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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
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    Question Teaching the Greenie...

    I'm soon to own a new greenie(PPE on Monday) and thought I'd ask a few jump related questions.

    The Mare:
    4 yrs old, TBxDutchxTrak, 15.3ish. GREEN. She's quiet undersaddle, just doesn't understand giving to the bit yet and doesn't have the muscle to come round and carry herself. Will have a VERY nice canter once she builds up her balance and muscle.

    I don't plan on showing her hunters(I'm not a hunter rider, mostly I event & show dressage). But most hunters seem to jump nicely and have changes at a younger age. So I figured I would get the best answers here.

    1. What kind of pole work do you do to prep for jumping? In general what kind of prep work?

    2. How do you train in the changes?

    3. What age do you start jumping undersaddle? How high? How often(per week)?

    4. What are the best excercises for giving a young horse confidence over fences, and teaching good style?

    5. How do you know when they're ready to start jumping with a rider? A grid? A course?

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004
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    Default

    Congrats on your new horse!

    The questions you have asked have been answered in an extensive library that is available either in book or DVD from.

    Your best option is to find a trainer to work with you that has a lot of experience in producing the kind of horse you want to have.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2006
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    MA
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    I agree with Addison a trainer will be your biggest help, but here are my answers based on my own experience (so take it all with a grain of salt ).

    I focus first on straightness and getting them more broke on the flat. As far as poles, I think cavalletti on the ground help them learn where there feet are, just start with one, then build from there once they're going over one without peeking, changing tempo, or trying to jump it. Once they're doing them on the ground comfortably, raising them on alternate ends can be a good exercise. As for jumping, start jumping cross rails with placing rails before and after, letting them figure it out. IMO, approach everything as though it is no big deal. Also, when they're young I think less is more as you introduce new stuff, so once they are successful, leave it alone then plan to build from there next time.

    As far as changes go, I think once they've learned straight and they start getting stronger, a lot of balanced horses will just start doing the changes on their own. I prefer to start with teaching them quiet simple changes first. If they start offering the change after jumps, then let them do it just keeping them straight in the outside rein. I don't like to school flying changes on the flat until they've already started doing them on their own after fences.

    As far as age over fences, I think 4 yrs old is plenty old enough to start schooling over fences. For style, I like a placing rail to help them figure out where their feet go. Gymnastics will help also.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2009
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    Osteen, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Owen View Post

    As far as age over fences, I think 4 yrs old is plenty old enough to start schooling over fences. For style, I like a placing rail to help them figure out where their feet go. Gymnastics will help also.
    Just to add to this. I've found that free jumping my youngsters through a similar (if not the same) set up as the gymnastic that I will be putting them through when I start jumping them under saddle has helped tremendously. Obviously, when you start the gymnastic under saddle, take it apart and build it as the horse gains more confidence.
    Last edited by RyuEquestrian; Feb. 20, 2010 at 11:23 AM.
    Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
    Sakura Hill Farm & Facebook Page
    Boarding, Training, Consignment Sales & Breeding
    Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
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    Area IV
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    I have a jump trainer that I go to every other week, so I won't be going at this alone. However I have another horse that needs the jump work more than this mare, so she won't be going to see my trainer till she's ready to start over fences work. I plan to ask her for advice as well, but this seems like an excellent supplement for my knowledge. Thanks!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
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    Default the changes, imo

    You've got good advice going already and a trainer is never a bad thing.

    When you do start working on the changes, resist the temptation to push for the flying changes on your over fences days. Teach the changes on flat work only days. Don't try to train them between the jumps or in the corner after a line.

    In most accomplished riders' minds, jumping and flying changes go together. For the horses, they're two distinctly different questions.

    Just my opinion. Maybe worth every cent you paid for it.
    "I never panic when I get lost. I just change where I want to go."
    -Rita Rudner



  7. #7
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    Aug. 2, 2009
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    Osteen, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by actcasual View Post
    You've got good advice going already and a trainer is never a bad thing.

    When you do start working on the changes, resist the temptation to push for the flying changes on your over fences days. Teach the changes on flat work only days. Don't try to train them between the jumps or in the corner after a line.

    In most accomplished riders' minds, jumping and flying changes go together. For the horses, they're two distinctly different questions.

    Just my opinion. Maybe worth every cent you paid for it.
    I'd have to agree with this. Since being in the UK, I've been told to always separate my gaits (always back to walk before picking up canter- always back to walk after canter) and to never do my changes across the diagonal so that the horse doesn't anticipate them, but rather do them on a figure eight, or down a center or quarter line.
    Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
    Sakura Hill Farm & Facebook Page
    Boarding, Training, Consignment Sales & Breeding
    Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2009
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    I have a greenie and am working on a lot of the same things. There really isn't much to "teaching" them how to jump. She's a trooper and has always went right over everything, although I'm smart enough not to push her too fast or ask too much. The real work now is deciding what specific exercises she needs as an individual.

    OP, I would start with cavaletti and trot poles, and then add a small cross rail with a few poles beforehand and see how it goes. I don't like to place poles after the jump, at least to start, because the reaction can be so varied-- some horses may leap, and some may just step over, and you don't want to confuse them more by having a pole that may not be correctly spaced.

    As far as lead changes, don't use poles. I have seen a lot of trainers do this and I've seen a lot of unclean changes and ruined horses. My older horse was "taught" this way, and he is absolutely ruined. He was never able to show successfully in the hunters, despite his talent. Even after not doing changes for years, he gets very anxious going across diagonals. The sad part is that he has a clean lead change, and he can do it perfectly if he doesn't anticipate, but his mind is completely ruined.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 21, 2009
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    I think a lot of good advice has been said here. For teaching lead changes I like to make sure my horse can do some simple leg yielding and can also maintain a nice straight, balanced canter. Once the horse can do that, I use a figure eight to work on lead changes (not a long diagonal). If they don't understand that when I apply my new outside leg and change bend to change the lead then I go back to the basics. It does no good to badger the horse with the outside leg (this usually results in rushing/taking off). Instead if they don't "get it" then I go back to the walk and trot and work on leg yielding until they understand how to move away from my leg.

    As far as jumping, I like to start very lightly as a 4 year old over small jumps. I do only a few at a time and I don't jump more than a few times per month. Once they are about 5ish I start jumping them higher but still keep the number of jumps pretty low. Basically with young horses its all about the flatwork.

    And for a tip about starting them over fences- don't fuss too much with them if they are a little silly. If they over jump it or knock a rail at first, it really doesn't matter. If you make it easy for them and they feel like they did a "good job" (even if it really wasn't all that good) then they will really learn to enjoy jumping.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2006
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    307

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    1. What kind of pole work do you do to prep for jumping? In general what kind of prep work?

    In conjunction with my trainer we brought along mine from a 2yr old.

    In the beginning she learned on the lunge. Where to put her feet, balance, gained stregnth & stamina. She learned to go over what ever was in front of her. She was never hesistant about it anyway. So trot over a pole or a small jump she did it. We would lead her over small jumps too. We never made a big deal of any of it. When I would get on I would walk around while a lesson was being taught and walk her over & around various things, or just stand there watching. She would play with the flowers decorating the jumps shaking them around in her teeth. When we started jumping with a rider it was just trotting x's and canter away circling on the lead she landed on. then trot the x and 6 or so strides later canter a pole. that type stuff. eventually we put 2 x's together. trotted gates, verticals etc. eventually moved up to cantering it was sort of at her pace. going over things was always part of her sessions - in a fun way. only when she got older, stronger, more training under her belt did we start layering on the jumping stuff mentioned above. then when she was actually jumping those schools were infrequent, but i got on her 4/5 times a week and did something with her.

    2. How do you train in the changes?
    Never trained changes, she did them naturally so we never pressed it or asked it. this is probably the easiest thing you can screw up by over schooling it or teaching them wrong. guess we were lucky she did them herself. it clicked for her land left, half halt turn right she's changing.

    3. What age do you start jumping undersaddle? How high? How often(per week)?
    I think i answered it above but she learned when we started with her to go over the thing in front of her, jumping with me on her back started at maybe 3 1/2 maybe a tinge sooner but it was very little at first, she's turning 6 and still has only been over 3' a handful of times. its not the height that is necessary to worry about its the straightness, the slow off the ground, relaxed to & from the fence, etc....

    4. What are the best excercises for giving a young horse confidence over fences, and teaching good style?

    Dont get ahead! sit quiet no slow go slow go fidgeting, if you dont have a good eye let someone else start the horse o/f. I think doing those things will give them confidence assuming you dont over face them and you are super postivie with praise. dont do too much in any one session. teaching good style - jump slow off the ground from a balanced slow canter no rushing that horse will push off the ground from behind not jump from their front end.

    5. How do you know when they're ready to start jumping with a rider? A grid? A course?

    She was going pretty strong & confidently on the lunge over small fences, and we knew she was fit. I got on and everything steps back a few notches. Now she had to learn to balance with me up there so it was flatwork turning etc.... upgrade to poles walking over little things. she got used to all that, confident so we started trotting things. I guess you'll see & feel when they're ready for a little more. Courses came next but that isnt like you'd do in a show and to date i dont think we've done any grids just a few pretty straight forward gymnasitcs.

    I hope this helps a bit & good luck.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
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    Your questions provoke possible bookloads of answers.

    Basically:

    1. Every horse is different and you yourself have to set your goals.
    2. If she is COMING 4 and has all that WB in her - she may need still to grow.
    3. Dressage flat work is key when I train a hunter. STICK TO THE FLAT work as your bulk training.
    4. If you feel her body is mature enough - sounds like she could be already - I free lunge over jumps - horses get to know their body over a jump and it gives them confidence and also - some of the stuff you focus on training a horse to do - they figure out jumping on their own. I have a very athletic horse in training right now. His owner gets in his way because he is green and athletic and so he jumps dynamic and very different over fences with her. So we free jump him and it is great to see him negotiate his body - he starts balancing himself as he approaches the jump and bringing his knees up and square. Then I coach her to steady him - keep him straight and pretty much stay out of his way.
    5. I would think you free jump her and focus on flat work and some trails / hacks and then in the late spring - start her over poles and maybe by summer you can do Xs and small grids. Depending on how well she jumps and takes to things - and how mature her body is - you really could be jumping as high as a 3'6" course by fall or maybe 18 inch courses.... =) She is only 4 so it is not a rush.

    From my experience, eventers start their horses young but just hopping fences in the fields and otherwise focusing on dressage and hacking fields. But in hunters - when I did that exclusively it was mainly about style. And all horses can use some of that too - my horses that go do jumpers learn to jump a course like a hunter in that they are allowed to take their time, use their arena, focus on style.



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