Q&A: Schooling youngsters over fences

  • Expert advice from Di Lampard on controlling a young horse who becomes too strong over fences

    Q: My young horse gets very strong when I school him over fences. He has been broken for four months, has flatwork three times a week and jumps once a week.

    I ride him in an eggbutt snaffle and running martingale but I spend most of my time hanging onto him. Should I change to a stronger bit and if so, which one?

    Di Lampard replies: With a horse is as strong as yours, you should concentrate on flatwork six times a week.

    You can then incorporate trotting poles as part of the flatwork.

    One reason for his pulling could be that he is hard and dryin his mouth. If this is the case, I would recommend a loose-ring snaffle. This will encourage him to play with the bit and develop moisture.

    When you are schooling, talk to him and get him obedient to your voice. Do lots of halts, telling him to “steady” or “whoa” as you give the aid.

    Over a period of time, he should learn to respond to your voice and this will help you to lighten your hand.

    Changing to a stronger bit is not always the answer, as some horses will just pull more.

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