My jumping gelding has started pig rooting after jumps and I battle to sit him because he continues to pig root until he gets me off. He is a superb jumping pony but this habbit is limiting what I can do with him-HELP PLEASE!
By pig rooting I am going to assume what he is doing is that on landing after a fence he is bucking and throwing himself around.
Of course it is very difficult to give you meaningful assistance without seeing the pair of you in action, and I would firstly recommend that you have a few lessons with a qualified instructor so that your technique and method can be evaluated and corrected if there are any problems.
Because this is a recent development, I would look closely for any changes that have been made either to your tack, your training program or your management routine for clues as to why your horse may have started this.
Next, I would ABSOLUTELY and DEFINITELY have your horse checked out by a Specialist Vet and Physiotherapist, as this sounds very much like a pain response to me. Pay special attention to the hooves and shoes if worn, back, shoulders and forelimbs. What often happens, is that the horse may have pain say, in the front hoof. It could be caused by a bruise, a crack, a poor shoeing job, etc, and may not even be noticed too much when the horse works normally by a more novice owner. When he lands after a jump, concussive forces are multiplied many times through that leg, and his first reaction to the pain would be to give a buck, jump around and show his discomfort. Same thing if his saddle is pnching him as he jumps. Thus it is very important that you have him chacked out thoroughly for a physical problem that would be causing this. Teeth need to be checked as well, as pain in the mouth could also have an effect.
Next, your technique is also important. Let's say that the rider, for example, jabs his horse's mouth on landing, or bumps back down hard into the saddle, the horse is going to respond by showing his discomfort, again.
If he is taking off with you after a jump and running off, throwing in a buck, that may be a schooling problem in addition to the problems mentioned above. If there is no pain, careful schooling is required to help him overcome this habit.
I would also recommend that you hold off on your fences for now, until the problem has been identified and a plan of action decided. Pay more attention to your flatwork, work over poles on the ground and build things gradually from there.
I wish you luck and hope you are able to get to the bottom of the problem. Your horse is trying to tell you there is a problem - quiet talking is not working for him, so think of the bucking as a shout!
Thanks Renee, I will take your advice and lay off the jumping until he has come right, My instructor seems to think that he has learned to get away with it and so continues to do it, but he does have an old injury on his leg so that might be the issue, although im not completely convinced because he doesnt do it on the free jump. hopefully this will get sorted out.
If he is doing it only with you on his back, and if he has only recently started doing it then it may very well be that there is either something you are doing on his back that is causing it - even if you are shifting your weight too much to one side or other on landing, the shift could cause that reaction if it makes him uncomfortable enough. It may be that you are inadvertantly jabbing him in the mouth or taking up too much contact on landing, not letting him use his neck properly when jumping. Overbitting can cause this reaction too, although he will make his dicomfort felt in the arena too. Pay special atention that you are not landing too hard in the saddle after landing! (We often see riders standing up in their stirrups when jumping instead of folding from the hip, which causes them to 'plop' back down after the fence or get left behind the movement.) This is often the case in the 'hyper-sensitive' horse - the hot ones that are sweet, but will react to things more than the average horse would. (Arabians and TB's are often like this, as well as some Saddlers) They show a marked reaction to any external stimuli.
Although it may be that your extra weight on his back combined with the shift in balance and weight are causing him to react to discomfort or pain in his leg that he would not have without you on is back. I would have him checked over regardless. Saddle fit would also definitely come into play here! Remember, as our horses grow and develop, their backs change and a saddle that fitted well six months ago could be hurting now. Especially on the shoulders - that is where he is getting a hammering against the saddle when landing. If you are sure it is not physical and merely a schooling problem, then you really will have to go right back down to the basics - lots of bends, transitions and loads of work over poles on the ground (canter poles especially) to settle him and improve his balance and rhythm. Let us know how it goes!
Forgot to ask - are you using spurs? If you are, it is not uncommon to see a rider clamping down with the spurs on landing, causing the bucking, making them clamp down harder and making the bucking worse!