View Full Version : Free jumping - bad knees

miss mare
Sep. 10, 2009, 01:12 AM
I free jumped my young horse the other day and his form wasn't good, he didn't lift his formarm and hung his knees, but the first jump I put up was about 2ft with a ground rail out 2 mts and he just trotted it like a cavaletti and he really did lift his shoulder so he can do it. I want to try again so what do you suggest to help with this problem, low wide oxer or maybe some gymnastics?

He has got the most amazing attitude towards jumping, he even went off and jumped a fence with tyres as a filler on his own accord!!!

I will try and post some photos later;)

Sep. 10, 2009, 08:22 AM
While a rare horse is perfect every time. They do have to figure it out. Was the second jump better?

miss mare
Sep. 10, 2009, 03:35 PM
He probably did a total of 7 jumps and 2 of them were just ok, he is a bit straight in the shoulder BUT watching him when he trotted over that first jump and didn't jump it but 'used' it like a cavaletti he certainly got his forearm up then!

Sep. 10, 2009, 04:11 PM
He is still figuring it out -- give him time. In addition, 2' is not big enough to require him to put in a jumping effort. If he had a couple of good jumps, he is likely to turn out fine once he gets the hang of it. Some horses are naturals from day one, and for others jumping is a learned skill. Both types can turn into very nice horses.

I don't tend to worry about it until they (1) have been jumping for 30 days, and (2) are jumping around 3', sometimes even 3'6. Anything smaller is simply not of interest to some horses; anything sooner and they don't really have their jumping legs figured out yet.

As for helping him out, gymnastics can be very helpful, as can using placing poles before and after the fence to teach him where to put his legs. I like to use a lot of sizable crossrails on the youngsters to naturally encourage them to jump the center and put in a little more effort than necessary to clear the lowest part. I also use square, not ramped, oxers on the babies to teach them to rock themselves back at the base and jump round.

Pole to crossrail to low oxer gymnastics are a good start. Trot in, 9' to crossrail, 18' to oxer if he has a normal sized stride. If he is short or long-strided, adjust accordingly to make it comfortable for him as he learns.

The above is more geared toward horses already going under saddle. Free-jumping honestly tells you very little about what a horse is going to look like jumping under saddle. It is fine for introducing the basic concept and for having a bit of fun one afternoon a couple times a year, but don't drill your youngster over free jumps! Save his legs for later.

miss mare
Sep. 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
I put him through a grid yesterday, he just goes through no probs and it was his first time, he went through 4 jumps in a row and has a huge stride. I was reading Anthony Palmans book and it said for his problem to gradually lengthen the distances but honestly he eats it up. Watching on the video his back end lands quite far after the jump and I think this is the problem, he then doesn't have time to rock back but on saying that I did see a few good jumps in there so there is hope! I won't do anymore until he is under saddle where I can get him using himself properly.

Sep. 11, 2009, 06:57 PM
Don't let it worry you too much. Everyone kept telling me that my horse would make a great dressage horse because of his movement. The first time we freejumped him it was horrific. He kept knocking them down, bad form etc and I kept thinking dressage, oh no! (not that that's a bad thing, but I bought him as a jumper prospect). Well he is under saddle and jumping lightly and I was told recently in a clinic with a very well known hunter rider that he jumps like oh star, a jumper with hunter form. Every time I watch him jump my mouth drops open it's so lovely and my trainer and I laugh about the first few times.