I have a six year old mare who is rushing her jumps. I have tried many things such as trotting to the jump and halting afterwards and so on. About ten feet away from the jump she begins to get quicker and then at times will not come back to a trot or a collected canter after the jump. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can stop this from happening?

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I had a horse that rushed the jumps and fortunately I found an excellent coach who was able to deconstruct the reasons why and help me.
1. We were over-facing the horse and he was running from anxiety.
2. The horse was not listening to my aids on the flat, which is the foundation for EVERYTHING you do.
We corrected the problem very quickly this way:
1. We lowered a single jump to a tiny cross pole and worked with that.
2. WEll before even considering jumping the fence, I worked to ensure that my horse listened to my aids for the downward transitions. Lots of quiet and ATTENTIVE trot-walk on the flat, using circles, straight, serpentines, etc. If you can't get those, don't even approach the fence. If the horse doesn't listen to the walk, then halt immediately. Then calmly try your trot-walks again.
3. During your work on the flat continue your trot-walk and simply incorporate the tiny fence. You should be continuing your trot-walks even as you are approaching the fence. After the fence, continue your trot-walk. If at any time, the horse stops listening, even if is in front of the fence, HALT, then trot. Remember, the fence will be tiny enough for you to do this. You will not be teaching the horse to refuse, but to wait for and listen to your aids, rather than taking over herself. After the fence give the horse a pat and continue with your trot-walk.
Once you have complete control, you can do the same work in canter to relaxed trot, but that is more difficult, so be very patient and don't rush to do that. When you can calmly canter or trot into one tiny fence, you can begin to incorporate more tiny fences, even work on your transitions in between them, always looking for that listening response from your horse, then SLOWLY raise them. Good luck!!
As a coach I see this happening quite often.
The key factor is when you say she gets quicker about '10 feet from the jump'.
Sometimes a rider can cause the problem when a horse is just about 10 or 12 feet out from the fence by anticipating the jump themselves and going into their jumping position too early thinking that they dont want to catch their horse in the mouth.
Make sure you are not closing your upper body too soon on the approach to the fence causing the horse to anticipate and rush. Sit up and use your CORE muscles to slow the horse to the base of the fence with a steady half halt for balance.
Have you tried trot poles to a cross pole or small vertical to help make her wait? Keep a gentle half halt even OVER the jump to help her balance and make sure you are not throwing your release away with your hands, which will also make her 'quick' . Over a small fence you should try a short release to see if this helps and them progress to a medium release when she is obedient. Make sure you are using a creast release and not throwing the reins away.
I am sorry if this is souding a bit simple since I don't know the level of your riding!!
Hope this helps you!
I am not a coach, nor a particularly accomplished rider. I do, however, have a very athletic, dominant mare that tends to rush into jumps. Trying to hold her back only escalates the problem. One exercise that I have found to be extremely effective with her is to set up two x jumps just inside the track on the long walls of the arena. Once she is warmed up, I will pop her over one of the jumps. If she goes calmly, we will proceed to the next one. If she rushes into the jump we land and canter in a circle until she relaxes before attempting the next jump. I repeat this until we can calmly go from one jump to the next without circling. I find that we do not have to repeat this lesson very often any more. If I am working on courses and she starts to get strong, I only have to throw in one circle to remind her. This may not work for you, but it has been very successful for us.
My first jumper did this to me as well. As others have suggested, lower the fence. Walk trot up to it.

Also, I found this very helpful.

If you are going to be trotting the fence, put no less than 3 ground poles in front of the fence (5 of your feet apart, like cavelettis). Once you've done your walk trot transitions over and over, trot through the ground poles up to the fence. If your horse wants to rush, he/she will find the poles keep him at the same pace.

Once your horse is comfortable with that, put canter poles in front of the fence, and maybe one or 2 after the fence. (canter poles are about 3 large human strides apart)

These are bounces, but in pole form, leading up and away from the fence. Keep the fence low still, since you are introducing a new concept as well.

Make SURE you are keeping your shoulders back and not giving the horse any reason to rush the fence. Let your horse push you out of the saddle over the small cross rail. If your 2 point position is correct, your horse will come up to you, not you going down over your horse.

Once your horse is going good with these, make the ground canter pole on the landing side of the jump another small crossrail, the same height as the first one. Keep a landing canter pole on the ground.

This will help your horse think in a different way when it comes to jumps. It will also help your horse round and tighten up over fences.

My first jumper, I found that I was causing her to rush by hunching my shoulders and leaning forward coming up to a fence. After we got my problem fixed, we still had to fix the horse, and this is how my trainer and I did so.

I am not a trainer nor do I claim to be. I'm just giving my past experience. And remember that all situations and horse/rider combinations are different.
Putting a series of 3 or 4 ground poles on the ground can be very helpful. When she becomes comfortable with this you can raise the last pole to a fence. If she starts to rush then put it back to a ground pole. This can be slow and tedious but it is important to lay down a solid foundation for jumping before you move up too high, to fast. For trotting about 3-5 feet and canter poles can be about 9 feet ( this is for a horse with a shorter stride but you would want her to collect and slow down in front of the fence.) As she starts to calm down you can move them farther apart and ask her to lengthen or decrease the number of poles until hopefully you can get to the point where you can jump a single fence with relaxation and ease. This might take a while but stick with it!!!
How's the jump rushing coming along?
things have been going fantastic! Thank you for asking. We really went back to the basics over the summer using lots of ground poles and doing unexpected combinations instead of just the regular hunter course. I found even just changing the courses we were doing helped in that she really had to listen to what I wanted her to do instead of being a know-it-all (like some mares tend to do!). We also have really been working on lots of collection and extension work which again has changed her thinking into listening to what I'm asking! I appreciate all the advice that you have given me and thanks again for having such a wonderful site for the horse crazy people of the world!
What great news, Katie! Keep up the good work! :)
try to halt before the jump, or as close as possible.
That seemed to work for my mare, or also try LETTING her over jump and see how it feels.


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