SJ help please

Bosworth

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My little ex racer is doing his first ODE this weekend. a riding club BE80. His dressage is fine as is his XC and I am really pleased with his progress. My only concern is his SJ - not the actually getting over the fences - but the travelling in between. When I got him he had no canter and leapt anything from a huge distance - a typical steeplechase jump. Now in my lessons on a surface we maintain a lovely rhythmical canter and just jump out of our stride. When I showjump on grass the rhythmical canter is maintained to the first fence - then he takes over in between. he snatches the reins and pulls his head down. I have to fight to get him back. If I have a combination he is fine and controllable throughout the combination then runs off after. He is really inexperienced on grass and I am perfectly happy to jump from a trot if needs be but do you think this need for speed with reduce as it almost becomes boring. He is only in a lozenge snaffle which is what I go XC in perfectly calmly. Xc he will gallop - then come back to me as soon as I ask and is a perfect gent. I don't want to use a stronger bit as he is comfortable in the snaffle and I don't use a mart as he never raises his head. He works beautifully on the bit and it is more likely he will pull his head down.
 

FestiveSpirit

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My god, you have the twin of my horse
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I shall await responses with interest, Bob does not seem to be learning despite lesson after lesson
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Bosworth

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That may be it - but I am taking huge turns in to fences minimising the twists and turns he has to make as I am just schooling on grass at home at the moment. I will try him tomorrow with his studs in and see what he thinks.

Splotchy - the first time i took him jumping in an indoor school was exciting. He grew from 16'1 to about 18hh. I think he thought he was going racing. He warmed up like a pro in the small indoor - then we went in the main arena. I had it all planned in my head. Lovely rhythmical canter to the first - lovely and wide to the second and so on. But it failed as soon as I went in to the arena. I was on a racer - we just went fast. When I looked at the next fence he spun towards it - using my legs was not an option - they just increased speed. I just had to point him in the right direction and pray. But be keeping on going - week in week out he can now cope on the surface but grass is another matter for SJ. Strangely enough with XC a long as I keep going forwards he is as calm as calm could be. Stop and go back over the same jump and he boings like tigger on the spot
 

kerilli

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sounds like my girl too.
umm, i'd try a stronger bit and see if he backs off and respects it, tbh... you'll do less harm if he listens to a stronger bit than if you have to haul on a milder bit. i'd prob try a waterford next... that seems to be the key to my mare at the moment!
when schooling, put in a circle every time he tries to rush, get your rhythm back before you come to another fence - this works for me.
in comp, trying to stay calm yourself, trying to keep breathing and relaxed, do help. trotting a few if necessary is not a bad idea at all either.
 

VioletStripe

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Long shot, but you said he was unconfident on grass.. perhaps studs could help? They gave my loan pony extra confidence, which helped stop him rushing when we jumped in the field. Worth a try
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. x
 

Bosworth

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No his problem on grass is over confidence - but inexperience.He thinks he knows best and can so it at speed. I could try the waterford Kerilli I have one as a snaffle somewhere so will try it schooling tomorrow and I think the circling is a brilliant idea. He is so willing and so responsive in every way but this. A total gent in company, a fantastic horse on the flat working happily and calmly in strange environments and he jumps clean as long as we are not too fast and flat.
 

jumptoit

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You could also try a continental gag on the snaffle ring and move down if necessary - it's worked a treat on my (ex - racer at heart but never got to the track!!!) TB.
 

Bosworth

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can't really use anything that has poll pressure so the gag is out. He has a real hang up about his poll being touched or pressure being applied there. even with the gag on the snaffle ring I would have poll pressure through the cheek ring> he became seriously stressed when I tried a hanging cheek/
 

weob

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If you don't want to change his bit, then perhaps try changing his noseband? If he is just in a cavesson, try a flash; if he's in a flash, try a grackle. If he's already in a grackle I would definitely try a Waterford.

Best of luck!

W
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Bosworth

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OK you lot - its all your fault but I have just bought a waterford snaffle and a loop waterford snaffle. he's in a flash as he opens his mouth without. I haven't tried a grackle - never even thought of that - but a definite possiblity. Will go with the new bit first as I have just bought them - then try a grackle.
 

dieseldog

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Did he use to be like this on a surface? If he did I would just try to jump on grass a bit until he works out that he isn't going racing anymore.
 
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