Stallion Spotlight

C-Quito1

Real Estate Spotlight

_MG_4777-HDR
  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Has anyone evented with a weenie horse that's afraid of SJ?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Has anyone evented with a weenie horse that's afraid of SJ?

    I had semi retired my older, dependable gelding because I really wanted to event and he's never been brave over show jumps and randomly refuses for seemingly no reason. For example, I'll have a super simple xrail set up from a previous jump school, and he'll have already jumped it the week before, but the first time I point him at it, he'll put on the brakes and won't move forward. Generally, if I let him circle the jump a few times he'll jump it eventually and once he gets over it, he's willing to jump anything else the rest of the day. He's a fabulous trail horse, which actually extends to XC jumps. He jumps logs, coops, banks and loves water and I never have the same problems we've had with show jumps.

    I bought a new horse, who is very bold and very athletic. He jumps all the jumps (including show jumps) but I haven't been able to keep him sound recently. My vet is coming out to do further diagnostics soon, but I don't want to count on being able to ride him or jump him. I was really looking forward to eventing him this season, and now my SJ phobic horse has been out of retirement and seems slightly *less* afraid of show jumps giving me a [probably false] sense of hope.

    Anyways, has anyone dealt with a similar horse? Does anyone have any suggestions that I might be able to try to conquer his SJ-phobia? Or should I just stick with dressage.

    I had also thought about trying to find a free lease, but honestly I don't have the time or space to keep another horse at home and I don't have the time or money to lease a horse at a different barn.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post
    I had semi retired my older, dependable gelding because I really wanted to event and he's never been brave over show jumps and randomly refuses for seemingly no reason. For example, I'll have a super simple xrail set up from a previous jump school, and he'll have already jumped it the week before, but the first time I point him at it, he'll put on the brakes and won't move forward. Generally, if I let him circle the jump a few times he'll jump it eventually and once he gets over it, he's willing to jump anything else the rest of the day.
    Have you taken him to jumper shows? If you get over the warm up fence then does he do fine - just a struggle to get there? Or, is it he does everything fine the rest of the day in just one arena... but then you move into the show arena and the problems start again?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by rockonxox View Post

      Have you taken him to jumper shows? If you get over the warm up fence then does he do fine - just a struggle to get there? Or, is it he does everything fine the rest of the day in just one arena... but then you move into the show arena and the problems start again?
      I haven't taken him to any jumper shows. It might be silly, but I am a lot more intimidated by the hunter jumper crew (and embarrassing myself in front of them) than I am with eventers.

      I think my trainer just moved to a new facility with multiple arenas, so maybe I can try mimicking a warm up arena and course at her place before experimenting at a schooling show.

      Comment


      • #4
        Has your trainer or anyone else ridden your horse over fences? You say you're intimidated at jumper shows, perhaps you have some apprehension at eventing SJ, too? And your horse picks up on the anxiety and feels your lack of confidence. I don't believe in forcing a horse to do a job he hates, but I've known several "horses who don't jump" that were turned around with a confident, positive, experienced rider. They went on to become reliable horses for ammy/Jr riders.
        A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
        ? Albert Einstein

        ~AJ~

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you feel there is a difference in how you approach jumps on XC versus SJ? I would look into how you are riding if he truly is having no issues on XC. I agree with AJ in that respect that you are probably sending that nervousness/apprehension to your horse.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
            Has your trainer or anyone else ridden your horse over fences? You say you're intimidated at jumper shows, perhaps you have some apprehension at eventing SJ, too? And your horse picks up on the anxiety and feels your lack of confidence. I don't believe in forcing a horse to do a job he hates, but I've known several "horses who don't jump" that were turned around with a confident, positive, experienced rider. They went on to become reliable horses for ammy/Jr riders.
            Sorry I feel like my original post wasn't clear. This horse is pretty much just a dressage and trail horse whom I occasionally pop over show jumps at home. I have never tried jumping him away from home, except over cross country fences once at a lesson when I used to trailer out for lessons. On that day, he spooked at the ground rails we were trying to walk over, but happily did the beginner novice banks and logs first try.

            There were also XC style logs and coops on our regular at home trails where I used to board him. He would always jump those no problem too. I have him at home now and I'll occasionally drag out a log in my yard to jump over, but the biggest I can lift is like 12"

            When he stops at show jumps, he stops like 2-3 strides out and just spooks at them. He puts on the brakes and won't walk forward. I've learned that if I take him for a circle (or two or three) around the jump until he relaxes, he goes over no problem on the next presentation.

            For whatever reason, he doesn't spook at the XC jumps like he does for SJ. I don't even have fancy SJ with flowers either. Just white rails for the most part.

            With fence decorations, I doubt he'd be brave enough to do a recognized BN XC course, but I just watched the elementary helmet cam from one of the schooling events near me and the jumps were low, wide and inviting and natural looking. I felt he would definitely be able to complete that course, especially if I was able to take him out schooling ahead of time. But he'd still have to show jump

            In my mind, I've felt like I need to help him conquer SJ fears the same way you would help a horse who is afraid of ditches or water. Which I figured would be starting low and building confidence and repeating. I can't really show jump him every day and he seems more offended by ground rails than he does by actual jumps.

            I can see if my trainer can ride him more successfully than I over show jumps. I don't think I'm apprehensive at all, just because the nature of his refusals doesn't really unseat you, so I've never felt nervous riding him. But its always worth having someone else give it a try.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post

              Sorry I feel like my original post wasn't clear. This horse is pretty much just a dressage and trail horse whom I occasionally pop over show jumps at home. I have never tried jumping him away from home, except over cross country fences once at a lesson when I used to trailer out for lessons. On that day, he spooked at the ground rails we were trying to walk over, but happily did the beginner novice banks and logs first try.

              There were also XC style logs and coops on our regular at home trails where I used to board him. He would always jump those no problem too. I have him at home now and I'll occasionally drag out a log in my yard to jump over, but the biggest I can lift is like 12"

              When he stops at show jumps, he stops like 2-3 strides out and just spooks at them. He puts on the brakes and won't walk forward. I've learned that if I take him for a circle (or two or three) around the jump until he relaxes, he goes over no problem on the next presentation.

              For whatever reason, he doesn't spook at the XC jumps like he does for SJ. I don't even have fancy SJ with flowers either. Just white rails for the most part.

              With fence decorations, I doubt he'd be brave enough to do a recognized BN XC course, but I just watched the elementary helmet cam from one of the schooling events near me and the jumps were low, wide and inviting and natural looking. I felt he would definitely be able to complete that course, especially if I was able to take him out schooling ahead of time. But he'd still have to show jump

              In my mind, I've felt like I need to help him conquer SJ fears the same way you would help a horse who is afraid of ditches or water. Which I figured would be starting low and building confidence and repeating. I can't really show jump him every day and he seems more offended by ground rails than he does by actual jumps.

              I can see if my trainer can ride him more successfully than I over show jumps. I don't think I'm apprehensive at all, just because the nature of his refusals doesn't really unseat you, so I've never felt nervous riding him. But its always worth having someone else give it a try.
              Can he go over just simple poles on the ground? If he will do that, I would suggest doing lots of pole work, treating the poles like jumps, and slowly raise them up once he figures out he has to go over whatever is in front of him. Alternatively, if he lunges well, you can set up jumps and lunge him over them (or free jump if you can set that up) so he figures himself out without someone on his back. I've had a lot of success with both methods for horses that people said didn't like to jump or were afraid of jumps. Biggest thing is that he HAS to go over it, even if its just walking over it. Stopping, turning away, etc isn't an option, which is why you start with small things he can step over if he needs to.

              Comment


              • #8
                just sounds like an experience thing to me. Hook upwith a trainer, preferably one that starts young horses, and get some eyes on the ground. you've got to ride the horse you have, and if you need to start with walk/trot over poles and progress to cantering over them until they are no big deal, then that's where you're at, you know?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some horses seem to have depth perception issues akin to humans that have to close one eye and tilt their head to step onto an escalator. I owned a young OTTB that jumped poorly in the arena (even with a trainer who rode CCI**** on board) but was happily sailing over huge obstacles in the field his second time out with Piedmont hounds. My trainer once had a horse that was quite lovely and willing to please that trotted *through* the jumps in the arena when they tried to jump him for the first time. They ended up heading out into the XC course for a while so he could figure everything out over solid jumps first. One of my daughter's trainer's horses practically had an aneurysm at the sight of a blanket appy standing quietly at the in gate of the 3' hunters. So I wonder if some horses see bright colors floating on a separate plane than darker shades.

                  It could also be your nerves telegraphing to him. Worth having a professional get on him and ride him over a few jumps in the arena. Watching the CCI**** rider school a green horse over jumps was enlightening for nervous Nelly me. It looked like "la dee da, here we are loping through the park and people keep putting 4'6" fences up in front of us. Hop. This is silly. Hop. Hop. Bounce." Meanwhile, I hyperventilated if I rode too close to one of those jumps making a 20 meter circle...
                  Last edited by Wanderosa; May. 9, 2019, 11:17 AM.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post

                    Can he go over just simple poles on the ground?
                    He can - but he often puts up more of a fight over ground poles than he does with the jumps themselves. That said, if I am going to jump him, I usually set up a jump but start him over a ground pole, and once he feels brave, I'll point him at the jump. Recently, he's taken the jumps on the first try after getting over the ground pole. I almost wonder if his phobia is more related to ground poles - hence my pipe dream of a elem event for him.

                    I don't jump him tons - that could be a lack of experience, but I can't imagine the ground pole thing comes from a lack of experience. He has had stifle weakness in the past and I don't have great trail access to work on hills. When he is in regular work, I try to work him over ground poles at least twice a week to strengthen his stifles.

                    It's confusing and frustrating because at the end of one ride, he's great! He's locking onto the poles and taking me to them without me needing to push him there. But the start of the next ride he still a wild spooker.

                    Leading him over poles in hand before I get on does help him - he literally doesn't bat an eye with a lead. I almost feel silly doing it. He'll also follow my other horse over the poles no problem. However, even after being led over he will still spook being ridden over, but he sometimes makes it on the first try. Lunging is the same. He will stop and spook and is terrified to move forward if he hasn't been led over first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd like to give my two cents on this (slow day at work), but I am in no way qualified to do so! - just a disclaimer

                      That said, it sounds like, if anything, ground poles are the bigger issue, which might actually be a bit easier for you, since no matter how worried he gets, he can _always_ walk over them, and you can easily start incorporating some into every ride.
                      On some level, it seems like he just needs to "get" that when a rider points him at an object and asks him to go forward, he can go forward and it will be fine. If your trainer is involved with this issue, what are their thoughts on just making him do two or three ground poles every single day at the walk until they are NBD at the walk, then start trotting them, etc?

                      How much do you show him the jumps before attempting them? I avoid checking out jumps after a refusal, because we can't do that (circling the jump repeatedly, that is) in competition, but if there is something new and exciting in the arena you bet we are going to walk around it a couple times in warm up!

                      Also just wanted to say, that I ride a horse that prefers fill/solid jumps, and we do jumpers. She loves her XC jumps at home, but after years of fighting with her about ditches, her owner switched her over to showjumping exclusively. The jump she's most likely to stop at is a vertical with just poles. Even switching to planks makes her more confident.
                      So your guy may do better than you'd expect with some more visual interest under the jumps!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I really appreciate everyone's suggestions! I think I am going to try a couple of things over the next few weeks.

                        1. Lesson with my trainer and ask her to try him over jumps if he is going poorly. She should be out next week!
                        2. Warm up over a xrail and then go straight to a (tiny) course. Maybe cutting out ground rails will help
                        3. Set up a show jump and ground rails of the arena and see what he thinks of it
                        4. Incorporating ground poles in every ride
                        I was also considering clicker training with him over the ground poles. I have done some clicker training with him and he responds really well. Has anyone tried clicker training in this way?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One more thing to try is set up a free jump chute. Get a friend or two to help. Start with two jumps two strides apart, just rails on the ground, placing rail 8-9ft out from the first one. Lead him through once or twice at walk and trot, and give him treats or a bucket of grain at the end.

                          When he's confident/bored with that, lead him in and turn him loose. Friend 1 provides forward encouragement with a lunge whip. Friend 2 offers treats and catches him at the end. (If you don't have a 2nd friend, pre load a bucket of grain waiting for him, and hustle to catch him before he turns around back at you.) Catch him, load treat bucket, and start him through again. When he's confident over poles, make the first jump a small x, and build up as he is ready.

                          If he's at all food motivated, this may really help him get the "game" of going over poles and low jumps. The whip person should use the minimum pressure necessary to keep him moving forward calmly. If he stops or spins around, do not let him get free! Chase forward, or catch him, lower the jump, and walk him to the end for his snack.

                          Free jumping made a huge difference on one of my chicken hearted horses. Doing it on his own, and receiving immediate reward, greatly changed his attitude.
                          A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                          ? Albert Einstein

                          ~AJ~

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post
                            I really appreciate everyone's suggestions! I think I am going to try a couple of things over the next few weeks.

                            1. Lesson with my trainer and ask her to try him over jumps if he is going poorly. She should be out next week!
                            2. Warm up over a xrail and then go straight to a (tiny) course. Maybe cutting out ground rails will help
                            3. Set up a show jump and ground rails of the arena and see what he thinks of it
                            4. Incorporating ground poles in every ride
                            I was also considering clicker training with him over the ground poles. I have done some clicker training with him and he responds really well. Has anyone tried clicker training in this way?
                            I haven't tried necessarily clicker training but have used treats as rewards after free jumping and sometimes lunging, just to get some interest from a horse. If your current plan of things to try doesn't work, it wouldn't hurt, I wouldn't think.

                            It's hard to tell without seeing the horse, but it SOUNDS like just a horse that has the idea that he doesn't HAVE to go over the poles if he doesn't really want to. Sounds like he is solid leading so is fine leading over them, but needs to learn that he will have to be able to go over them no matter what too.

                            How is he on the flat as far as going forward? Like, do you have to constantly nag him to stay in a gait, how much pressure do you have to use to get him to move forward or do an upward transition, does he respond immediately to your leg (and by immediately I mean IMMEDIATELY, not leg - slight pause to think - go). That might be a good place to start too, he should have in his head that when you ask him to go forward he knows he has to go. If he already has that down really well, but still is iffy about even walking over them...is it just a single pole, a line of poles? If you have to lead him over at the beginning a few times and then hop on, walk over them immediately, and end it there, that is also a good place to start. Pick the smallest step you can possibly think of that you know he can accomplish (might have to be creative), and build up from there. Lead him over, walk a bit further away leading him over each time until you are lunging him over it. Then do it at a trot. Then do it over cross rails.

                            There are a ton of different ways you could go about it, the key is to find what you know he will do and pick the next step up. And you might have to get onto him sometimes, if he just has your number and knows you won't make him go (not saying that's the case but I've seen that too).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yep. We got eliminated a lot. He was fine jumping over the same jumps in a lesson or at home but would stop at the first new jump every single time. It did not matter what kind of ride you gave him, and as a not so aggressive rider it gave me a massive complex that sticks with me today. People can give you exercises or tell you that you just need to ride better, but in the end you shouldn't have to be Boyd Martin to get a horse over a xrail. Round peg. Square hole.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You can also use whatever you can find that isn't a standard (so the line doesn't get caught), and just lunge him over them. Use a couple totes from home, and a pole. Lunge until it isn't a big deal. Barrels laid on their side. A couple of those jump block or stackers. Cones laid over with a pole across their bottoms.

                                Lunge until it isn't a big deal. Praise a ton. Let him learn the "name of the game" so to speak. I'd put guide rails on everything for the first while, until he learns that there is only one way from one side to the other - over. Keep it super simple, don't give him any reason to feel fear. You have to build confidence right now. You want him to feel like he can conquer the world. Let him look at them a little in the first few sessions, but raise your expectations of him looking *while* going over as soon as he seems ready. If at any point he is REALLY saying no, immediately make it easier so he can accomplish the exercise - don't push him into a "break down" mode, even if that means he just walks over a ground rail between two totes. One side to the other - that's the name of the game. Make going from one side to the other fun, easy, and the goal to accomplish. Phase out the guide rails as you see fit.

                                Once this is no big deal, go to under saddle. Don't make a fuss if he is a little nervous. Praise a lot. Rinse repeat until he's again feeling like he can conquer the world. Mistakes are no problem, no smacking with a crop, just make it easier until he's got it. Build confidence.

                                Once you've got this down pat, start adding filler. Go back to the lunge, and maaaaaybe guide rails if he gets too chicken. Find whatever you can to stuff under the jump. Flowers, sticks, another tote, another jump block, stuff you found on sale at the dollar store, whatever. Do this until it's a fun game, and old hat.

                                Then do that under saddle. No big deal. You relax, let him do his thing. He should have an idea of what this game is about by now.

                                Now go to your first show and school around, see how much of it translates. Return back to whatever step he seems stuck at.

                                All this ^ said... some horses are just NOT jumpers. They don't like it, and won't do it. If after you've tried all of the above he is still a weirdo about jumps in the arena, then maybe you have a dressage horse.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                  Yep. We got eliminated a lot. He was fine jumping over the same jumps in a lesson or at home but would stop at the first new jump every single time. It did not matter what kind of ride you gave him, and as a not so aggressive rider it gave me a massive complex that sticks with me today. People can give you exercises or tell you that you just need to ride better, but in the end you shouldn't have to be Boyd Martin to get a horse over a xrail. Round peg. Square hole.
                                  I think there's a very good chance that this is where we'll end up. I'll probably do my homework, do some experimenting and see where things go. I'm not registering for any events - even schooling shows anytime soon. I won't get my hopes up. But, even if he just gets more confident with jumping at home, I think that's a win.

                                  Yesterday evening, I decided to experiment a bit to see where he's at so I set up an 18" x rail, I had a 12' vertical that was already set up from last week and my "scary" jump of the day, which was an 18" vertical.

                                  I started out warming up on the flat, and I decided to focus on doing all my transitions from the leg and seat rather than my voice. He knows more leg means go, so its not like I was teaching him for the first time, but it was good to refresh since I rely so heavily on my voice. I also used my dressage whip to get him stepping under himself more in the canter. Canter is his weakest gait and can sometimes turn into a tranter.

                                  I didn't take him over any ground rails before I started him over the jumps. He locked right onto my warm up fence and jumped it first try without problem. (This is the jump that had already been set up and he'd gone over last week) Then I asked him to try the x rail, which I had just set up and he hadn't seen before. I approached at the trot, he started to back off, but I kept him pointed at the jump and added more leg and he actually went over it. He never actually stopped moving forward, and he jumped out of walkish/trot.

                                  Historically, adding more leg has not always worked, so I think practicing leg aids in the warm up may have helped. The third jump, which I thought would be the scariest was our 18" vertical. He never even broke from the trot and popped over it pretty nonchalantly the first time.

                                  Our only mishap of the day was the first time I tried the x rail from the other direction. I had already done everything from the first direction and the two verticals from the new direction and he had been so brave. I actually put my dressage whip down before this jump and spooked and ran out and totally ignored my legs.

                                  This kind of surprised me because I don't ever use the whip on him when we start jumping. I just hold it, but I guess that alone makes him a bit more forward going. So maybe I will keep my mouth shut for my next flatwork rides, and get him really going off the legs alone - since I can't really carry a dressage whip at a show.

                                  Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions. To be perfectly honest, I am highly doubtful that I will be able to get this horse eventing this season (or ever), but this is really encouraging progress. And even if we are never able to jump show jumps off property, I will at least be happier to keep up some level of jumping while I wait to see if my other horse can come back to work.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    What happens if you start over a solid fence on the same day that you practice the airy stadium fences? Perhaps plop down a log in the ring and trot/canter over that and then casually pop over a crossrail and/or vertical. In my experience, the solid fences are easier for horses to read and a more natural question for them to answer. So maybe try building his confidence that way? You could also go ahead and keep the stadium jumps relatively well "filled" with boxes, barrels, etc. and then slowly take the filler away (over the course of a few weeks). Another thought, what does he do with stadium type fences in a natural setting? Maybe try setting up fences out in the field where he is naturally thinking more forward. This would be another good opportunity to mix in the solid and airy fences together if you already have some logs or other type things out in the field.

                                    Another suggestion... and some people may disagree, but I would suggest popping him over a few jumps every ride. Just for a month or so. This would be jumping 3-5 fences (@ 2' or less) every day in lieu of having a dedicated jump school 1-2x/week where you jump maybe 15-30 fences. Eventually it will become routine and not a big deal for him. Be sure to mix it up DURING your flatwork, don't always do it at the end.

                                    I have clicker trained my horse before. Some really do well with it, so I think its worth experimenting! Beezie Madden taught one of her upper level mounts to jump the open water using clicker training...so it's good enough for me! It will take ~1 week for him to understand the positive reinforcement of the clicker (click then treat immediately!)...so just take your time with it. I would recommend doing it on the ground (maybe teach him some fun tricks!) for 1-2 weeks, then introduce it to your riding (which is somewhat difficult since you have to stop and treat), then you should be good to go. Eventually you want to associate the click with a treat AND a verbal cue, that way you can simply say "good" or "yes" while you are in the saddle and he knows that means something positive without you having to always have the clicker

                                    Other than that, I commend you for being understanding of your horse and doing your best to figure him out in order to reach your goals while also being fair to him! He's lucky to have you
                                    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                                    inside of a man.

                                    -Sir Winston Churchill

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post



                                      This kind of surprised me because I don't ever use the whip on him when we start jumping. I just hold it, but I guess that alone makes him a bit more forward going. So maybe I will keep my mouth shut for my next flatwork rides, and get him really going off the legs alone - since I can't really carry a dressage whip at a show.
                                      You can show over fences with a crop or bat. If just carrying the dressage whip helps then likely having the crop/bat will be enough and easier to jump with than the whip.

                                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                      Comment

                                      Working...
                                      X