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No Jumping Talent?

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  • No Jumping Talent?

    So I've got a 4-year old pony I got from the giveaways forum last year, and I'm just now really getting to work with her. She's a cute little mover, and we've started some dressage work, but I would love to make a little BN eventer out of her.

    Well, I decided this week she could start a little over fences. We've done plenty groundpoles, so Tuesday I trotted her over a little 12 inch crossrail She just trotted over as if it wasn't there. After 2 or three times that got boring, so I made it an 18" vertical. She was perfectly willing, but never quite felt like she was really jumping. I was surprised, because I'm used to babies jumping with big googly-eyes and being all dramatic!

    Anyway, tonight I wanted to actually SEE what she was doing, so I put her on a lunge-line and set up a tiny jump on our circle. (I know, I know, this isn't exactly the typical free-jumping technique, but I don't have a way to set up a chute, or even have access to a real rounpen at home, and I was too curious to wait until we go to the trainer's on Sat.) She was willing to trot over, no problem, but didn't put any effort into it, so I kicked it up to about 2' (which I thought woudl catch the interest of a 13hh pony). I can't quite describe what I saw... Um... Have you ever seen a cow jump? Really... I think her back legs may have left the ground before her front legs, and her rump got higher than her front end ever did, and the last time over she laid on her side big-time. Oddly, it didn't look like any of this actually took any effort on her part, and she seemed quite happy and pleased with herself.

    I mean, is it really possible for a horse to have so little natural jumping talent?? I've seen lazy jumpers, and sloppy jumpers, and dangerous jumpers, but I've never seen this type of jump!! Am I stuck with this? Could it be just a fluke? Still going to the trainer on Saturday, but I'm not sure any amount of gymnastics or prayer can help. Dang, she's just too CUTE to be such an ugly jumper!

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure all kids look pretty stupid the first time they try to skip. They may be fine walking, jogging, running even - but skipping?! Erlack! Coordinating multiple feet at different times in the air - oh dear. Just as you said - your pony is green. So the little heights did not phase her. But the first time she did a 2' verticle - oh my! It was exciting and challenging and her body did not quite know what to do. But she tried. And with practice, it will no longer be so difficult/new/scary/awkward.

    Its probably a fluke. Have patience : )

    Comment


    • #3
      the very first time i every jumped a green pony i was training, he did basically the same thing... i thought he would be quite looky and omg because it was his first time... but he just sort of stepped/ tripped over them... even when they were about 2 feet he really just cantered over them... i was kind of worried.. but i kept working with him, and after several session he started jumping like a normal horse... i never lunged him over anything however...he has a very quiet mind, maybe she is the same... he was certainly awkard his first few fences, but now he is quite fun!

      Comment


      • #4
        It doesn't mean anything at all. Give her time before you panic.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree, don't read ANYTHING into what a young pony does over tiny little fences. Most of the spectacular stuff you see young horses doing is indeed due to being completely green and googly-eyed.

          Keep her working, let her finish growing into herself, and try again in a few months.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            I wouldn't worry, and I know lots of horses who can jump around huge courses, who find jumping on the lunge extremely difficult. I have ridden a couple of young horses that just don't seem to get it their first time (I have pictures of one mare leaving from BEHIND the ground rail in her first jump lesson. She turned into a lovely jumper). I'd keep at it, building on her jump education as you would any other green horse. At some point she'll either figure it out and jump like most ponies jump (crazy well, if not in perfect hunter pony form), you'll get the feeling it is beyond her (unlikely), or you'll figure out she is uber conservative and won't ever make much more effort than needed.
            Amanda

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            • #7
              My best lesson horse ever started this way! He would trot over x-rails so I raised it, and he kept trotting over, one leg at a time!! Well, when I raised to to 2'6" and he still casually trotted over, (after about two weeks, and even if I cantered in, he'd still trot over! ) I just would trot on in and smack him on the bum on take off! Took about two smacks over two jumps and it clicked. I should have done it sooner! He is the best little jumper ever and has competed to Novice. Sold him to a client (12 year old) who is nervous, and he takes the best care, nothing ever ruffles him, great situation!

              I say if she is not worried about it, just keep helping her find a better way to use herself until she gets it. She'll probably be the best little, safe jump ride in your barn!
              http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by In_ View Post
                I'm pretty sure all kids look pretty stupid the first time they try to skip.
                I still look stupid when I try to skip. And me now at 29, my mom still has faith.
                lol.
                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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                • #9
                  I wouldn't be worried at all at this point. Actually I'd be happy that I had such a sensible, quiet and willing pony. As everyone else said, give her time and help her learn how to do it properly.
                  2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by archieflies View Post
                    I mean, is it really possible for a horse to have so little natural jumping talent?? I've seen lazy jumpers, and sloppy jumpers, and dangerous jumpers, but I've never seen this type of jump!! Am I stuck with this? Could it be just a fluke? Still going to the trainer on Saturday, but I'm not sure any amount of gymnastics or prayer can help. Dang, she's just too CUTE to be such an ugly jumper!

                    She will get better. Set up some low rampy oxers....quickly...with lots of guide poles. she will sort it out.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My young TB started out this way - he was extremely unconcerned about anything we put in front of him, could hardly be troubled to pick up his feet over crossrails. But in fact my trainer was beyond thrilled with his mellow attitude, which he maintained through his training. He also had a lazy jump to start with - but it developed beautifully and the challenges grew, and he now wins most of his hunter rounds. We were careful never to overface him. He is still lazy over crossrails, but when he has to work, he will!

                      Sadly, he was not meant to be an eventer though.
                      where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        OK, y'all make me feel better. I am pleased with her calm attitude, as she has been a total pill in the past!!! She's finally calming down.

                        Any advice on improving the jump would be great! She's little and green, so I don't want to overface her. I guess I will keep her at baby crossrails for a while for confidence sake, and hold off on oxers and gymnastics and such until she has a few more miles.... and until I can find a smaller rider! If nothing else, even if she doesn't improve, I guess she will be one kick-butt babysitter over crossrails!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Take her out (when she's otherwise ready) and have her hop some little logs, ditches, go up and down swales, etc. Much better for their brains than little poles in an arena.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                            Take her out (when she's otherwise ready) and have her hop some little logs, ditches, go up and down swales, etc. Much better for their brains than little poles in an arena.

                            Agreed. Sometimes it's much easier to teach the horse to jump in a more open, natural setting. Those that trot/trip over low fences in the ring can perk up a bit when you point them at a low log. It seems to make more sense to them to canter over a small obstacle in their path... rather than circle, point them deliberately at a confusing mass of poles which they must interpret as "gather my body, coordinate my legs, and jump." Especially if you are able to go out in a group, and follow some more experienced horses; ever wonder why foxhunters are so bold? Herd mentality gives the horse a lot of confidence.
                            “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                            ? Albert Einstein

                            ~AJ~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by archieflies View Post
                              OK, y'all make me feel better. I am pleased with her calm attitude, as she has been a total pill in the past!!! She's finally calming down.

                              Any advice on improving the jump would be great! She's little and green, so I don't want to overface her. I guess I will keep her at baby crossrails for a while for confidence sake, and hold off on oxers and gymnastics and such until she has a few more miles.... and until I can find a smaller rider! If nothing else, even if she doesn't improve, I guess she will be one kick-butt babysitter over crossrails!!!!

                              honestly...I would forget the crossrails...use little verticles...and move to oxers pretty quickly (rampy oxers with good rolled out ground lines). Most of mine do them by the second or third free school. I would do several more schools on the longe line before adding a rider. Let her sort it out more on her own. Just make sure you are moving with her so that she isn't jumping on a circle even though you have her on a line. You can set up a sort of mini chute but keep her on the line..

                              We also add in very little very simple gymastics very very early. Long before cantering fences...
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                honestly...I would forget the crossrails...use little verticles...and move to oxers pretty quickly (rampy oxers with good rolled out ground lines). Most of mine do them by the second or third free school. I would do several more schools on the longe line before adding a rider. Let her sort it out more on her own. Just make sure you are moving with her so that she isn't jumping on a circle even though you have her on a line. You can set up a sort of mini chute but keep her on the line..

                                We also add in very little very simple gymastics very very early. Long before cantering fences...
                                Ditto.
                                Amanda

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  She figured it out! She figured it out! We went to the trainer today and at first we just trotted a few crossrails with the same awkward scrambling, then my trainer rolled out the groundline and made it a tiny vertical, and she scrambled over once, didn't like it, and the next time around she actually used her butt and lifted her front end, but with her knees pointed down... then the next time around her knees came up and even, and after 20 minutes of popping around little stuff, she was happily trotting down lines of 2' verticals with her knees up and tight!! It was so cool! She was even catching the lead after the diagonal! This pony is definitely smarter than me, I can't wait to find a kid to ride her!!!! Trainer said next week we'll do some little oxers, and menawhile I have LOTS of logs laying around to pop over! I guess I panicked for nothing!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    great news. I find that the figure out verticals (with good ground lines) much faster and easier than crossrails. I think it just makes more sense to them... Have fun with her.
                                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                    Comment

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