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Horse nudges chest/forearms before jump??

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  • Horse nudges chest/forearms before jump??

    My jumper pony has begun to tap her nose to her forearm or chest a few strides before any jump over 2'9. It seems a little bit weird. She has done this on and off before but I never really thought much about it before because we weren't doing much jumping then (dressage rider), but lately we have begun training for eventing, as I recognized her amazing jumping potential, and have therefor been jumping a lot more now. She dosn't refuse the jump when I urge her on and she dosn't jump strangely... but she gets a little distracted and sometimes I have to circle around to the jump again because I am afraid she isnt really paying attention to it or noticing there is a fence a few feet ahead because she is busy kinda tapping at her chest or forearm (i can't really tell being on top of her, where exactly she is touching)... does it seem like she might be pointing to some kinda pain, like colicy horse point o heir stomachs? Do horses develop any kinda chest/forearm problems in regular jumping? She dosn't seem to be in any kinda pain... or maybe its just a little anxiety? thanks!
    Last edited by xcpony; Nov. 18, 2010, 06:09 PM. Reason: grammar

  • #2
    She could be protesting your reins. How much dog you give her her head while jumping? a horse needs to lift their head about 45 degree to fully see the jump. Try giving her head a bit and keep your leg on her.
    .

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      oh no, my reins arnt even touching her. i mean she is doing this 10-15 strides a way from the jump.. she isnt pulling, the reins arnt tight... she is really just taking her nose and hitting her chest a few times on purpose... im not doing anything to make her do that.. as soon as i point her away from the jump she dosnt do it... then we turn toward one (even if we are still away from it quite a ways but she is targeted in on it) and she begeins to do it again and its only over anything she has to really actually jump, like 2'6 or higher... over the crosses and small verticals she dosnt seem to care.

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      • #4
        Just because you are approaching the jump with loose reins doesn't mean you're not hitting your horse in the mouth in the air or on landing. Do you have any pictures or video of you jumping?

        It's entirely possible that you're right, and you're not actually doing anything to make her do that. But it's much, much, much more likely that you are doing something (even though you don't realize it).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cita View Post
          Just because you are approaching the jump with loose reins doesn't mean you're not hitting your horse in the mouth in the air or on landing. Do you have any pictures or video of you jumping?

          It's entirely possible that you're right, and you're not actually doing anything to make her do that. But it's much, much, much more likely that you are doing something (even though you don't realize it).
          Yeah, I was going to say - - I would love to see that on a video.... that sounds strange.

          And videos are great to see whats what when your riding..
          Live in the sunshine.
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          • #6
            This might be a stretch, but have you had a dental exam done recently? She might have something bothering her in that department....just a thought.

            Comment


            • #7
              Does she show any symptoms of head shaking? This sounds a bit like it. My horse will often try to rub his muzzle on his chest, and I could see that developing into a ritualistic tap.
              Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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              • #8
                Maybe she's Catholic and it's the horsey version of crossing herself?
                "Our Father, get us over this jump."

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                • #9
                  Id be concerned shes expressing anxiety or head shaking.
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  ---
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                  • #10
                    I'd love to see a video, too. Off the top of my head I'd start thinking about anxiety or excited anticipation.
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                    • #11
                      I have no idea what your horse is doing, but the worst thing you can do on a distracted horse is circle. You're reinforcing their idea that there is no reason to pay attention to where they are going. Continue on to the jump. If they make a mistake they will pay much more attention the next time around.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                        I have no idea what your horse is doing, but the worst thing you can do on a distracted horse is circle. You're reinforcing their idea that there is no reason to pay attention to where they are going. Continue on to the jump. If they make a mistake they will pay much more attention the next time around.
                        Brava.
                        madeline
                        * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                          I have no idea what your horse is doing, but the worst thing you can do on a distracted horse is circle. You're reinforcing their idea that there is no reason to pay attention to where they are going. Continue on to the jump. If they make a mistake they will pay much more attention the next time around.
                          Yup, only took one go for Asp to get this. Mind, she did give herself a pretty good whack, but it worked.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HiddenAcres View Post
                            Maybe she's Catholic and it's the horsey version of crossing herself?
                            "Our Father, get us over this jump."



                            Seriously though do what CBoylen suggested. I would like to see a video though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is not a normal behavior, nor can it be determined from your description alone what exactly is going on.

                              Do you take lessons?

                              Are you or your horse experienced at jumping?

                              I agree that a video would be helpful to those who might be of help.

                              Otherwise, I'd suggest that you might be better off working over ground level rails, rather than jumps till you can get good firsthand advice from someone who is able to help you on site.
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                                I have no idea what your horse is doing, but the worst thing you can do on a distracted horse is circle. You're reinforcing their idea that there is no reason to pay attention to where they are going. Continue on to the jump. If they make a mistake they will pay much more attention the next time around.
                                Agreed!

                                I have heard trainer telling riders that circle - you are not a barrel racer!
                                Live in the sunshine.
                                Swim in the sea.
                                Drink the wild air.

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                                • #17
                                  Could she be moving her head to see the jump? I have a friend with a vision problem and he circles his head to look at a newspaper close up. It seems like a ritual thing (hold object up, circle head), but he's just trying to use his peripheral vision as his straight-on vision is shot.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OK, can OP give us more information?

                                    Does Pony do this every time or just sometimes?

                                    Does Pony do it any other time, ever? Or just approaching a jump?

                                    Do you have a trainer watching what you are doing?

                                    Answer these and, even without a picture, maybe we can help.

                                    So far with the limited information provided it could be...

                                    #1 your riding

                                    #2 training issues

                                    #3 sub clinical pain-meaning no obvious symptoms

                                    #4 clinical pain-meaning obvious symptoms you are missing if nobody watches you from the ground.

                                    #5 allergies or photosensitivity

                                    So....???
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by HiddenAcres View Post
                                      Maybe she's Catholic and it's the horsey version of crossing herself?
                                      "Our Father, get us over this jump."
                                      lol. This reminds me of what I do for myself when I jump, nevermind the horse

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Are you currently taking lessons or are you in a training program? If so, have your trainer get on to see if he/she has the same problem. That might help eliminate or confirm if it's something about your riding that's contributing to the problem.

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