Dealing with excitability when jumping

Horses that really love their job sometimes get excited about what they are doing. Excitability can also be caused by not understanding what is being asked. If you are experiencing an excitability issue when jumping your horse, you'll love the exercises we filmed with three top eventers. South African rider Alex Peternell, Italian team rider Susanna Bordonne and British rider Georgie Spence all share their experience on creating a calm approach to jumping, and offer plenty of ideas for you to try at home!

There are more videos on this subject in the Library. Alternatively, try a video search on the Home Page (or in the Video Library) if you are looking for something specific.

Share this Page

Post this page to Facebook

Alex Hua Tian keeps the excitable Jeans calm for jumping Alex Hua Tian keeps the excitable Jeans calm for jumping
Alex Hua Tian's 13 year old eventer Jeans, is aimed at WEG. Alex explains that Jeans has two main issues; he's excitable and he has a huge amount of raw power over a fence. "It's essential that he remains utterly calm at home and during the warmup at events", says Alex. This means focusing on staying soft, supple, deep, round and working in a familiar routine which includes travers and leg yield. Alex helps Jeans contain his power by placing a tight canter pole in front of the fence. He progresses to a serpentine exercise (with a twist!) as it helps both of them to think ahead, keep a rhythm and stay calm and balanced around the corners!

Georgie Spence uses a busy jumping grid to steady Tino Georgie Spence uses a busy jumping grid to steady Tino
Young Rider gold medallist Georgie Spence, works the eight year old Jovial Valentino through a busy jumping grid. Tino, who is aimed at Advanced in the next eventing season tends to be a bit forward going, so the exercise of six fences consisting of a bounce, to a one stride, to a bounce and a one stride, is designed to back him off his fences, keep him thinking and make him more agile. Starting with poles on the ground, Georgie gradually builds up the exercise so that each time Tino jumps it, a new fence has been added. Though the jumps are not big they have the desired effect of steadying him, and also making a good corner afterwards.

Susanna Bordone uses a grid to harness Carerra's power Susanna Bordone uses a grid to harness Carerra's power
Susanna Bordone is a multi-talented rider having represented Italy in both dressage and eventing at the European Champs '09. She has also competed in eventing at two Olympic Games. Working with Brynley Powell, Susanna jumps the 4* mare Carerra who she says is her most complete horse and also the most complex. Carerra has huge power which she can sometimes overuse when going cross country, so Susanna uses a grid to open her stride up and close it down again, whilst remaining in balance. The trick, she says, is to keep her hind end engaged while doing this. Susanna works efficiently to minimise the number of jumping efforts!

Alex Peternell works on sharpness and softness in Topstar's jumping Alex Peternell works on sharpness and softness in Topstar's jumping
South African Olympic eventer Alex Peternell brings 8 year old Topstar back into jumping after a break. Topstar is at 2* level (previously filmed by Horse hero on his first cross country session). The focus is to sharpen his technique and get him back into competition mode. "The main issue is keeping him soft between the fences so he can use his back over the jump" says Alex, "as he can draw back in his neck and get tense". Starting with a pole to a fence, the pair progress to a related distance then a dog-leg, while working on balance, straightness and softness. "If I stay soft in my body, it helps Topstar to stay soft and avoids a tug of war".

Eventer Aoife Clark trains Tori to contain her power over a fence Eventer Aoife Clark trains Tori to contain her power over a fence
Irish Olympic eventer, Aoife Clark (7th, London 2012), trains the talented 6 year old mare Tori to use her power more effectively over a fence. In the warm-up, Aoife tactfully gets Tori's attention but is mindful of the fact the tall mare is still developing and lacks strength and balance. Working on straightness over an upright, Aoife progresses to a short two-stride double with 'V' poles on the ground, to help Tori focus and also sit on her hocks. Two related distances then test the mare's balance and straightness and to to keep her thinking, Aoife finishes by jumping the double on two different bending lines to an upright and a parallel.

4* Eventer Emily Llewellyn trains Breeze to contain her canter for jumping 4* Eventer Emily Llewellyn trains Breeze to contain her canter for jumping
7 year old Breeze has just started her eventing career having had two foals. Her jump is big and scopey and having gone cross-country schooling the day before, 4* eventer Emily Llewellyn uses four simple fences on a square to bring her jump back under control and get her listening between fences. On the flat, Emily works on containing the canter by getting Breeze to take the weight behind and be light in the hand. Corners and rhythm are important in order to meet the fences calmly and correctly. Emily then negotiates three bounces on the diagonal. Breeze learns from some green mistakes without Emily changing the way she rides the fences.

GB eventer Emily Llewellyn works on relaxation with powerful Barney GB eventer Emily Llewellyn works on relaxation with powerful Barney
GB eventer Emily Llewellyn trains the 10 year old 3* Barney to relax to his fences. "Barney is a powerful jumper but this can work against him" says Emily, "as his power can push him out of balance over the fence". He is enthusiastic and scopey, so he finds the work easy. A small course includes a crosspole boxed by groundpoles, which Emily frequently returns to to keep his mind on the job. On approaching each fence Barney must be soft and between hand and leg. After the fence, he must remain straight. When Barney gets 'hot', Emily quietly repeats the fence. She provides an excellent commentary of her very effective system.

Advertisement

Share this Page

Follow Us On:

HORSE HERO RATING

14906 users rated Horse Hero videos 5 out of 5
Page loaded in 0.0780001000002812 seconds


Subscribe now for instant access to around 1000 training videos from top riders in all equestrian disciplines. The best value training on the web!