Thursday, January 21, 2016

On charging fences

Kat has this tendency to take over the last three strides to a jump, and I have a tendency to let her. I spend a lot of time retraining horses - it's part of my profession. So I have this fear of refusals, as in, I will make it over this jump no matter what happens.

It turns out that this is not precisely the way good performance is built, or something.

Whaaaatever ;)

Anyhow, we've been working on the effectiveness of our half-halts before fences as recommended by RB. If she takes over and ignores the half-halt, bring her to a full halt whether or not her nose touches the jump. (This makes me cringe because I really feel I'm training a horse to refuse.)

However, I've only had to really shut it down a few times and our jumping continues to improve. She is on a very light rein in the canter as long as she maintains the tempo I set, and leg/rein as necessary to regain the tempo. The tempo is to remain the same before and after fences. (I've taught this lesson, I swear I have...)

The result is that I'm consistently picking our distances rather than Kat choosing. I'm learning from the photos that I ask for her to stand off the fence quite a lot. I also need to improve my release a bit, I'm entirely unhappy with the waffle-y nature it seems to have in the above photos.

Always more to learn, right?

Except for Kat. She has nothing to learn. She's perfect, I mean, look at her!


  1. Thanks for this! Apollo is a bit chargy before the jump and this is a great tool for my toolbox :)

    1. Definitely can help a lot! If you try it out, let me know how it works out for you?

  2. Look at her go! What a power house.