Inexperienced Horse Rushing The Jump

Kay Rice
by Kay Rice
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QuestionI have recently started showjumping my 8 year old mare. She is relatively inexperienced but otherwise sound and very reliable. My problem is that whenever we go to a show (they are novice level) she jumps great in the first round but becomes hyperactive after that and will go through fences instead of jumping them. (Charlene McLean - Alabama)

Answer

The problem you have is that she is anticipating the jump. This is more common when you are against the clock and go slightly too fast for the horse. You could go two ways: Some people might put a stronger bit in and become more assertive; I would recommend you slow everything right down and go back to basics. Complete some rounds trotting until she can calmly complete several rounds. You can also give her more to think about, such as through pole work. In the long term, you might think about having her back teeth checked to make sure there is no discomfort.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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