1st proper ODE and a suprisingly spooky horse - suggestions?

TheHairyOne

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Well, what a good weekend i have had with both me and my lovely 6 year old horses at our first proper ode and the massive height of 80cms. :) Did 2 last year at 2'3", but they were smaller affairs in every way.

I set out with the goal of finishing...which i did all be it on a 3 figure score, but it wasnt the big E and i learnt loads!

Dressage he warmed up well, but we struggled to maintain balance in the arena so a deserved (if slighty disappointing score) of 41. Lesson learnt - ride more in the field at home!

SJing someone forgot to tell him what height it was, so we flew around for a lovely clear from him, and a fair bit of getting left behind from me! Lesson learnt- trust him a lot more to go! Legacy of my previous ride having a filthy stop.





The onto the XC and this is where any advice would be welcome. He jumped the fences brilliantly, got him in both waters which i thought might be a problem, and just had a hesitation at a drop and the ditch (which i rode very badly and had dropped my stick!). My problem is everything in between. If there was a fence in front of him he was forward straight and true. Getting to them he couldnt canter in a straight line, gawping at pedestrians, dogs, signs, change of colour on the ground, a water trough at the side of the field etc! It was exhausting! I am also at a loss on how to work on it? Hes great out hacking (though most of ours is private land so very quiet) and is normally the most unspooky horse ever. He did not care about the very busy sjing ring, but was so confussed about people being in fields. Is it just a case of practice makes perfect? He was so bold to the actual fences, and the fence judges in their cars didnt get a second glance, it just seems abit odd!

Loved my day though, onwards to the next one!! :D
 

Nicnac

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Definitely get out there more. Mine used to run at least another kilometre on the XC he was so gawpy at everything and wiggled but, like yours, very bold when he actually saw the jump.

Well done on your day - sounds very successful and your horse is lovely!
 

Orangehorse

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Gawping at everything - just needs more experience. You need to get a sort of "signal" to say, Now Concentrate, jump approaching! I loved his style over the jump. Well done.
 

almostthere

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Were you at Mattingley by any chance (I can't see the photos at work)? If so, my usually very brave and bold horse when it comes to xc still had a good look at the two narrow bits between the two fields, so you weren't alone. Sounds like it is just experience with him - don't forget he is in a strange place and not your familiar hacking grounds. He has just got used to the security of the new "herd" in the xc warm up and you ask him to run AWAY from them on his own into an area with lots and lots of exciting things to look at it ...and in my case someone on foot dithering as to which way to run in front of fence two as we were already landing over fence 1!!! You are already on your way as he wants to jump..just time and experience I would guess...oh and also when he realises how much fun it is :) :). Good luck!
 

BTR

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I feel your pain (I was also at Mattingley Sunday) but mines generally spooky all of the time, it does get easier the more you do and I've found even if he's spooking at something enroute, a quick kick or talk to him to concentrate and he knows something's coming up and switches back to me!

Well done on finishing :)
 

TheHairyOne

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Thanks all, yes, it was Mattingley. Finally got to ride there! :)

I shall just persist then. Got the bug now, just need to infect my horse with it on the xc, the sjing he loves already.

It was a real achievement for me given i have had my boy since he was 18 months old and all the work i have done myself. He is fabulous!
 

Bernster

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Thanks all, yes, it was Mattingley. Finally got to ride there! :)

I shall just persist then. Got the bug now, just need to infect my horse with it on the xc, the sjing he loves already.

It was a real achievement for me given i have had my boy since he was 18 months old and all the work i have done myself. He is fabulous!
Fabulous, well done you. He looks super and it looks like it was a lovely day.
 

ihatework

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That really is just green-ness showing. If he is naturally quite bold I wouldn't worry at all, keep getting out there and riding him forwards, he'll get through that
 

PorkChop

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Really well done :)

Just lots and lots of exposure, doesn't have to necessarily be events.

I would also go fairly regularly to different xc courses and ride a full course, not quickly, but practising lines, gateways etc.
 

HotToTrot

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Well done. Changes within the pace, half-halts and re-balancing may help to start with, so he focusses a bit more on you. Making sure he is between leg & hand a bit more between fences. And lots of outings! They seem to spook more when going at speed, so can you do some fast canter work round spooky areas when hacking?
 

smja

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The galloping part of xc is just as much of a skill as the jumps themselves, and needs to be practised too. If you can, recruit some friends to lurk about your galloping path randomly to simulate xc spectators, it really does help!
 

TheHairyOne

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The galloping part of xc is just as much of a skill as the jumps themselves, and needs to be practised too. If you can, recruit some friends to lurk about your galloping path randomly to simulate xc spectators, it really does help!
Thank you thank you all! On the phone and no idea how to multi quote, but i had not really given much thought to between the fences and that being a skill was a very fast realisation when i got out there! And about the schooling mentioned, i have always worried more about the fences so only maybe done 3/4 in a row close by then stopped to assess. Defo going to change this now!

And he really did need to be both more off the leg and into the bridle. Any attempt at half halting resulted in trotting, he really did go very backwards on me, but this did improve by the end and on the quiet bit of the course between the water he really opened up so that was nice.

I have the choice of ashton (or ascott - i always mix them up!) on tge 27th or tweseldown on the 11th. TD will suit him a lot better i think as a lot of it funnels you to the next fence, and i will have a chance to go xc schooling around mattingley before that one,but would it be better to get out there sooner but without the chance of more schooling?
 
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