View Full Version : Preparing the horse to jump through a "top" jump

Jan. 19, 2011, 03:54 PM
Not sure what they are called, but he XC jumps with roof so to speak, how do you prepare your horse for that? I am planning on my first training level to be in the late summer at Flying Cross. It's their schooling show so I think it would be the perfect move up course, but I know that they have a jump with a top on it. How do I prepare my horse to jump through something like that?

Jan. 19, 2011, 03:56 PM
Are you referencing a keyhole jump?

Jan. 19, 2011, 04:09 PM
Basically.. when I think of key hole, I think of a really small opening... but yes.

Jan. 19, 2011, 04:19 PM
The keyhole at Flying Cross has such a high roof, I wouldn't expect it to be much of an issue. My horse is the biggest XC chicken alive, and he's never had an issue with that fence. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that it only starts to become a factor when the "roof" is much lower. JMO...others may have different experiences.

Jan. 19, 2011, 04:34 PM
Just jump it. Some horses duck a little when the roof gets lower/hole gets smaller, but it's amazing how course designers work for you in these situations: Unless you find yourself somewhere really unusual, the roofs will start quite high at the lower levels, or very open on one side, and gradually get smaller as you move up the levels.
I never had to school one of these fences; they just appear on course and get smaller as you go. Horse never blinked at any of them.

Jan. 19, 2011, 05:02 PM
The first time we ever jumped a keyhole was at the Waredaca t3de and it was a skinny brush oxer to boot. And it was kinda open on the non-tree side. We ducked and it was fine with a little bit of a wiggle on the approach.

Jan. 19, 2011, 07:02 PM
My horse never batted an eye either. We schooled it on XC one afternoon and we're just thinking about moving up to training and jumped the prelim keyhole. MOST fun ever!! And horse wasn't even fazed. They usually aren't that tricky of fences aside from the keyhole part and seem to jump really well.

I think you'll find that you and horsey won't be fazed either :)

Jan. 19, 2011, 07:06 PM
I tend to worry about things that my horse never bats an eye at, and then the ones I think she will be fine at (and I quit riding) she flips out over! I really should just ride every fence like she WILL look at it, then our courses will be perfect! haha

Jan. 19, 2011, 07:07 PM
If you have facebook, there's an entertaining photo of Denny Emerson jumping through a tiny hole :D He might have commented on how to jump or approach it, as he addresses various topics often.

Jan. 19, 2011, 07:35 PM
That jump also appeared on the N course at FC last year.

Just remember the fences don't just get 4 inches bigger at T, they also get more technical. It's not like the move from BN to N. I've heard from others how cute your little horse is and you don't want to get her hurt because she's not VERY CONFIDENT at BN and N just because you want to move up the levels. Get some experience before you make the move up, and please get some help from a professional.

Jan. 19, 2011, 09:02 PM
Ditto what ecg said-- take your time moving up. Have you done a Novice HT yet? It is not being able to jump any one fence per se, it is your overall confidence and experience together that will mean you are ready to move up. There is no sense in scaring your nice horse or yourself. My 2 cents.

Jan. 19, 2011, 09:39 PM
I think of a keyhole as being one of those brush-surrounded holes, and a regular fence with a roof as a "picture frame" jump. But they're just a progression on the theme.

I usually prepare my horses to jump one of those by going to a schooling course that has an inviting one (with a high 'roofline' and a wide face) and just jumping it. I've never had a horse bat an eye at a basic picture frame, and by the time it gets "keyholey" they've become gradually acclimated to the space getting smaller. I suppose you could rig one up at home between a couple of trees or something like that?


Jan. 20, 2011, 10:34 AM
What does your trainer say?

Jan. 20, 2011, 11:48 AM
I am only seeing her about once a month at the moment due to this crazy weather and my crazy work schedule, but will eventually move to weekly when things calm down. She knows my plan and says as long as I stick to the plan we have there should be no reason why the schooling trial would be a problem. I haven't asked her about the key hole jumps yet, which is why I came here. Wont get her out here again until feb.

She believes my horse is willing to do anything I ask her to do and is perfectly fine doing it as long as I don't quit riding. That has been my biggest problem, but since I was at LAZ's to now I have been working on it non stop and we have completed a few novice schooling trials and did fine (double clear) and have schooled a ton. We plan on doing Recognized novices this year and then seeing where we stand in sept. to see if moving up to Training at jump start is the best choice. But I have seen the schooling training level course and it is not at all difficult for it's level, which is why we think it would be my best choice before moving up.

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:02 PM
Which schooling trials have you been to? I'm looking for some good ones for my students to go to this summer. Nothing like Rojas with the trappy jumps and iffy courses.

Jan. 20, 2011, 01:31 PM
This summer I don't have a lot planned. I may go to LTEE, but IDk. Flying Cross has a few which I really liked and the same with spring run. I thought the courses we inviting, but if I remember correctly, spring run was just BN. Flying cross has the Novice course. I also went to Flying cross and took a XC lesson that has courses set and were run like a show. Octoberfest is a good one too.