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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2012
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    74

    Default green horse will. not. wait. to a fence

    Anyone have any exercises the might help? We're going to try a placement rail, pile of poles, placement rail to see if that might teach it to wait. Horse was jumping around the baby greens 6 months ago and has lovely flatwork but had a very bad experience with a trainer and we've been trying to repair that damage, so dropped it back down to little X's. I had thought of raising the jumps to try and back it off, but I'm not sure if that will help or be dangerous since right now it likes to leave the last stride out or it will fall apart and jump three legged if you force it to add.

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated!



  2. #2
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    Apr. 27, 2009
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    I would take the horse back even farther - spend a week or two (or as long as it takes) getting him comfortable with pole work and then onto low cavaletti. Work it into your regular work so it doesn't seem like a big deal. If he starts to get upset, stick with flatwork until his is back to his flatting self.

    I don't like piles of poles because if they hit them, they roll easily and can hit, trip or spook the horse. Make sure he is really OK with the poles - as a full course, on circles, from both directions, in bending lines and short lines, etc. It sounds like this is a fear thing that has turned into a habit. I would not raise the jumps. Once poles are going well and they are no interruption to your flatwork, I would incorporate small jumps into your flatwork. Same thing as before - if he gets upset, stay flatting until chills out, then go back to the jump when you have the trot or canter that you want. Trotting poles and fences for now might not be a bad thing. Heck, I would walk him over some X's so he remembers they are non-scary things that you can just step over.

    For right now, I wouldn't do placing poles since he is already so worried about where his legs are going.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2008
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    Portola Valley, CA
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    276

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    Start over. It may seem like a long road, but not starting over will make bad things last longer.

    Go back to ground work and flat work. Introduce one pole, then a line of poles, then a small course of poles. Then three trot poles. Then three trot poles with the last one raised (fake jump). Then three trot poles with a cross rail at the end. Then trot pole to cross rail. Then line of crossrails with single trot placement poles. Then trot in, canter out.

    Do this over a long period of time. Reduce anxiety in the horse.

    Also check for pain.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2005
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    Chicago. Again.
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    Let him think he's jumping, then don't jump. Ride a circle on a path that kind of leads to a fence, let him get an eye on it and begin the anticipation, then continue on the circle. Do not jump the fence until he has given up all interest in jumping it. This means you could be circling out right in front of the jump, or pulling up to a halt. Be good enough that he doesn't equate this with "not jumping", which is why I prefer the circle out route. Be sure to come at it from both tracks, ie figure 8. You have an anticipation problem and need to remove the predictability factor of the exercise.

    Trot into a line, halt, trot or walk out. Walk fences in general are great for teaching patience.

    If he's rushing in a panicky type way I wouldn't add ground rails or height, he can still get quick through all that. I would use a real jump rather than a pile of poles though. And I'd start putting cavallettis into the flatwork.
    ExchangeHunterJumper.com
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2012
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    Horse has spent the last few months in a different barn, just trotting X's, trotting poles, etc. It doesn't seem to be a fear thing and she's not getting upset about the jump. She will keep the same pace the whole time, just doesn't want to wait that last step - not in a rushing panicky way, just more of a "you can't make me do what I don't want to do" way. I'll try the circling out and see if that helps.

    From my perspective, it seems more like a bull headedness than anything else. This is my first WB and we seem to have a failure to communicate on some things....



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
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    568

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    I did training on an ex foxhunter that literally lunged at jumps. We dropped the jumps to six inches and started walking them up to a height of about 18 inches. We walked those stupid jumps until she thought it was boring and I knew it was! Once she was quiet walking them, we walked towards jump and just let her fall into a trot for the last couple steps before the jump. When that was quiet, she got to trot and as then pulled up in a whoa right after. Then trotting back and forth....I think you can see the general progression that played out over several months. Only once when was quietly jumping about 2'6 at the trot did we start cantering again. At that point, she had figured out that she didn't have to launch herself to clear the jump and would squat and push off to give me a nice jump. We also did a bunch of circling and only occasionally going to the jump so she learned not to anticipate. The former rocket that was always ready for lift off now cleans up with a little girl in the hunter ring.

    Your horse also may be sensing a shift in your seat to prepare for the jump and responding, another problem this mare had. Assuming she isn't a stopper, take that signal away by getting all slumpy and ready to go several strides/steps away so that you don't have to move until she us actually taking off. With a horse that is unwilling to wait, you are better to get a little left behind and throw the reins away when necessary than ahead and giving her the "we're about to take off" signal.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2012
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    402

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    I second PoohLP's suggestion of basically making jumping not so exciting for your horse. I did this a bit with Hannah, where we'd trot, then walk, then step over the "jump" (raised pole really). Then we'd walk and trot the last few strides, and halt right away. If it's the "I know what I'm doing" type of rushing, then you basically have to tell your horse, no you do not. Use transitions, turns, halting etc to get your horse to listen. Mix it up, and always make sure that you're super clear with your signals.

    I do a similar thing with Fiona still, and she's 15! She loves to take flyers, especially over anything lower than 2"6'. We do a lot of trotting towards a jump, then circling away if I feel her start to rush. I won't take her over the jump until she's settled, even if we have to trot around the ring for a lap or two for her to settle consistently. I'll also hack, then jump a bit, then hack some more sometimes, so that jumping doesn't mean end of the ride. Basically add more variety so that your horse can't just decide that he knows what you're doing.
    I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know it alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
    Hannah B. Nana: 50% horse, 50% hippo
    Fiona: can't decide between jumpers or napping



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    12,199

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    Some small grids. Also some small jumps on a circle, where you jump it one time, canter past on a nice circle the next. Keep the circle small enough that it keeps her quiet/not strung out, but not so small, that she can't balance.

    Doing the circles on a very soft rein, and using a half halt to balance after landing, can help. Often on these types of horses, keeping a tight hold of their mouth will make them want to make a bid for the fence. Just doing a small jump on a circle over and over, with a floaty rein can make them settle, and not feel the need to try to take over. Stay in a light half seat.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2000
    Location
    Pawlet, VT US
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    3,481

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    Can you set up a free jumping exercise? If she's not rushy when loose, you know it's the rider. If she stays rushy, you should look into pain issues, especially since it's a new behavior.

    All in all, I would do many of the suggested exercises except the ones that involve approaching and circling away. I hate the idea of teaching a horse that it's ok to refuse.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,222

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    Also, teach her a good half-halt on the flat. Once she trots well and half-halts well, add a pole. Trot over it normally. Half-halt to the base of the pole as needed to keep a slow, consistent trot. If she speeds up at all you've done it wrong. You need to anticipate her speeding up before it happens. Listen to the horse for the signs she's about to accelerate and half-halt first.

    Once she is consistent with the pole, add a crossrail 9 feet behind it, and half-halt to the base of the crossrail. Stop after on the straight line. Loosen the reins and walk off on a loose rein after she stops. Repeat until trotting to the base is boring and normal and you don't have to use any half-halts.

    Keep trotting fences. You can eventually do a line when she is quiet over the crossrail and stops quietly after. Do the adds down the line. You want it to be beyond quiet -- too quiet. Do not accept the flier, get the horse to the base.

    Praise lavishly and often when she does something more quietly than the one before. Acceleration is not usually enthusiasm but worry, and you need to help her become less worried and more confident.

    Jump often but not too many fences, just a few each day with a nice serious flatwork session after you jump, so jumping isn't the pinnacle of her day and then she gets to stop.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    11,422

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    Quote Originally Posted by PoohLP View Post
    I did training on an ex foxhunter that literally lunged at jumps. We dropped the jumps to six inches and started walking them up to a height of about 18 inches. We walked those stupid jumps until she thought it was boring and I knew it was! Once she was quiet walking them, we walked towards jump and just let her fall into a trot for the last couple steps before the jump. When that was quiet, she got to trot and as then pulled up in a whoa right after. Then trotting back and forth....I think you can see the general progression that played out over several months. Only once when was quietly jumping about 2'6 at the trot did we start cantering again. At that point, she had figured out that she didn't have to launch herself to clear the jump and would squat and push off to give me a nice jump. We also did a bunch of circling and only occasionally going to the jump so she learned not to anticipate. The former rocket that was always ready for lift off now cleans up with a little girl in the hunter ring.

    Your horse also may be sensing a shift in your seat to prepare for the jump and responding, another problem this mare had. Assuming she isn't a stopper, take that signal away by getting all slumpy and ready to go several strides/steps away so that you don't have to move until she us actually taking off. With a horse that is unwilling to wait, you are better to get a little left behind and throw the reins away when necessary than ahead and giving her the "we're about to take off" signal.

    This ^^. Walk jumps, then trot. The point about the rider anticipating the long spot is a very valid one. Once she is ready to canter a jump, have a trainer (obviously not the trainer who started this problem!) ride her for several sessions. He/she can help you through the next step.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2012
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    588

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    Quote Originally Posted by dags View Post
    Let him think he's jumping, then don't jump. Ride a circle on a path that kind of leads to a fence, let him get an eye on it and begin the anticipation, then continue on the circle. Do not jump the fence until he has given up all interest in jumping it. This means you could be circling out right in front of the jump, or pulling up to a halt. Be good enough that he doesn't equate this with "not jumping", which is why I prefer the circle out route. Be sure to come at it from both tracks, ie figure 8. You have an anticipation problem and need to remove the predictability factor of the exercise.

    Trot into a line, halt, trot or walk out. Walk fences in general are great for teaching patience.

    If he's rushing in a panicky type way I wouldn't add ground rails or height, he can still get quick through all that. I would use a real jump rather than a pile of poles though. And I'd start putting cavallettis into the flatwork.

    I tried this with a horse once and guess who turned into a refuser?

    I had the same issue with my horse for a while.... he would trot poles, canter poles, trot Xs no problem. Canter X and i was a storm infront of the jump. wold go back to WT.... perfectly fine. Groundpoles were just ignored... I decided to pop the jump up a bit and go. He rushed the first time, realized it was bgger, was an ugly jump, but the next jump he was much more relaxed, no rush, and perfect distance. <,< I dont know what clicked but that was just what he wanted to do and we havent had a rushy moment since! But for sure cover everything else before just poppin it up a hole or two to a vertical.
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    8,513

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    Trot poles to a cross rail to a one stride.

    4'6" between the trot poles
    9' betweent the last trot pole to the cross rail
    18' to the last jump

    The important place to make it wait is in the 9' between the last trot pole and the cross rail. TROT. Fit two posts in that space.
    But if it charges the next jump will back it off.


    Or, teach it a bounce.
    Have two cavaletti, one with the rail up one with the rail on the ground, 9' apart. Trot back and forth between them. If it tries to leap over the ground rail when it is on the backside, bring the ground rail further out, and then gradually back in. Eventually raise the second rail so it is a bounce. Then gradually add more until the horse has to canter nicely along, bounce bounce bounce, and deal with it.

    How quiet and calm YOU can be will make all the difference.

    It should go without saying that before you try any of this that you have "non-interfering pace control" from your seat at the canter. If you need your hands to keep the canter quiet, steer, or take a little off the step, it's not ready to jump. That needs to all be happening from seat before you aim it at anything.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2005
    Location
    Chicago. Again.
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    2,404

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    Re: the circles, it's definitely an educated exercise, but it alone is not going to turn the horse into a stopper. Save the automaton packer, the horse should await direction, be that to turn or proceed forward to the jump. This one's decided he's going to make the decision about when to jump, and at some point you are going to have to tell him he's wrong. Thus, any recommended exercise is going to contradict his "go to the jump" urge, and run the risk of killing it entirely.

    At 2' any horse properly on the aids should be able to handle a late change in plans without losing confidence. Might you have to remember to tell him to stay straight and jump it next time? Yes. Should you be doing this to large fences that require he commits his focus early? No.
    ExchangeHunterJumper.com
    Now promoting sale horses from North Carolina to the Netherlands. Follow us on Facebook.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2012
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    74

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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    Trot poles to a cross rail to a one stride.

    4'6" between the trot poles
    9' betweent the last trot pole to the cross rail
    18' to the last jump

    The important place to make it wait is in the 9' between the last trot pole and the cross rail. TROT. Fit two posts in that space.
    But if it charges the next jump will back it off.


    Or, teach it a bounce.
    Have two cavaletti, one with the rail up one with the rail on the ground, 9' apart. Trot back and forth between them. If it tries to leap over the ground rail when it is on the backside, bring the ground rail further out, and then gradually back in. Eventually raise the second rail so it is a bounce. Then gradually add more until the horse has to canter nicely along, bounce bounce bounce, and deal with it.

    How quiet and calm YOU can be will make all the difference.

    It should go without saying that before you try any of this that you have "non-interfering pace control" from your seat at the canter. If you need your hands to keep the canter quiet, steer, or take a little off the step, it's not ready to jump. That needs to all be happening from seat before you aim it at anything.
    Thanks! I will try this. I'm a pretty strong rider and have made up my own rides for years but they were all TB's or ponies and smart, smart, smart so "got it" after a school or two, this one just doesn't seem to want to listen. I was looking for some exercises that are non confrontational, so I think these fit the bill. Once the weather clears, I will try them and circle back with a report. The girl who helps me with rides said the mare was much better yesterday, so hopefully we're on an upswing...



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
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    568

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    Quote Originally Posted by dags View Post
    Re: the circles, it's definitely an educated exercise, but it alone is not going to turn the horse into a stopper. Save the automaton packer, the horse should await direction, be that to turn or proceed forward to the jump. This one's decided he's going to make the decision about when to jump, and at some point you are going to have to tell him he's wrong. Thus, any recommended exercise is going to contradict his "go to the jump" urge, and run the risk of killing it entirely.

    At 2' any horse properly on the aids should be able to handle a late change in plans without losing confidence. Might you have to remember to tell him to stay straight and jump it next time? Yes. Should you be doing this to large fences that require he commits his focus early? No.
    Agreed. The other trick to circling or turning before a jump is going slowly. If you are at a walk or trot you have plenty of time to change your mind at the last minute without the horse thinking it is a bailout. The whole point is to teach the horse that you decide where it is going and when it is jumping, it doesn't get to jump every thing it puts its eyes on. This is really no different than doing the first jump of a line and then turning in a circle instead of going to the second jump - a common enough question in jumper and equitation courses. You shouldn't be pulling out the stride before the jump, it is usually a few steps before and is more of a "oh, I think we should go left here, la la la" than an "abort, about, abort" signal.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011
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    Ontario
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    I used to have a rushey Thoroughbred and I totally agree with the person who said to do the one lifted caveletti 'trot poles' and the bounces, this should really teach him/her to back off and RELAAAXXX..

    I also was taught to trot, eventually graduating to canter, towards the fence, bring him/her down to a nice halt a couple strides out, turn on the haunches a full circle and pick up trot/canter again. Keeping the fence low enough that he can jump without a ton of momentum.
    You want to teach him to "listen and wait" for that halt to come, that way once you are continuing to the fence he is still waiting for your instructions.


    I am not a HUGE believer in the go back to basics in all cases unless you can 100% tell me this problem is fear related. And even those cases, I may not. It is tough to advise unless you can actually see the situation.
    If you need to bring it back to basics, make sure you do THEN proceed to the next step, do not make a habit of stepping back to that lower stage if you do not get your chosen reaction right away.

    I have brought my mare up on the belief that when I point her to something or introduce something, she must trust that I would not put her in a bad situation, she is to listen and yield to what I am asking.
    Though, everything is in baby steps.

    Your situation seems to be that he/she is forgetting that you are there to instruct him. Whether it is out of fear or excitement.
    Throw in stops, back-up's, forehand/haunches turns.
    Bring the brain back from 'flight' and instil thought. (I love Ceasar Millan!)

    Good Luck!



  18. #18
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    Feb. 5, 2011
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    Canada
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    I am also going to vote for the going back to pole work for awhile and for the walking over the jumps. Circle before the pole, go over the pole, circle after the pole, continue down the line and repeat. Once you don't feel the rush then go straight down the line of poles, worked wonders for my four year old who thought he knew what he was doing. The walking over a small jump is also great, I do this sometimes with my older jumper mare if she starts rushing or getting too hot, sometimes they just need their brain to catch up with their body.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 11, 2002
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    Colorado
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    Are you abasolutely sure this horse is not sore in the rear end somewhere? Stifles can be hard to tell if both are sore, and they can become sore for many reasons.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  20. #20
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    Dec. 10, 2005
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    Tundra
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    with one that likes to rush, i like to canter the approach and then drop down to trot and trot the fence.... drop to the trot right before they want to rush...
    www.millcreekfarm.net
    **RIP Kickstart aka Char 12/2/2009**



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