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*Brightside*
Jun. 12, 2011, 09:57 PM
I thought about posting this in the hunter forum but I am an eventer by nature and know that you all give the best advice so I thought I would stick it here.

I have been helping a 13 year old neightbor with her pony for a few months. Apparently last year he was very naughty at hunter shows and would always stop at the first jump but would then continue on with the course. We've been working really hard at home with the jumping and she and the pony have never had a problem that I have seen at home. I took them to a schooling show last weekend and she did the 2 ft jumping class. Schooled everything now problem and then went out and did the course perfect and placed 3rd in the large class.

This weekend was a different story at our district 4-H shows. In the warm up he was bucking, which I believe was from the craziness of the warm up as no matter what you did you were practically getting run over. But she went on a schooled everything in both of her 2 ft courses confidently. He didn't stop at one thing. She came out and then she went in about 5 minutes later to do her courses and both courses he stopped at the 1st jump twice. Obviously he rattled her the first time and got into her brain, and no matter what I told her before she went in she was convinced he was going to stop. So he did..... This is the first time I had seen him do this and how she reacted to it was pretty much just falling apart and accepting defeat. Once she got him over the first jump the rest of the course was beautiful. I'm pretty sure this is a mental thing with the girl, But I wanted to get other people's opinions. She loves this pony and they do so well at home and she won her flat class on him and was 6th in the showmanship.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!

MeghanDACVA
Jun. 12, 2011, 10:27 PM
What helps me is to not look at the first fence but rather the 2nd. The first is just a bump between the start flags and the 2nd fence. ;-)

creekridgefarm
Jun. 12, 2011, 10:53 PM
Meghan has a great suggestion! Try getting her to focus on something other than the first fence. Also, are there any other riders that could ride the pony and show her he can successfully jump the first fence? One of my younger students loves to blame her mare occasionally for things that are the fault of the riders expectations. If I get on, or even one of her lesson companions, and show her this is indeed not the work of a malicious horse -- but rather a pessimistic rider -- the issue is usually solved.