Question: My horse tends to get very strong while we are jumping. I have a twisted D ring but I just feel as though i cannot stop him. Do you have any suggestions for a bit that is not too harsh, yet will help me slow him down? My trainer told me to look into a D ring with hooks but they are all very expensive.
Also, I read some other answers to similar questions like mine, and all the answers state that it is all the riders fault. I would just like you to know that I am a very good rider and I am never harsh on my horses. I just simply cannot find an appropriate bit, and am looking for suggestions. Your help is appreciated!! Thanks! Olivia
Answer from April Reeves: Hello Olivia. Thanks for asking me this question, as I will be honest and keep it real, but it may not be what you want to hear. I urge you to consider my answer, as it is the only way you will fix your problem.
My first suggestion: consider another coach and get the softest bit you can find. I kid you not, and this is why:
When a rider comes to me with a problem like your having over fences, it has nothing to do with bits and everything to do with lack of a good foundation on a horse (and rider). You won’t solve the problem with a harsher bit: it will only slow down the horse for a few days until that bit also becomes useless, as his mouth gets tougher and tougher and he gets stronger and stronger (ie: his brain). I’m not being mean: I’m just keeping it real.
Posted in English Riding answers, Equine Behavior & Problems, Hunter/Jumper
Tagged behavior, bitting, bold jumper, collection, english riding, foundation training, horse too fast, horse training, hunter, jumping
Question: My coach and I have been working on retraining my horse (an Oldenburg/TB cross), for the most part he’s been coming along nicely, but he really LOVES jumping and has the tendency to take the easy out and surge to jumps and fall on the forehand afterward and is hard to pull up. I’m hesitant to go to a harsher bit as I’d rather use mild means and go only as fast in his training than he is ready. We have him in a french-link eggbutt snaffle. Some have suggested a pelham, but I while was browsing the world of bits and equipment I found something called a Kineton noseband. I’ve read so many varied opinions on this piece of equipment that I’m left wondering what to believe. Is this piece of equipment harsh when used properly? (I know that anything including a snaffle can be harsh if used incorrectly). I’m wondering if this type of noseband could be a mild addition to my corrections when he goes to surge onto his forehand and pull?
Answer from April Reeves: Your problem is common, and one that I see in almost any training level. That being said, it does not need to exist, and will take time to work out. I encourage you to take that time for several reasons: 1. It’s a natural evolution on your path to becoming a better horseman, 2. Taking the time will give you a fresh insight into training methods you will use again with another horse 3. Your horse will be the winner here, as you will not have to resort to harsher equipment.
A Bold Jumper
Question: I was told that my horse is too bold when he jumps. What exactly is that? How do I correct it? He does run at jumps and I have trouble stopping him after. How should I be riding this?
Answer by April Reeves: What is a horse that is ‘too bold’?
A ‘too bold’ jumper is a horse that uses way too much enthusiasm when approaching a fence. His strides increase in speed, he tends to ‘flatten out’ and charge, causing the horse to miss the height he may need to get over.