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FEH with no natural jumping ability?

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  • FEH with no natural jumping ability?

    I just thought my fellow COTHers may have some input. I have a new 4 year old Haflinger that I was hoping could become a lower to mid level event pony in time. I fully plan on just training him mainly on the flat for quite some time, and getting him solid, but I have a dilemma. I have trained many horses to jump, but I have NEVER started a horse that had no natural ability to pick up their legs to get over a jump. I set a small crossrail to lunge over, just to see what I had to work with, and he literally ran THROUGH it the dozen times I reset it. I either plowed through, or came down in the middle of, the tiny jump all but one time.

    Does this foreshadow his future and bound him as a solely dressage horse, or have any of you known a horse with no natural jumping ability that went on to be a decent event horse?

    Thanks all, and have a great day!
    Double E Farms
    -----------------------
    Blogs:
    The Adventures of Willie!

  • #2
    Hmmmm. I had someone that sold draft crosses tell me that he always started them over something solid to teach them to pick up there feet. Maybe the same would hold true for your pony. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm certainly no expert but...He may not really understand what's expected of him?
      I had a young Ottb mare once who started out like that: she would plow through every X I took with her. But then, the second day I think, it dawned on her that maybe she could hop over, and when she did I prayed her loudly. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head and she turned out to be a very cute jumper after that!

      Sometimes, horses understand better (and respect more) natural jumps. Have you tried a small log or other natural fence?
      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

      Comment


      • #4
        Yup- try something that makes sense to him. Find a nice 2' log outside and see how that goes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leap N Lope View Post
          I just thought my fellow COTHers may have some input. I have a new 4 year old Haflinger that I was hoping could become a lower to mid level event pony in time. I fully plan on just training him mainly on the flat for quite some time, and getting him solid, but I have a dilemma. I have trained many horses to jump, but I have NEVER started a horse that had no natural ability to pick up their legs to get over a jump. I set a small crossrail to lunge over, just to see what I had to work with, and he literally ran THROUGH it the dozen times I reset it. I either plowed through, or came down in the middle of, the tiny jump all but one time.

          Does this foreshadow his future and bound him as a solely dressage horse, or have any of you known a horse with no natural jumping ability that went on to be a decent event horse?

          Thanks all, and have a great day!
          We had a Halfie- and they can be tough ones..the lazy + stubborn gene ran thick in ours...But I can't say I have a ton of advice because our guy did well jumping.. (make sure he is fit enough bc I know our guy struggled jumping unless he was really fit..best of luck

          Comment


          • #6
            Do you have another horse or friend (with horse) that can do the X-rails several times while your new guy watches - this may help him understand what you want.

            3rd the natural log etc that is more likely to make sense to him ... BUT you need to have & display confidence that it's going to happen

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you all! For some reason it didn't even occur to me that something a little more solid may "persuade" him to not be a plow. I have some perfect logs in the back pasture. I figure once we get it flatwork solid, we'll start on small grids, but until then I may take him out back for a weekly log lunging session. Thanks again!
              Double E Farms
              -----------------------
              Blogs:
              The Adventures of Willie!

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a draft cross that most definitely started out his event career doing the same thing I was sure that he was not going to be a jumper and that he would need to stay in dressage. I worked with a trainer who showed me that I needed to do solid obstacles for awhile first. That helped a ton. When I went to poles, I used larger and heavier poles for awhile. He still will never be the most careful horse in stadium, but he's gone around 3'6" at this point and never touches anything on xc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Advice from an ULR when Bonnie used to do this: buy some 6x6 square timbers to make jumps--they sting when walloped!
                  Click here before you buy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We've had TB's (who everybody THINKS are natural jumpers) that we've had to teach HOW to jump. And it required teaching them ONE END at a time. Go figure. Once they understood, they were GREAT!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a student who has a halfie. The very first time schooling on XC showed he had definite natural talent. He had no problems at all.









                      Hope yours figures it out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Was he ever trained to drive? If so, especially if he did a lot of it, he may be concerned that his cart isn't going to go over it either. Definitely try the solid object and make him canter at it - a big canter stride is more like a jump than a big trot stride and you're trying to teach him a whole new concept.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I 4th the big log idea and try having him follow another horse over it just behind him/her- sometimes that's really all it takes for them to get it! (This is how we taught my mare that coffin jumps would not eat her)

                          Then do the same thing when you move back to stadium fences so he learns that over instead of through is the horse way to do things!

                          If that still won't persuade him, let him get "left" on the other side of the log by a good friend and herd mate and make going over the log really his only option to get to the friend! Sometimes their natural instincts can really benefit us when teaching something new!

                          Good luck with him- halflingers are so very cute- I have always wished I was smaller so I could ride them!
                          Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                          Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My daughter rides a haffy mare and we had an almost identical experience starting jumping over cross-rails. She would deliberately crash them and scatter the poles like straws. Or on a good day she'll half-heartedly try to step over and "ooops" looks like I tipped it, oh well.

                            Here's the thing, though: She can REALLY jump. Really. Big lovely jumps consistently at 2,9 and working up. She has jumped a 4' wide oxer. (She has also jumped a 4'wide vet table from a standstill, but that's another bad mare day story.)

                            That said, even now training consistently at 2,9 she will STILL plough through cross rails and scatter them like straws. The jump has to be BIG ENOUGH to make her jump. Seriously, the horse cannot seem to do 1' cross rails but put them same thing as an 18" vertical, she jumps. Put the same thing as an 18" all around oxer, and she jumps. Put her over a downed tree, she jumps. The more solid and big a jump looks, the better she jumps.

                            It's a little funny because it cannot be as harsh to bump her legs on a 2,9 vertical pole as to crash through cross poles set at 1 foot, so I attribute this to haffy personality.

                            ETA: Also note that it is worse on the lunge (and since I give a lot of lunge lessons I say this with some authority). The jumps have to high, hard and complicated enough to interest the Haflinger in jumping, but these tend to be tricky for the green somewhat-unbalanced horse to navigate on a 20 m circle lunge line. Set up grids to do straight while you build balance/confidence before doing same on the turning line.
                            Last edited by trabern; Apr. 4, 2011, 02:46 PM. Reason: To add lunging note
                            At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                            Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you all! I love reading your stories and advice. I came into this without much hope, but thanks again to the wonderful COTHers, I have tons of hope in my ploddy little haffie!
                              Double E Farms
                              -----------------------
                              Blogs:
                              The Adventures of Willie!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Many moons ago, I had an incredible wonder pony who went intermediate. The person who broke her said she went right through jumps at first - she was too honest to stop, but had no idea what she was supposed to do. I have no idea what she did to get her to understand (I purchased the pony several years later), but there is hope. This pony was a jumping machine - never stopped at anything and never touched a rail.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Do you have another horse or friend (with horse) that can do the X-rails several times while your new guy watches - this may help him understand what you want.
                                  Makes me remember the funny story of teaching a young horse to jump. GotSpots and I were trying to lunge him over the jump and he just wasn't getting it, so GotSpots started jumping over it in front of him (no horse, just the person), but he was such a sociable guy, he wanted to do what she was doing and ended up figuring it out by following her.
                                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We had a Halfie- and they can be tough ones..the lazy + stubborn gene ran thick in ours...But I can't say I have a ton of advice because our guy did well jumping.. (make sure he is fit enough bc I know our guy struggled jumping unless he was really fit..best of luck
                                    We have an AWESOME Haflinger mare who jumped 3'9" with ease. Jumped a coffin her first time schooling X-C. She was never competed, just ridden by students. She cliniced with Jim Wofford Training level and he loved her. We bought her as an unbroke 8 year old. Had a terrible time getting her to go forward until she saw her first fence...then she was a jumping addict. I agree with trying something solid. Maybe your pony just doesn't understand. Pic of Pazia jumping! We breed her now. She's the best ever.
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                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The Haffie mare my daughter started scattered poles to begin with also. Use heavy poles and they seem to do best with a verticle at about 18". This same little mare is a CC machine and will jump anything you ride her to. Your Haffie will be fine.
                                      "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My mom's paint horse did that.

                                        We set up a small X. He plowed through it.

                                        We set it up again, he plowed through it.

                                        We set it up larger, he plowed through it.

                                        So I said, just set it to a vertical. So it was about 2'3" or 2'6".

                                        I cantered up and he jumped it perfectly.
                                        I got off (seriously 4 strides after the fence) and told him the was the best darn horse I've ever ridden.

                                        And that was the end of the first jumping lesson.
                                        lol.
                                        His second jumping lesson was over XC fences. I prefer to start them out that way due to what people have said. I think it makes much much more sense to horses when they see logs and solid objects. I think show jumping fences can be confusing.

                                        He over jumps everything with zest pertty regularly now.
                                        lol.
                                        http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...m/tobygate.jpg
                                        http://kaboomeventing.com/
                                        http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                                        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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