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Tips for taking an accomplished stadium jumper first time on CC

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    Tips for taking an accomplished stadium jumper first time on CC

    I have a 17 year old Holsteiner who is fit and sassy. He is on no maintenance and even the chiropractor said there was nothing sore on him. We are going to "trail ride" with my trainers lower level riders and I thought I would pop him over some of the starter stuff. He is currently 3'3"-3'6" but last year was 4'-4'3" with his previous rider. The only reason he is coming down in height is my balls are not that big! And I'm 58. I don't want to blow his mind as he is not a dead ride!
    "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

    The horse will cope fine.
    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


      If he doesn't have any experience in the field at all, treat him like a green horse and start with the logs. He may take to it right away and you may end up jumping Training level jumps or something. He may get real sassy out in the field and may need to stay small while he figures ou cross country is not "do what you want", he may think all the jumps are weird monsters.

      In other words, go without assumptions and have fun.


        And especially treat the water/banks/drops/ditches as you would with a very green horse and keep things small and slow and friendly.


          A friend of mine has retrained two retired Grand Prix jumpers into eventers. Be forewarned straight jumpers are trained to NEVER touch the water and most are super careful (whether naturally or from training practices). You essentially have a horse that needs to be retrained in how he reacts to jumps and is likely to over jump most of what he sees for awhile. In my friends case, both horses took over six months to get them where they were relaxed and confident in jumping natural obstacles. Water jumps/obstacles took longer. I watched her ride one horse to a 50ft wide water complex for the first time and you could see the horse size it up as though he was going to attempt to jump across the entire thing.
          Things happen for a when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just gave me a reason!


            Original Poster

            We are calling it a "trail ride" and I am going to show him the starter logs on the ground and see what he thinks.
            "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


              Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post
              We are calling it a "trail ride" and I am going to show him the starter logs on the ground and see what he thinks.
              Excellent plan. And if you have a opportunity to deal with water be sure he gets a lead over.

              Plan for trouble, enjoy success.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                Totally on the right track. Even if he is doing well, don't get greedy. Stick to the simple stuff and build confidence! The change in terrain might catch him by surprise.


                  Original Poster

                  He was such a good boy! He did all the starter jumps and only wiggled to one that had spiral stone pillars on each side but did it. But even getting within eyesight of the pond was a hell no! I got off and it took some coaxing but we were about to walk within 5' of the water. I am close to this place so we will haul over and work on lunging thru it but all in all, a very successful day for a 17 year old who have NEVER done this!
                  "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                    My Best hunter had zero issue switching. I’m near 50 so I don’t have any interest in jumping big but he took to it naturally. He carted kids and adult around XC before he went back to the hunters. It was a joy to ride him XC.
                    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                      Original Poster

                      Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                      My Best hunter had zero issue switching. I’m near 50 so I don’t have any interest in jumping big but he took to it naturally. He carted kids and adult around XC before he went back to the hunters. It was a joy to ride him XC.
                      How was he with the water? Because Farley is afraid of his own water tank! Lol
                      "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                        Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post

                        How was he with the water? Because Farley is afraid of his own water tank! Lol
                        Lol. We remember when ours did Not walk through a PUDDLE- it was a major event lol !!!

                        We started with water At the horse park with a group and he went right in behind the others. after that- he didn’t have an issue.

                        I just had my first lesson on my new jumper on grass. I plan to do lower lever unrated events with him. When I say jumper he was pro trained, has an extensive (and successful show record without me in the stirrups haha).

                        I started trail riding and following behind other horses through water.

                        We actually laughed the first year we did it with him. “Make sure you wear your suit- no way he’s going in”. We just didn’t make a big deal of it. In behind your friends- BAM- you’re a fish.
                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                          My eventer in training is actually a former pony hunter. She has the jump down extremely well and I just wanted something a little more relaxed than the hunter ring for my own mental health.

                          Our first time out on the xc course we just walked and trotted around. She was super over stimulated by all the other horses around (big schooling day at a venue that only opens 3 times a year) so we just played in the water, and hopped a few small logs. I did end up dismounting and hand walking her over the BN and N ditches and working on the up/down banks in hand.

                          Our second trip out was at a different local venue where our plan was to hop all the baby logs and small things but we ended up popping over several BN jumps and playing with the ditchs and banks. Third trip was schooling the day before our first event and we did all the entry level things along with the water, ditches, and banks which is when she really caught onto the game. Our fourth trip on the xc course was our first event at entry level and she took to it like a duck takes to water. There was a spark to her jump that I've never had before and from her ears and body position she was really enjoying herself.

                          Overall our big things are getting her used to other horses all doing their own thing out schooling and that the ditches aren't going to eat her. I fully expected that we would have issues with the water because she HATES going through puddles and having to cross water, if her pasture mate starts playing in the water trough then she's the horse flying as far away from it as she can. After that first day where we couldn't get her into the water without another horse leading she quickly grasped that water is just something we need to pass through to get to another fun jump. I slightly suspect that she enjoys the cooling effect the water has as the last schooling event she did spend some time kicking water up at her belly while we stood waiting for a friend. The ditches just confuse her and we're just taking them slow for right now.

                          My biggest recommendation is don't be afraid to get off and lead your horse across ditches or up/down banks or across anything confusing. Just make sure to stay to the side in the event he decides to over jump. Also following another confident horse was a great confidence builder on our second outing as well as being "chased" by another more confident horse. Just go out there and have fun. I think your horse will really enjoy himself.

                          Find out if someone will be accompanying you on an atv or golf cart. If so I would bring a small bag with supplies. For yourself bring a water bottle if possible and a snack, the last thing you want is to get dizzy while having fun. I would also bring a second bit with in case you need to bit up and a halter with a lead or lunge line. But I'm also that person who shows up with a backpack full of horse treats, snacks and extra tack for XC schooling so I might be a bit prone to being over prepared.


                            Trail ride. Trail ride. Trail ride.

                            I take all my green horses trail riding before they ever see a XC course with water. My mare I was told "did not do water" We went to a place that had 17 water crossings, and the last 1/4 mile was IN the shallow creek. She went from hysterical meltdown, to following, to leading the pack and not even hesitating. Now she just plows right in and has a blast. You need to find water that is too wide to jump, I have a local place I go to and a lot of horses jump the small creek which gets exciting. We might look like idiots over fences, but when someone needs a lead into the water I'm always called on.


                              My tip for ditches - take 2 standards and 2 poles and set them as a cross pole 2-3 strides from the ditch. It sets the horse up to think jump/jump vs coming at the ditch straight on and going 'oh no.' Jump the cross pole and don't look down ride straight ahead.
                              The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton