next fence, or even just to keep him in the arena! I can complete a course, but not without at least once error of course, or time penalties from careering around everywhere before I get to the next jump.
He is great cross-country - really careful and brave and although he pulls a little, he is basically under control before and after the jumps. On the show jumps he is nervy though - he's a big chicken when it comes to anything bright/coloured/scary and will boing over the jump with METRES to spare, then seems to be so excited about clearing the scary monster that he just loses it. He doesn't refuse or balk but will sometimes slow right down to a choppy, choppy canter to have a look before the jump.
I've tried grid work, but he just pisses off after the last jump in the set.
I have a combined training day coming up and I haven't been able to book my jumps instructor in until after the event! ARRGGHH!
I really don't want to have to chuck a more severe bit on him (he's ridden over jumps in a double-jointed snaffe and hanovarian noseband, but I don't want to have him pop over the first showjump then take out 6 or 7 spectators on the way out of the arena!

FJB (Guest)
28-08-01, 06:01 AM
Does he run off if you lunge over jumps? My mare used to as she became unbalanced and stressed about that, me losing my balance, as well as the jump. Now she is stronger I can lunge her over small jumps and keep the canter stride so she only has to worry about herself. If he doesn't do it on the lunge, with respect, perhaps you should check your position over the fence.

Narelle (Guest)
28-08-01, 06:23 AM
Start with small jumps and trot over them, don't canter. Immediately the horse has landed on the other side of the jump make him come to a COMPLETE stop! It may look hideous to start with but after a few, he will slow down himself. Also, aim for the centre & even if he refuses he must jump from a stand still. He must learn that the only way out is over the jump & eventually he should never refuse a jump (mind you, you must be confident too) Tell him how wonderful he is & make a fuss when he does the right thing!
Good luck at your event!

Hopefully Helpful (Guest)
28-08-01, 07:00 AM
It sounds like he has not had much jumping experience himself. This problem may not necissarily be him being naughty, just nervous.
Firstly if your position is in anyway bothering, running away after the fence would be a likely result from him. Make sure that you NEVER get left behind, use a neck strap or mane if you must but do not get him in the mouth or the back as it will just make the problem worse.
Try setting a small cross pole up and calmly trotting ina nd get a close spot and pop over, make sure that you wait with your body and do not anticipate. As you are going over your fence open your hand and turn, go on about a 10-15m cicle and just go round and round, getting deep spots, and he should calm down and stop pissing off, as soon as he does it well make a big deal of him and then go the other way. If he is doing this well try cantering, then putting the fence up a little, then gradually go into some grids or related line fences.
It sounds like a confidence thing so once he works out on your small circle that he can do it calmly and relax, it should improve him over your related lines, grids and eventually over a course, just make sure you stay small, don't loose your temper, be very encouraging and let him realise it is not as bad as he thinks (always carry a whip but I would advise against spurs).

Epona (Guest)
28-08-01, 07:03 AM
As you know horses are flight animals. Anything that scares them they they go straight into flee mode. So as you have already pointed out your horse is a bit of a scardy cat.

What I would suggest is to take him right back to the beginning and do a lot of ground work. Work your way up through poles on the ground to small brightly coloured jumps. Remember not to push him too far too soon. Once his confidence is built up with a lot of hard work and praise you should see a difference.

Canter (Guest)
28-08-01, 09:01 AM
You say that you've been doing dressage. What's your horses canter like? If it's not balanced and in control, with a steady rhythm that you can lengthen and shorten easily, then there's your problem and it will only be made worse by introducing jumps. Perhaps it's the flatwork that's not truly established here.

Em (Guest)
28-08-01, 01:38 PM
You have already been given lots of good advise - I throw in my 2 cents as well......

Walk your horse behind the jump, ask him to back up so his tail is touching the pole and let him just stand and relax for a minute or two. Then go over the jump, stop back up and let him stand with his tail touching the pole (or as close to as possible) for a minute or 2.

By doing this you are doing 2 things:
1. showing the horse that the landing side of the fence is quite safe and the ground isn't going to fall away.
2. allows your horse to associate the back of the jump with a rest/relax.

Hope this makes sense and helps a little - EM