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Careless Show Jumping

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    Careless Show Jumping

    Hello
    I was wondering for some advice. WWYD

    Big heavy horse, been under saddle nearly 3 years, lightly jumped at low levels in that time, more seriously in the last 12 months.
    Careless with rails, think we managed one clear round once.
    Done plenty of grid work, a lot of work on the canter quality, under instruction with 2 different 5* riders (one, now another) one wasnt that worried about it, the other is confused as to why its happening, and that the outcome is usually undeserved (sometimes I screw up for sure)
    Jump a lot of deep X rails, double X rails, related distances, so on. We have broken quite a few rails jumping on them (Placement rails or cavaletti usually)
    Ive pored over the videos myself and the approach is straight, canter good, placement good, the ride is fine.
    Height of fence doesn't matter, will do it high or low.
    Using heavy poles jammed into the fence, boots used are open front or none, tried bell boots so horse can see its feet (I dont know if thats a thing but worth a go)

    Horse doesnt have a great hind end, even over lower fences tucks up instead of out, front end is usually pretty good. Have had a rail caught in the hind end before, did precisely nothing to improve the action immediately after.

    Have done plenty of solid fence training, doesn't seem to improve it, just dont have to keep putting rails back up.

    Horse in general, completely unconcerned by bringing the rails down.

    Was free-jumped quite high, but still got flat at one point and bought rails down.
    Basically will attempt to get over if everything is perfect, but if a bit deep, or long or the sun isnt in jupiter or something will just take the rail (or all of them)

    While I can go out and happily jump for fun, I know currently we arent and wont be competitive. which is fine, I just need to accept it.

    Ive had plenty of horses that will turn themselves inside out to avoid touching a fence, so this is hard for me to comprehend.

    Horse can be spooky over fill so thats my next approach, a course of scary fences for the next few months, but im not sure if it will solve the problem?

    Anyway im just wondering if anyones been this far down the track and turned it around and how?

    #2
    Big heavy horse ..... why are you jumping?

    Comment


      #3
      babecakes - what has that got to with anything?

      OP - why not just forget jumping with this horse? I had a friend (who was quite an experienced trainer btw) who had a horse like this and nothing she did would fix it. He simply did not care if he demolished the jump or not. Could never get him to reconsider - off he went to be a low level dressage and general bop around on horse and was perfectly happy. Or the other horse that would knock the jumps down or the rails if they were not "interesting" enough for him. Maybe this one needs a new career.

      "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
      - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

      Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by babecakes
        Big heavy horse ..... why are you jumping?
        Comment was for context, its not a full clydesdale. Horse is also not young.
        Its a little heavier than the average warmblood jumping world cup

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by shiloh View Post
          babecakes - what has that got to with anything?

          OP - why not just forget jumping with this horse? I had a friend (who was quite an experienced trainer btw) who had a horse like this and nothing she did would fix it. He simply did not care if he demolished the jump or not. Could never get him to reconsider - off he went to be a low level dressage and general bop around on horse and was perfectly happy. Or the other horse that would knock the jumps down or the rails if they were not "interesting" enough for him. Maybe this one needs a new career.
          Ive not been able to shake the feeling for the last couple of years that the answer might be just a no. Horse enjoys jumping, and ill keep doing it for variety and training, but might be time to not enter comps and waste entry fees

          Horse does pretty darn fine dressage, just not my favourite thing

          Comment


            #6
            Do dressage, and hunt for fun.
            Let me apologize in advance.

            Comment


              #7
              is it possible he has vision issues (can't focus on exactly where the fence is), so he has just accepted he will hit things? If he free jumped fairly well, maybe make sure he has enough freedom with his head & neck to move his head to better judge distance and height when you are on him?
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                is it possible he has vision issues (can't focus on exactly where the fence is), so he has just accepted he will hit things? If he free jumped fairly well, maybe make sure he has enough freedom with his head & neck to move his head to better judge distance and height when you are on him?
                He can see his dinner going into his stable from about 500m away when you are riding.
                We have tried a number of things, including a number of different saddles, extended release, bitting, staying off his back, being on his back, placement poles, bounces and so on. He also jumps fairly well under saddle, but just always a rail or 2 down, and up to every fence down in a training session, with no obvious cause that even better eyes than mine can identify.
                So while there might be more things to try, incl V rails, nothing so far has yielded any better results so im not that hopeful.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kiwichick View Post

                  He can see his dinner going into his stable from about 500m away when you are riding.
                  We have tried a number of things, including a number of different saddles, extended release, bitting, staying off his back, being on his back, placement poles, bounces and so on. He also jumps fairly well under saddle, but just always a rail or 2 down, and up to every fence down in a training session, with no obvious cause that even better eyes than mine can identify.
                  So while there might be more things to try, incl V rails, nothing so far has yielded any better results so im not that hopeful.
                  I would be more concerned about something like cataracts. The horse may have a blind spot preventing it from seeing the jump.
                  There are some not so talked about ways to fix this type of jumper but truthfully it’s a bandaid on a hole in a boat sort of problem. Make sure there isn’t anything medically wrong (hocks and stifles can cause a horse to be a lousy jumper, but not refuse)

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

                    I would be more concerned about something like cataracts. The horse may have a blind spot preventing it from seeing the jump.
                    There are some not so talked about ways to fix this type of jumper but truthfully it’s a bandaid on a hole in a boat sort of problem. Make sure there isn’t anything medically wrong (hocks and stifles can cause a horse to be a lousy jumper, but not refuse)
                    whole hind end was recently Xrayed and is perfect (was for a different reason)
                    I genuinely dont believe its an eye sight issue, horse is big and strong and rapping rails doesnt seem to be concerning. When we approach on a dog leg horse looks for the next fence and travels nicely to it, its a nice rhythmic approach (not always but mostly) and its not always a rail down, but a lot more than anything ive ever had. Im also worried that its normalizing it now too.

                    I dont recall a single jumping session without something down, and I recall one clear round jumping ever (At a competition I mean).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Had a horse like this. He was a super trail horse and did hunter paces and hunted because rails were toothpicks to him. “Clinically clumsy” was the vets dx.

                      Some horses just don’t care! Maybe try a season hunting over fixed jumps. He’ll be very fit and used to making an effort after that.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by kiwichick View Post

                        whole hind end was recently Xrayed and is perfect (was for a different reason)
                        I genuinely dont believe its an eye sight issue, horse is big and strong and rapping rails doesnt seem to be concerning. When we approach on a dog leg horse looks for the next fence and travels nicely to it, its a nice rhythmic approach (not always but mostly) and its not always a rail down, but a lot more than anything ive ever had. Im also worried that its normalizing it now too.

                        I dont recall a single jumping session without something down, and I recall one clear round jumping ever (At a competition I mean).
                        It’s still worth it to take a look. Just shine a light in his eye when you are somewhere dark and look for clouds. You should be able to see any.
                        Does the horse still knock poles with other riders?

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

                          It’s still worth it to take a look. Just shine a light in his eye when you are somewhere dark and look for clouds. You should be able to see any.
                          Does the horse still knock poles with other riders?
                          We dont let other riders on our horses down here generally. That said I am under pretty good instruction, and yes he will if I had to bet on an answer to that.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post
                            Had a horse like this. He was a super trail horse and did hunter paces and hunted because rails were toothpicks to him. “Clinically clumsy” was the vets dx.

                            Some horses just don’t care! Maybe try a season hunting over fixed jumps. He’ll be very fit and used to making an effort after that.
                            Its honestly it, he just doesnt care. Ive made so many excuses, I over ride, I under ride (we have tried both - leaving him to his own devices is worse) saddle, bit, maybe im sitting back too early (so I stay up until we are half a mile from the fence)
                            Instructor cant fathom sometimes how he manages it, as everything sets up perfect. so frustrating as the horse is athletic as anything.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Heavy horses are harder to get fit, and jumping clear a full course could be too much for him at this point (or ever) - clydesdale are not so good in the hind end department for jumping.

                              My experience with cold blood crosses is also that some just don’t care about knocking down/breaking fences... One I had in training once just walked through planks, carefully breaking them all...

                              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                              Originally posted by LauraKY
                              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                                Heavy horses are harder to get fit, and jumping clear a full course could be too much for him at this point (or ever) - clydesdale are not so good in the hind end department for jumping.

                                My experience with cold blood crosses is also that some just don’t care about knocking down/breaking fences... One I had in training once just walked through planks, carefully breaking them all...
                                ^^^^ This, unfortunately.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I had a big, heavy TB once who was like this. Nothing I did changed him.

                                  He certainly had the ability. I once witnessed him jump his 4’ pasture fence from a complete standstill, when some deer came crashing out of the brush behind and startled him. Once when I was riding him during a snowstorm he felt absolutely loaded for bear, so I kept putting the rail up and we jumped 5’, the only time I ever jumped that high. Ironic that it happened on the horse who was a wrecking ball 99% of the time.

                                  I tried not schooling him, thinking he was bored or uninspired. I tried bigger fences, and while he was better over bigger ones than smaller ones he still would crash through those too. Didn’t matter if it was a single rail or a solid coop: the only thing reliable about him was his unreliability.

                                  I stopped trying to jump him. If i was out and he felt a certain way, keyed up and focused and really on, I would jump, but I couldn’t plan it. Keyed up and distracted was not the same thing; he really had to be in this particular mood/moment. I was a lot younger then, but I still recognized that I was risking both our necks, and it just wasn’t worth it.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I've known quite a few draft-xs, and it's sort of a crapshoot if they care about touching jumps or not. I saw a Perch cross break an entire line of cavaletti just plowing through them; she looked confused but game. "Stomp stomp stomp! Is this right? Seems weird but ok! Stomp stomp!" She was eventually made to understand that she should jump not stomp, and was actually quite scopey, but every once in a while she'd just sort of not care and destroy a jump.
                                    You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Some horses just don't care, unfortunately. It sounds like he is one of those types. A jumping show career is probably not for him. I have a (now retired) cob pony that I used to jump with, she DID care very much and tried to go clear but also knew she could just knock the rail out of her way if she needed to. The heavier types seem to know they're bigger and heavier and that things will move out of their way if need be. We have a perch x school horse at the barn I'm at now, she's the same way. Usually she's pretty careful but if she's tired or the distance isn't great, meh she'll just punch the rail out. We don't usually let her jump the fancy gates because she may break them lol.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I know someone who had two Shires. If they thought it was time for their dinner they would just lean on the heavy five bar gate and knock it flat. In other words, why jump when going through the fence is so much more efficient? I suspect your horse isn't interested in jumping so perhaps give him a new job.
                                        "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

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