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Excercise for horse that wants to chip?

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  • Excercise for horse that wants to chip?

    I am trying to retrain my horse; his jumping past is somewhat rocky...they would just gallop around wantonly and fling him at jumps. He came to me with a lot of anxiety about jumping anything...even ground poles. He was like a missile, he would 'lock on' to a jump, fling his head in the air, and just scramble over it asap.

    I spent a long time doing just flat work, brought him back up slowly, worked extensively over ground poles ( he used to charge those too!). While we are making progress, I am having a hard time trying to get him to leave where I want to.

    If it's something he's never jumped before, he will usually leave at a reasonable distance without much guidance. But at home when I try and school, it is frustrating.

    If I do nothing, just sit there, he will chip every time. If I try and guide him, we can only agree to a spot 10% of the time. I can tell he wants to try, when I ask him to leave he does feel like he's going to - just at the last second he decides he still doesn't trust me that much and chips, just burying himself.

    We do gymnastics sometimes, he is good with small bounces, grids (little fast), etc. The problem is when you just roll up to a single vertical, or a line, he wants to chip.

    What can I do to try and help him over this?
    Originally posted by barka.lounger
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.

  • #2
    If you are always chipping in, you aren't at a good pace for your jump. You should be able to develop a canter with a good push and rhythm, and then just wait for your fence. Try not to do anything, he has to learn where to take off.

    I would make sure the fences aren't too high, and the distances are correct. Also check the footing.

    A good exercise is a simple placing rail, a large x, then another placing pole. Like this: l X l That teaches your horse where to properly put his feet while taking off and landing. Make sure you are not jumping ahead.


    • #3
      Use ground poles before the jump. Also set ground poles after the jump. Trot a lot of fences and if he tries to rush and jump and not listen then stop him right after the fence and back him a couple steps and try again. I'd go back to trotting all the fences and get him to listen in the trot before attempting the canter. When you can get him to easily trot all the jumps and listen then go back the canter. Trot in the first fence and then canter to the next, if he rushes the next take him back to trot for the rest of the course and work from there. Trot the first and second and then pick up the canter to the next etc.... My horse was bad at this also but lots of trot work and ground poles and jumping, stopping and backing really made him listen to my aids and relax. He realized that we aren't just gunning at a jump that he has to listen. Also set up wood poles if you don't already so he really feels if he chips it. I have pvc for home but a couple wood poles that I'll throw up now and then just so he remembers that if he chips it it doesn't feel good.
      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


      • #4
        i was told chipping is for only the smart horse getting closer to the jump is 'easier'. my old horse will chip every chance he gets.

        go back to some flatwork, you need your horse to be comfortable in a round frame and lengthening his stride.

        I would really suggest dressage lessons, just personally as the horse gets rounder and uses himself THAT was when we quit chipping fences and moved up in jumping height.

        and the fact that he was apprehensive about jumping might add to it, he's being careful with that 'chip'. What about setting up an easy 2 stride, making the distance comfy and when horse is comfortable... add one ft into the line, and train your horse's eye to know when to jump.

        just a thought
        Carol and Princess Dewi



        • #5
          I bet your horse was asked to take some real flyers and he figured out that chipping saved his sorry hide from the kind of rides he was getting, poor guy.

          Gymnastics, gymnastics, gymnastics, poles before and after as previously mentioned, probably for several months, until he learns what a correct distance is and he's comfortable jumping from it. I bet he'll also be the kind of horse that wants you to take a little feel of his mouth to support him off the ground. A lot of the time the "yahoo" riders drop the mouth wherever they want the horse to leave from.

          Can you tell I judge a lot of lower-level jumper shows??
          Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


          • #6
            I rode in a clinic with Glenn Moody this summer. He said, if you ride to a jump 10 times and get the same distance, don't try to change the jump, change the rythym and pace. First find your rythym, then once you get straight, stay the same, then find your distance. Balance, rest, spot. Works everytime.
            Sarah A. Ward

            Washington and Lee University Riding


            • #7
              try putting ground poles on both sides of the jumps, so he HAS to try to fit it in the right way. like this (x being the jump)

              | x |

              Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


              • #8
                Monitor your pace, especially coming out of a corner and use canter poles.


                • #9
                  One, check his soundness. He could be sore somewhere, loads of horses chip if thier feet are touchy, or hocks, or hamstrings, or whatever...
                  Two, make sure you don't ride what happened over the last fence. I used to work with a girl who would jump a jump, get there long and the next time around she would adjust the horse, the horse would adjust to get closer and they would chip in hard, next time around she would adjust to leave longer, the horse would adjust to leave longer and they'd get a flying leap again. pretty frustrating for both.
                  Try cantering one single fence on a circle, with a place pole or a pole a few strides out at first to set you up, and just canter the same way every time. When you get a couple good ones in a row quit. Horses have short attention spans and the best way to learn something is to ask them to do it in the simplest way possible, congratulate them as soon as they get it right and quit till the next day. If it takes 3 jumps and he does what you want, quit and come back the next day and ask for a little more. This also help muscle them up slowly to do it right.
                  Shop online at


                  • #10
                    In my experience, a horse chips consistently if A) he is not in a balanced canter or B) if he is sore. Make sure your flatwork is up to snuff and that his canter is rhythmical and light before you head to any jump. If he still wants to chip consistently, have his hocks and back checked by a vet.