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RockingN
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:26 AM
Hey all! I have a 4 year old, going on 5 that we have been doing some cross rails with this past month, we just started doing some small verticals and gates and we have been having some distance issues. He doesn't have any idea where to take off. We just started doing some more intense ground pole work to help, but what other exercises do you guys recommend. With is age I really want to stay away from the round pen and things of that nature. He is just starting to figure out the jumping, we have not done much of it until last month with the cross rails and he can jump the little verticals, but we are having a hard time with the distances. I like to do a lot of flat work and ground pole stuff so I don't mind those sort of exercises.

meupatdoes
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:44 AM
Put a rail on the ground.
Nine feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feel later, put a rail.

Basically, the horse gets 9 feet to take off and 12 to land.

You can raise the crossrails as he gets better.

RugBug
Oct. 4, 2010, 12:02 PM
If he really needs help regulating his rhythm, I would do some 2-3 trot poles in front of a crossrail. Last pole is 9' in front of the X, the others are spaced around 4.5 feet apart. Trotting through the poles will steady the rhythm and put him right where he needs to be to jump.

CBoylen
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:00 PM
I'm a bit confused by your post. You just started jumping him last month, correct? Are you trying to canter single fences already? Or are you having issues with where to take off at the trot?
If you are trying to canter already, stop. It comes after trotting progressively larger and different fences, then trotting into progressively larger grids, then trotting in and cantering out of lines. Cantering single fences on a baby doesn't happen until they're almost ready to go around a course. They have to learn how to jump first.

sptraining
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:51 PM
Gymnastics are good - just make sure to add one element at a time so you don't freak out the horse. Also, adding well placed groundlines in addition to the poles before and after help the horse judge where to take off and land.

Lunging over small obstacles or free jumping also helps teach them about finding their own spots. Good luck!

EqTrainer
Oct. 4, 2010, 07:22 PM
I'm a bit confused by your post. You just started jumping him last month, correct? Are you trying to canter single fences already? Or are you having issues with where to take off at the trot?
If you are trying to canter already, stop. It comes after trotting progressively larger and different fences, then trotting into progressively larger grids, then trotting in and cantering out of lines. Cantering single fences on a baby doesn't happen until they're almost ready to go around a course. They have to learn how to jump first.

This.

RyuEquestrian
Oct. 4, 2010, 07:39 PM
Put a rail on the ground.
Nine feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feel later, put a rail.

Basically, the horse gets 9 feet to take off and 12 to land.

You can raise the crossrails as he gets better.

This gymnastic is in our field year round for everything from the 3 year olds to the older performance horses. It is such a fundamental exercise and invaluable!

NancyM
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:46 AM
When you feel he's ready to canter fences, stop thinking about finding distances for him. He's already learned how to jump, from the preparation described above. He's got to learn how to find the distances for himself. He can't rely on you for everything. Your job is to learn the course, keep his line and rhythm, balance and pace, and show him which jump or line you want next to get his eye on the jump. It is his job to do it, find the distance and jump the jump. When you are in competition, and when the jumps get large, you can have some input into this, help him, but in training with a young/green one, you don't help. Let him do it so that he learns how. If he knows how, and does most of it, in competition and with bigger jumps you find that you are working together on the same goal. Two heads are better than one.

Let him learn, let him make mistakes. Don't save him. Don't do it for him.

doublesstable
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:57 PM
Put a rail on the ground.
Nine feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feet later, put a rail.
9 feet later, put a cross rail.
12 feel later, put a rail.

Basically, the horse gets 9 feet to take off and 12 to land.

You can raise the crossrails as he gets better.

^^^
Just had to say this is the best!! It is a great tool to have in your training bag. I just used it for the first time today and it was GREAT. I have done other gymnastic exersizes but this was a good one even for a greener horse.. It wasn't stressful, just makes em think.... you can raise the x rails for more advanced horses etc....

Thanks for posting it!!! And its FUN too............. loved it!

SnicklefritzG
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:47 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but this is what happens when a horse learns to see a distance for himself, without the help of a rider:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdb7qAtTLbc