Question # 296: I have a question about "bitting up" versus moving up....

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...This past weekend I took my 9 year old OTTB to a schooling show, we have been schooling Novice but I decided to compete at Beginner Novice since our cross country experience is limited and we don't get much opportunity to school XC with a coach. Dressage was tense, but good enough for a 34.7. He has been relatively quiet in stadium, but in this particular case he was very difficult to keep from running at the fences, the only line that held him was the 2 stride. Cross Country was exhausting, in between jumps he would put his head down and just lean and try to take off. He didn't back off of any of the obstacles even the ones that were placed on a very awkward line. In the past at shows he's been a bit green on xc, the fences back him off a little and he tended to keep his head up. What do you think the best course of action is after a ride like this? While we did well at this competition, I don't think this is a good way to continue! I don't know that the Novice jumps would have backed him off any, and I don't think he would have actually made a couple of the turns on that track the way he was going! I've never used a gag, so I would rather stay away from bitting up that much if you think its appropriate in this situation. Thank you for your help!! (Natalie)

Hi Natalie!

It is not uncommon for Event horses to... (Click on Question Title above (in blue) to read full answer)

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