PDA

View Full Version : jumper hitting poles



colorfan
Mar. 26, 2011, 05:37 PM
My young mare has always been a pole hitter, even as a 2 yr intorduced to ground poles and cavaletti, she would miss a few hit a few. It just never seemed to bother her.

The same tendancy has carried on into saddle work, she ticks ground poles, hits cavaletti, will jump but often knocks the poles down.

I have lunged her over cavelleti and low jumps, sometimes she goes fine, sometimes she plows through.
She crashed so hard into one set of cross rails she nearly took us both down.

Are some horses just not born to jump? She comes from jumping lines but realize that in itself does not mean squat.
I have been doing dressage with her, had her in a clinic, the dressage instructor repeated how lovely she is under saddle, how well broke she is, how well she moves. She seems to find security and relaxation in dressage.

I am a little nervous now to try to jump with her.

War Admiral
Mar. 26, 2011, 05:43 PM
If they don't like the job you are asking them to do, they'll usually find a way to let you know that....

kayteedee
Mar. 26, 2011, 09:47 PM
She may just not know what to do with her parts yet, and needs time to figure it out.

Another alternative thought- have you had her eyes checked?

And one more- are you using alternative/lightweight poles? I had a horse who started on them, and hit EVERYTHING- he didn't get careful till he hit wood once. Then he was ultra careful. Like- oh, wait, that hurt a bit! I better pick up my feet.

PNWjumper
Mar. 26, 2011, 10:21 PM
IME a horse that doesn't care if it hits poles will never care enough to be a good jumper. After having learned the lesson the hard way (with a horse that I put 10 years of work into and took through the 4'9" jumpers) I now cut my losses early with a horse that doesn't "get it" early on. Of course that's because I want a competitive horse. I have found that a nicely trained and amateur-proof 4-faulter is still a pretty desirable horse on the market. So I don't mean to imply that a careless horse doesn't have any use.

Could you have an exception? Of course. The horse could be physically immature and literally tripping over her own feet. She could get better as she gets older. But a horse that comes close to wrecking itself on a crossrail would make me nervous, and if she didn't jump the heck out of it the next time it would make me even more nervous.

To answer your question....yes, some horses don't have it in them to jump. I've known (and owned) horses who have overcome major conformational faults to become top jumpers, and I've known horses (like my guy in my example above) who were built to jump and out of phenomenal jumping bloodlines who just....well.....didn't want to do it.

Are you working with a jumping instructor? I agree with the comments about lightweight poles, and will also add that some horses are clumsy over teeny tiny little jumps but fine over bigger jumps where they actually have to make an effort. My OTTB is a complete wreck over trot and walk cavaletti and poles but is great over real jumps. She may be too young to push over "big" jumps, but there's a decent difference between a 2'6" vertical and a tiny crossrail. But I wouldn't play around with that variable unless you're working with experienced eyes on the ground.

SnicklefritzG
Mar. 26, 2011, 10:37 PM
"She seems to find security and relaxation in dressage."


I think you may have answered your own question. If your horse seems happiest in the dressage ring, then perhaps that is the job that it needs to be doing.

colorfan
Mar. 27, 2011, 12:20 AM
yeah, I think I have, trouble is I can't really afford two horses for two jobs.

Ah well, love what you have.

TarheelJD
Mar. 27, 2011, 09:24 AM
And one more- are you using alternative/lightweight poles? I had a horse who started on them, and hit EVERYTHING- he didn't get careful till he hit wood once. Then he was ultra careful. Like- oh, wait, that hurt a bit! I better pick up my feet.

This was exactly the case with my horse. He would jump anything that was a decent size with no problem. Anything under 2'6 - poles, crossrails, whatever - he wouldn't bother to pick up his feet because he figured he could just barge through. Once we started using only wooden poles (rather than PVC), he got much better about avoiding that contact!

colorfan
Mar. 27, 2011, 10:11 AM
My cavaletti are 3 x4 landscape rails, the x's are 4x4's. My jumps are made of the same material.

I have noticed however, every time I ask her to jump the huge log, it is a bit over two feet high, she clears it quite nicely.

I will probably try lunging her over a few jumps again this spring and see how she goes but really am nervous about trying to jump her after the way she nearly killed us both. (felt like)

Go Fish
Mar. 27, 2011, 12:06 PM
But a horse that comes close to wrecking itself on a crossrail would make me nervous, and if she didn't jump the heck out of it the next time it would make me even more nervous.



Absolutely, especially the jumping the heck out of it after being stung is a biggie for me.

BeeHoney
Mar. 27, 2011, 12:47 PM
IME a horse that doesn't care if it hits poles will never care enough to be a good jumper. After having learned the lesson the hard way (with a horse that I put 10 years of work into and took through the 4'9" jumpers) I now cut my losses early with a horse that doesn't "get it" early on. Of course that's because I want a competitive horse. I have found that a nicely trained and amateur-proof 4-faulter is still a pretty desirable horse on the market. So I don't mean to imply that a careless horse doesn't have any use.

Could you have an exception? Of course. The horse could be physically immature and literally tripping over her own feet. She could get better as she gets older. But a horse that comes close to wrecking itself on a crossrail would make me nervous, and if she didn't jump the heck out of it the next time it would make me even more nervous.

To answer your question....yes, some horses don't have it in them to jump. I've known (and owned) horses who have overcome major conformational faults to become top jumpers, and I've known horses (like my guy in my example above) who were built to jump and out of phenomenal jumping bloodlines who just....well.....didn't want to do it.

Are you working with a jumping instructor? I agree with the comments about lightweight poles, and will also add that some horses are clumsy over teeny tiny little jumps but fine over bigger jumps where they actually have to make an effort. My OTTB is a complete wreck over trot and walk cavaletti and poles but is great over real jumps. She may be too young to push over "big" jumps, but there's a decent difference between a 2'6" vertical and a tiny crossrail. But I wouldn't play around with that variable unless you're working with experienced eyes on the ground.


PNW is right on...
IMHO, a good jumper has to have just the right mix of squeamishness/self-preservation and boldness.

Of course youngsters need help and guidance, but if you aren't feeling that sense of self-preservation from her...well, no one likes to jump a horse lacking in self-preservation.

If this were my horse, depending on the age, I'd give it a little bit of time. I'd get a good instructor involved to do a few training sessions and help me assess the horse. Ultimately, though, I think you should NOT jump a horse you don't feel confident in, that's a recipe for increasing problems.

Yes, this horse might just need a little bit of time or training...but the truth is, horses take you where they want to go.

Sometimes they might have the physical ability for a job, but not the mental aptitude. One of my current jumpers has a pedigree stacked on both sides with famous dressage horses and has nice gaits, but flunked out of a dressage career early on for behavioral reasons. Turned out, he loves to jump, and the challenge of a jumper course keeps his quirky mind happily occupied.