I'm hoping you can help me. My horse is working reasonably well on the flat and this coming season I plan to showjump and event him. In preparation for this, I have been doing some novice working hunter classes. He is brave to the fences and rarely looks at anything, but he has a habit of putting is short (and in my opinion unnecessary!) strides just before the fences, which leaves us too deep and he then often knocks the top bar off. This is a short video of us so you can see what I mean. Can you suggest any exercises I can work on to get him to stand off a bit more, or take off when I expect it? Thanks! Shane."
I think it would be helpful for you to work on distances as much as possible so that the stride is set for your horse, and you teach him where he should take off. You could use canter poles to help the stride stay bigger. I would also make sure that you ride away from the fences a bit more strongly which will encourage a more positive feel at the next fence. I wonder if a little more contact down the rein to the fence would also help? Lastly make sure the stride is bigger rather than faster as sometimes we can hurry horses too much and not really lengthen but shorten the stride.
Hope this helps! Sharon."