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Piatt Farms
Apr. 3, 2012, 03:10 PM
I’m looking to help a young friend who aspires to jump grand prix someday, who has the good fortune to own a young (6) gelding who would walk through fire for her if asked. He’s not terribly tall, maybe 16h but has good bone and a willing attitude. She rides 6 days a week, usually jumping him cross country or schooling over 3’+ but also doing a trail ride just to break it up. Although she has free jumped him 5’ she has been cautioned to not jump him over 3’ regularly since she could risk injuring his joints and she should limit the 3’+ until just until show time. For a young and ambitious girl this is not terribly fun, especially when she has seen her horse jump higher.

So….for all of you professionals out there--do you agree with this philosophy? What is your personal training regimen on a daily basis and just before showing? What precautions do you take while jumping/training to keep your horse sound?

TIA!

Crown Royal
Apr. 3, 2012, 04:41 PM
She should not be jumping her horse every ride over 3'+. That's going to really affect his joints in the long-run. I say jump him once a week, and preferably lower than 3' and just work on small courses, and maintain his fitness/school on the flat the rest of the time. He obviously knows how to jump height, so save his joints and practice courses/gymnastics at a smaller height because it's the in-between that matters. Jump full-size courses that you will be showing at closer to the time of the show, but never every day.

Yeah she's young and ambitious in her riding goals, but tell her she's not going to have a sound and able partner to meet those goals if she jumps him that much. It's important that she knows proper horsemanship and how to treat her athlete to keep him sound and happy. It's boring to take good care of your horse and work on the things that will keep him fit and ready? Well, she's going to have to get used to it. Unless she has multiple horses that she can take turns jumping every day, she's going to have to deal with "not having fun".

eclipse
Apr. 3, 2012, 05:07 PM
In the big scheme of things, 3ft is not huge (there are many 6yr olds that are jumping/showing much bigger than that). But, saying that, we still only jump 2x per week, with the rest going to flatting. There are tones of exercises to keep things interesting, plus you can incorporate polework and/or cavaletti exercises as part of the flat. We school at either just above the height we are showing (before a show) or just below in between, with the winter months of no jumping at all. :D

Is your friend currently in a program with a good pro? If so, have the trainer give her some ideas for her flat time, if she needs some fun ideas. She can do things like, put 2 poles on the ground (ie 5 strides apart) and in both directions should be able to add upto 9 or 10 strides and then open up the canter and put in the 5 the next time. A good jumper can collect and extend on a dime, and it is invaluable in the show ring!

If she does have a pro, has this person jumped the horse around a bigger course? Honestly, just because your horse can free jump 5ft, doesn't mean he can do a 5ft course with a rider on his back. If a pro has done this, well, awesome as that is a horse I can only dream about!

meupatdoes
Apr. 3, 2012, 05:18 PM
I have no desire to ever jump a GP track but I still would not be jumping 3' every single ride with a trail here and there if I was.

My hunters go in dressage saddles 99% of the time. Once they have the basics of courses installed, which takes more concentrated jump schooling, they jump maybe a couple times a month. If the budget doesn't have shows in it to prepare for they go months without jumping.

IME keeping up with the flat work (and not just "hunter flatting" a couple of circles and changes of direction) means that once your horse knows basic coursemanship you can prepare for a show at a new height in a couple of concentrated lessons. Then again my program is very hunter centered so a jumper might want to practice more than just "straight straight straight rhythm rhythm let goooooo".

Even so if it is the coursemanship (as opposed to the height) that needs the work it can be learned at 2'6" or below just as well without hammering the mcshizzle out of the legs.

AlyssaSpellman
Apr. 3, 2012, 07:47 PM
I also never jump more than 2x a week. I do a day off, light hack, harder dressage work, little jumps (usually around 6" smaller than show height, but it really depends), light hack, dressage work, and bigger jumps (usually at show height but again, it depends).
I also wrap overnight after jumping.

ex-racer owner
Apr. 3, 2012, 09:45 PM
Please tell me the horse in question isn't the one from your prior thread...

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347399

mrsbradbury
Apr. 4, 2012, 08:51 AM
Please tell me the horse in question isn't the one from your prior thread...

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347399

I was just thinking the same thing....

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2012, 09:30 AM
Please tell me the horse in question isn't the one from your prior thread...

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347399

Well now we know the answer. The poor thing is grumpy because he's jumping every day, and he's probably sore and burned out.

AlyssaSpellman
Apr. 4, 2012, 11:04 AM
Please tell me the horse in question isn't the one from your prior thread...

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347399

If this is the same horse, and the friend does in fact run a training facility.. why is she jumping the horse almost every ride? :confused:
Really hoping this is about two different people.

PinkBoots
Apr. 4, 2012, 01:16 PM
My horse isn't green by any means, he's 13 and is a solid jr/AO winner, and did upper level dressage in his younger days before jumping. So, my training regimen is based more on conditioning rather than training, simply because there's nothing more to train.

But, I base my relationship with him and my show goals/future plans out of respect for him. I never jump more than 1x a week, if that. I let him tell me based on how he's feeling and placing at shows when and where to show next. We hack out, go swimming in the creek, and gallop a little for conditioning/fun :)

I know my horse is able to be spoiled because of his age and experience, but If I had a young horse I would apply the same philosophy to my approach. I think there's nothing more important to your relationship with your horse than keeping him happy and respecting him. This means avoiding personal ambitions when deciding whats best to do with your horse, especially young ones.

Horses don't sign up for their jobs with us, they are drafted. I think it's important to keep that in mind while training and maintaining them.

Piatt Farms
Apr. 4, 2012, 04:00 PM
I was just thinking the same thing....

Sorry, recovering from a terrible sunburn from the horse show over the weekend, and haven't been on since i posted earlier.

No, not the same horse, I almost put that as a disclaimer at the top when I started the thread...apparently I should have. However the 15yr old that rides the "grumpy" horse in the other thread is the same "young friend" who rides/owns the gelding I'm referring to here in this thread. She rides my hunter as well, although less frequently due to schematics.

CR/Eclipse/AS/meupatdoes/PB, thank you for your input. It's always enlightening to see what others are doing. :)

FlashGordon
Apr. 4, 2012, 04:26 PM
No, not the same horse, I almost put that as a disclaimer at the top when I started the thread...apparently I should have. However the 15yr old that rides the "grumpy" horse in the other thread is the same "young friend" who rides/owns the gelding I'm referring to here in this thread.

So it is not the same horse, but the same rider. That still says a lot IMO.

I'm with the others, conservative jumping is the best way to preserve mind and body. And when she does jump, make it count.

Piatt Farms
Apr. 4, 2012, 04:34 PM
Thanks Flash-

The message you are all sending is the same that her trainer and I have both been giving. Hopefully the collective wisdom here will convince her to back the jumping off to 2x a week and spend more time on flatwork, dressage maybe some swimming if I can get them over here to swim in our pond. (thanks PB for the idea!)

Just to clarify- the 15yr old is just at the barn and rides the "grumpy" horse occassionally, not all the time. ...however I see your point.

FlashGordon
Apr. 4, 2012, 04:39 PM
I know it can be hard to rein kids in, especially kids who are ambitious with big dreams. You don't want to discourage them or stifle their excitement/enthusiasm but at the same time they do need to learn restraint.... especially when it comes to preserving their horse's soundness.

It's easy to burn a horse out, when you're 15, you don't even know or realize just HOW easy. Hell there are plenty of adults who don't get it either.

Anyway good luck and hopefully she listens, it is a good lesson to learn now!

KateD
Apr. 4, 2012, 05:27 PM
Thanks Flash-

The message you are all sending is the same that her trainer and I have both been giving. Hopefully the collective wisdom here will convince her to back the jumping off to 2x a week and spend more time on flatwork, dressage maybe some swimming if I can get them over here to swim in our pond. (thanks PB for the idea!)

Just to clarify- the 15yr old is just at the barn and rides the "grumpy" horse occassionally, not all the time. ...however I see your point.

Just a question, does your facility have any rules against jumping without a trainer? Or is the trainer still giving her jumping lessons 6x a week? (or whatever it is). I know many facilities implement this rule for safety reasons, maybe it should be in place there so she can't jump the legs off the horse?

Sorry if I'm way off base!

AlyssaSpellman
Apr. 4, 2012, 11:44 PM
Hopefully the collective wisdom here will convince her to back the jumping off to 2x a week and spend more time on flatwork

At 15 too, I know what it's like to want to jump all the time, and luckily I get to ride a variety of different horses and usually end up jumping at least once a day (but never on the same horse more than twice a week). Unfortunately I learned not to over jump my horses the hard way when my 15 (12 at the time) year old mare developed carpal arthritis in both front knees, and now can only do walk/trot. (Side note, I didn't really over jump her - she was jumped quite a bit as a lesson horse before I got her - but learned the dangers of it from this.)

Good luck convincing her! Hopefully her and her horse will reach her goals while staying safe and sound. :)

mrsbradbury
Apr. 5, 2012, 08:43 AM
Sorry Piatt Farms, I just wanted clarification as I gave my two cents about grumpy horse.

If there is no rule about jumping outside of lessons, I would advise your trainer friend to put one in place ASAP, especially for excited young ladies like this.

We jump our horse once or twice per week, I have a horse, the one I discussed in your other thread, who I hope to get to GP level, we will see. That one hasn't jumped in about a month. I have been stregthening her, and developing the canter.

I think with upper level horses, or horses of that caliber, you have to focus on the ridability and the flatting, and save them for showing.

My mare is bold and brave. She has to be jumped enough to stay interested, and fit, but if I jump her a lot she's not careful, and gets too bold. Which equals too hard for me to ride (because I don't like it that way!).

The other piece is showing, I know you guys are in a geographically quiet area. How often has this young lady shown? Is there a show goal in place? Maybe by building her goals around the 'A' shows in your area, and increasing the heights at these shows you can rein her in, giving her some focus for her passion.

I ride my mare 4 days per week, she lunges loose or in a bitting rig, another day, and gets turn-out or handwalked the other two days. I do some massage before and after I ride her. I mix the days up between hacking ( to build my trust in her ), and schooling flatwork ( to teach her to respect my decisions ), and jumping to keep both of our eyes sharp. On jumping days, we trot and X or two, then jump a few verticals at 3'. Yes, right from X to 3'. Then I jump my exercises, whether it's a turn, a line, or a partial course at 3', we repeat it a few times raising the jumps in between turns until I get what we want. I make note of the height we end at, and then plan accordingly the next time.

meupatdoes
Apr. 5, 2012, 09:57 AM
Good luck convincing her!

I don't think "convincing" is the right word.

Kiddo is 15.
BO makes the rules on what goes on on her property.
The end.

Kiddo doesn't need to be "convinced," but she does need to be "rule-abiding."

Beam Me Up
Apr. 5, 2012, 10:34 AM
I jump ~1x/week. On young ones who need exposure maybe 2x, but over small stuff. XC school maybe a couple times a year, but as an eventer I do go xc a couple times a month during the show season.

Does this YR have plans for the season and a program leading up to it? Aspiring to GP is great, but doesn't really provide a day to day plan for training/conditioning. It sounds like she needs some intermediate goals and some structure in fiugring out how to get there. There are a lot of jumping skills that can be practiced on the flat (turns, stride adjustment, etc.). At low levels shows are a part of that learning/training process and not an end unto themselves.

Ozone
Apr. 5, 2012, 10:48 AM
Horses only have so many jumps and if the 15 year old continues to jump the 6 year old daily by the time they are ready to move up the horse will be broke down.

We have all seen this happen!

But the Q of what is the training plan for our young horses...
Mine jumps SMALL jumps or grids 1X per week and some times not even 1 time as it all depends on how he is working on the flat. Otherwise, he is flatting all the time... I know he can jump with height so why do jump after jump?

AlyssaSpellman
Apr. 5, 2012, 11:08 AM
I don't think "convincing" is the right word.

Kiddo is 15.
BO makes the rules on what goes on on her property.
The end.

Kiddo doesn't need to be "convinced," but she does need to be "rule-abiding."

Yes, but convincing was the word the OP used. ;)
Besides that, we don't even know that this girl rides at a farm. She may keep the horse at her house, or somewhere that the BO won't enforce any rule. IMO it sounds like the girl isn't all that involved with a professionl. If that were the case, I think her trainer would have already told her not to jump outside of lessons.
So convincing may be the only way to get her to not over jump her horse.

GingerJumper
Apr. 5, 2012, 12:06 PM
Does she have any idea that daily jumping could damage her horse long term? I mean, yeah, 3' isn't all that massive for a horse who has GP potential, but jumping that often can certainly be damaging.

She's fifteen. If you ask me, that is plenty old enough to put the welfare of a horse with that much potential (or any horse, for that matter) ahead of her own desire to jump all the time.

My big sticks hopeful jumps once a week, flats 3-4 days, and hacks out one day (if the trails are okay). He has done fine on that program.

cswoodlandfairy
Apr. 5, 2012, 12:28 PM
I have a horse that is moving up to 3'9-4' and I only jump him at that height once a week and if that. Mostly we do a field day, two flat days and a baby jumping...ie 2'3 which my horse insists he rather walk over.

After jumping the high fences I do rub sore no more on him and let him hang out with his back on track blanket for a while before turnout (he's out 24/7). I also rub his legs down to draw out the heat.

I would keep the high jumping to a min...and I can relate to your friend as I am the same way, hard to jump the little stuff when you know he can jump higher and prefers it!

Piatt Farms
Apr. 5, 2012, 01:35 PM
Yes, but convincing was the word the OP used. ;)
Besides that, we don't even know that this girl rides at a farm. She may keep the horse at her house, or somewhere that the BO won't enforce any rule. IMO it sounds like the girl isn't all that involved with a professionl. If that were the case, I think her trainer would have already told her not to jump outside of lessons.
So convincing may be the only way to get her to not over jump her horse.

You pretty much nailed it on the head. :)

Let me elaborate and this may help clarify things.
Trainer is mom and the 15 yr old is the daughter. They have their house on site of the training facility so the daughter is at liberty to ride whenever she wants, and when possible the mom/trainer is up there with her, but its just not possible to be omnipresent. Sometimes mucking stalls turns into grooming which turns into tacking up and going for a trail ride which turns into a quick round of jumping. You get the drift....

And everyone here was a teen once (and some are mom's of a teen), and remember how we would listen to everyone EXCEPT our parents, which is why I reached out here for some "outside expert advice".
Trust me, mom/trainer has said "look, we know he can do it, he doesn't need to prove it daily", and that she needs to limit the jumping to 2x a week and practice on flat work. They did spend some time using poles to extend/shorten the strides into a low jump to mix it up and have worked a bit on dressage, working on fun stuff (like teaching him how to bow) but trying to keep things interesting and challenging for a teen is a challenge in and of itself.

Getting other trainers/riders "training plan" was one way I offered to help to try to help my friend out. If you guys said "we jump XX 2x a week, then 2x a week we follow Y plan and 1 day a week doing Z" I could show/recommend she try this with her horse and see what results she got.

kmwines01
Apr. 5, 2012, 02:25 PM
Sorry to get off track but this thread made me wonder..... How do you, as a rider, get comfortable at the bigger heights if you aren't regularly schooling it? How do you move up if you only school the bigger height once every two weeks? Or once a month as somebody mentioned? I know I'm a wuss and until the bigger heights seemed average it would freak me out every time I saw them raised.

tidy rabbit
Apr. 5, 2012, 03:59 PM
I school the horses over bigger tracks infrequently. A couple weeks before a horse show we'll build a course and play mock horse show. Complete with a time allowed etc and build the course a level or two higher than the horses will be competing at. When we're introducing a new height we'll put one or two fences up on a small course and go around a couple times. We do a lot of gymnastics too where we practice larger fences.

I firmly believe you have to practice over big fences to get good at riding big fences. Of course, everything in moderation... I also like to practice under pressure so I can practice relaxation techniques and the mental side of the game.

But the #1 thing is to have the right horse. :) The right horse can make very large jumps look easy.

mrsbradbury
Apr. 5, 2012, 10:37 PM
Sorry to get off track but this thread made me wonder..... How do you, as a rider, get comfortable at the bigger heights if you aren't regularly schooling it? How do you move up if you only school the bigger height once every two weeks? Or once a month as somebody mentioned? I know I'm a wuss and until the bigger heights seemed average it would freak me out every time I saw them raised.

I understand exactly what your asking. I was lucky enough over a period of years to have horses that is was easy on. I practiced and showed. In moderation. Once you jump that height, that's where you jump.

For example, with a finished 3'6" horse, you get it focused with a couple a small things, and then work at height. So, on your young horse, you increase the heights, as the horse gets ridable and you feel comfortable. Sometimes that happens quickly, or if it's really hard for the horse to jump the jump, they're not likely an upper level horse.

It's easy on a horse who is destined for the ring. Basically....:cool: It doesn't mean the other training needs to be installed too.

I think you were commented about my mare, when you referred to jumping once a month. ( I do a crap ton of pole work.) She's an unconventional case, a bit unorthodox, and while she has the talent, I'm not sure I'll ever get her "broke" enough to do the GP on her, but I'm going to learn a heck of alot about training horses along the way, and right now, it goes best on that schedule.

Once I moved on from my finished horses, and started a whole string of prospects, I couldn't jump a little course. I carried too much pace, and kept chipping because I would lean into the distance. I kept looking down for the jump because I was used to it being in my face.:lol:Your eye, and ride just adjust.

The key is truly sitting on one that makes you feel like it's okay. With my mare, the issue isn't the jump, it's what happens in between.

supershorty628
Apr. 6, 2012, 01:00 PM
I show my mare in the GPs and honestly never jump her bigger than 4'6'' at home (rarely even do that). I'll jump her around a course at 3'9'' to 4'3'' or so maybe once every 2 weeks. She hates that it's that infrequent - I've never met a horse that wants to jump as much as she does - but it saves her joints. During show season, she does not jump at home unless we absolutely need to school a problem.

To make up for that, she does a lot of work over raised cavalettis. It's not the same as poles because she does have to lift her legs up a little more, but it's not strenuous on her body.

I usually do 2 days a week of serious flatwork in the ring, 2 days flatting out in a field or doing hillwork, 1 day of gallop sets out in a field, and 1 day of either a school over some smaller fences or a trail ride.

Each time I moved up, I had not really schooled over that height at home much (or in the case of the 1.50m, I had never schooled over a course that big before walking in the ring). I'm one of those odd people who rides better when I'm a little scared of what I'm doing; I don't pull coming to the fence, but I pretty much stay out of Nikki's way, which makes it easier for her. Arguably, this is not the best way for most people ;) but it worked out for me.

SendenHorse
Apr. 6, 2012, 02:25 PM
I do 2-3 days of a harder school and a couple of days of either longing, trail riding (hills) or basic stuff if I can't go outside (ie-winter). A total of 5-6x a week and the horse is doing great.

I don't care what the dicipline, 5-6 d of the same thing is a recipe for disaster EVEN IF THE HORSE likes it.

my horse could work for 2 hrs everyday with a smile on his face, but that doesn't mean that is the best choice.

Giddy-up
Apr. 6, 2012, 04:28 PM
I agree that at age 15 she knows about the welfare & care of the horse. Especially since she is the daughter of the trainer/BO.

Sadly some people regardless of age don't learn even when they do break the horse. And the one after that. And the next one too. They are too busy wanting to have "fun" & run around doing fun stuff not caring about the toll on the animal.

Trainer needs to lay down the rules. Don't care if that is mom. Would trainer allow this behavior from other boarders? It's not setting a good example of the barn's stance on horsemanship.

PNWjumper
Apr. 6, 2012, 07:52 PM
I think the answer here is that the mom and kid need to find a trainer who's experienced in bringing up and conditioning GP horses. If that's a realistic goal for the rider and the horse it will benefit everyone to have experienced (and non-biased) eyes helping them along, even if it's not a frequent thing.

Because the truth of the matter is that the answer to "how often?" really comes down to "it depends on the horse." Some horses need lots of jumping, some horses need next to none (like supershorty's mare). My 1.40m mare needed a lot of jumps to keep her conditioned for the jumper ring. Through the show season she jumped every single day. Most days it was a handful of jumps (all at or over 3'6") with 1-2 days with most of the jumps at 1.40m. She's about to turn 16 and she's as sound as a horse can be. She still gets worked hard 6-7 days a week, though now that she's working back down the levels we don't jump as much. With that being said, if we were heading to a show you can bet that I would jump her close to every day to get her conditioned for the jumps again. Flatwork is not a substitute to jumping FOR HER.

My gelding is more like supershorty's mare. He doesn't need heavy conditioning because he's a TB who gets fitter standing around and eating :lol: He's still somewhat green, so I start jumping up in February-ish to prep for the season and we school up to 5' 1-2x a week until early April. From that point on I rarely school up at home and he does almost all of his jumping at shows.

But contrary to conventional wisdom, I think it's often "easier" on a horse to jump a few jumps every day rather than jumping a lot of fences a couple of times a week. But there's a big balance point between how many jumps the horse needs and how many jumps the rider needs (which is another "it depends"). And there's a big difference between "a few jumps every day" (where the end of jumping comes the minute the horse does something really well even if it's over the first jump) and "jumping every day" where the horse jumps for the rider's gratification.

And just because I haven't said it lately. My biggest pet peeve is the saying "a horse only has so many jumps in them." Yes, it's technically true, but it's true in the same way as saying "a person only has so many breaths in them." That number can change drastically based on the conditioning and care taken to do best by the horses needs. This may mean (like in my mare's case) that the horse gets jumped A LOT. Or this may mean that the horse gets "saved" for shows. But there is no rule that's true for every horse, and it's unfair to try to assume anything based on what was posted here.