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Would This Concern You? video.

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  • Would This Concern You? video.

    I have a 4 y/o gelding that I just started jumping ...like for the first time today.
    Watching video clips and looking at stills of his first time over anything but little cavaletti crossrails, I am a little concerned that he may not have any natural talent for jumping.
    He just steps over them in a large stride(we've only trotted up to the jumps at this point), which would be fine w/ me, but that he's so careless over them. He rubbed quite a bit today, and actually knocked the poles over several times - and we have heavy wooden landscaping poles.
    I lunged him over jumps once a couple months ago, and he basically stepped over and rubbed everything up to about 2'6"-2'9", at which point he actually started jumping decently, and I didn't set them any higher than that.
    Certainly I will be doing gymnastics/gridwork as we get more into work over fences - but do you think this display is indicative of his jumping ability in general, or is it no big deal to have a young horse careless over low jumps? Should I just hope that gymnastics improve his "snappiness" w/ time, and that he'll be better as the jumps get higher? Or should I be worried?
    here are video clips of him today.
    Please share your thoughts.

  • #2
    All I can say is where is your helmet?? Especially on one who doesn't seem to get the picture yet of picking up his feet.
    Put a helmet on and raise the jumps.
    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from behind, or a fool from any direction


    • #3
      Those are tiny, there is no need for him to jump.


      • #4
        I think he's just a baby who has no idea what the hell you're trying to get him to do. He looks pretty big, and those jumps are tiny. With no prior experience jumping, of course he's going to expend the minimum amount of effort going over them! As for knocking the jumps, again, he's a baby. He's clumsy and his brain hasn't gotten used to the idea of avoiding an obstacle below while listening to a rider above.

        There's a reason why most jump chute jumps are set at 3' and above, even for babies. Most horses don't respect small jumps, especially little crossrails. Believe me, I teach lessons, and I watch 30 different horses "jump" crossrails a day. Even our lesson horses who win h/j shows plunk along at a trot and barely clear the fences like your boy.

        I think lots of people have this issue. Perhaps a poster with more experience training for h/j can give you advice on gymnastics and height to use to give your boy an idea of what jumping is about.


        • Original Poster

          Thank you for the reassurance. I figured it was probably just a baby thing, but he is the first horse I've trained from the ground up myself, and I've been just so excited to jump him that this was a little bit underwhelming; considering how generally "zippy" he is, I expected some great ammount of enthusiasm(like my jumper pony puts the same ammount of effort in 3'6" that she does into 2'), and at least for him to canter away. hah. I plan to start taking him to lessons w/ my h/j trainer next month, so we'll see what she reccomends; I may try some bigger jumps and gymnastics between then and now, to see how he reacts.
          Thanks again! If anyone has specific suggestions I'd love to hear them.


          • #6
            My specific suggestion would be to put on a helmet! You say he's clumsy and doesn't know what to do, why would you risk your neck?

            I'd also use ground lines and trot poles to set him up. Those are more like 18 inches instead of 2 feet and some lazier horses don't see putting in the effort.


            • #7
              YOu aren't setting him up to suceed here. What you need to do is to set a takeoff pole, 7 feet from the base of the fence (if trotting in) that will encourage him to step up and under himself, setting him up to jump, not step over, the fence. Also you need something that, if he hits it will sting just a bit, i.e. real poles in real standards/jump cups. Also a landing pole about 9 feet from the base of the fence on the landing side will encourage him to round his back over the fence, enabling him to actually jump.


              • #8
                You should probably get with a trainer in order to help this horse succeed to his best potential. Working him with a trainer in a steady program is best.

                In the videos, in doesn't look like you told him what to do at all. Just pointed him at the jump and expected him to jump in stellar form without telling him *what* he is supposed to do. So with out any direction or help from the rider, he clumsily went over it what ever way it happened to come out of the stride. He simply did not know he was supposed to jump! I think you need a trainer on the ground. He needs to be set up properly en route to the fence, needs your leg to tell him *when* to actually jump, then needs your support to rock back and not get ahead or punish him with your seat or hands. You can't just point his nose in the direction of the fence and not change your ride at all to show him what you want, and expect A jumping form. He hasn't been given much to work with!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                  Also you need something that, if he hits it will sting just a bit, i.e. real poles in real standards/jump cups.
                  While I do think this may be correct to a point, I don't think the horse should be punished when his rider hasn't given him a remotely supportive ride so he can learn his job. He needs to know he is supposed to jump first off, he needs support given to him en route to, on take-off, and after the fence consistently before he can learn his job. I don't think he is being lazy and I don't think it's fair to start punishing him so early when he hasn't been given much of a chance.


                  • #10
                    Once I got over the "no Helmet" i tried to watch your horse. I think you should know better than to have us watch a video without the helmet!!

                    I believe your horse will be a good jumper. Its his rider that needs to help him. JMHO.
                    hunter/jumper ponies


                    • #11
                      Wear a helmet.

                      Get a good book on progressive exercises. There's nothing wrong with what he's doing -- he is getting over the obstacle -- but it's not really teaching him how to use his body over fences. Placing poles will help a lot.

                      Please wear a helmet. Horses learning how to use their bodies and figure out where their legs are can and do make mistakes.
                      The big man -- my lost prince

                      The little brother, now my main man


                      • #12
                        It's not really a baby thing at all. He just does not know what you want and your little, plain brown jumps with no ground lines are setting you up for failure. They actually look like lope overs in a Western Trail class and he is doing a good job for what he is being presented with.

                        But, PLEASE, don't set up gymnastics, bigger jumps or anything else if you have never started a horse over fences before. You risk scaring him if you make a mistake at this point in his training, and mistakes are easy to make when this is your first attempt with a greenie. And he is kind of a nice horse to risk that with.

                        WAIT until next month...3 weeks. When you start with your new trainer, let them use thier experience with this type situation to guide you. In the meantime, hit the flatwork and you can work over some poles on the ground in circles or patterns just to improve rideability.

                        Jeeesh, it's going over it's first fences ever, shame for not wearing a helmet.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                        • #13
                          I thought he looked fairly good for first time jumping. The last horse I started was nice and calm but make a small X and he didn't have a clue what to do so he would just slam on the brakes until he figured out the raised poles were no different than poles that were on the ground. His first jump was quite funny, he trotted up to it just like when it was a pile of poles then he realized it was different slammed on the brakes then calmly walked over it, he just had to check it out.

                          Agree about the helmet, and I wouldn't set up gymnastics yet, he just needs a more solid looking fence. I think I would actually be quite pleased if that was a young horse jumping for the first time, he is nice and calm and doesn't seem bothered. Once he understands jump he will start to jump smaller jumps like this.

                          I do agree that you should wait until you have help from a trainer, the horse sees to have a good mind, don't freak him out.


                          • #14
                            He looks fine. I'd be more concerned if he jumped 4' over it like he thought it would bite. I wouldn't "jump" those little things either, they look like cavalletti.

                            Agree with everyone else here, you need to give him ground lines and the benefit of someone who has started a horse over fences before.

                            Having sat on quite a few horses and ponies for their "first ever jump" - I would never ever in a million years choose not to wear a helmet. In fact, on a young or otherwise green horse I would never go naked up top even just for flatting. They might be good citizens, but there are going to be things they haven't seen before that are randomly terrifying, and its pretty easy to end up on your head.


                            • Original Poster

                              thanks for the input. I really wasn't planning on jumping him again before taking starting lessons on him, unless it was really encouraged. Mainly I wanted to make sure that he was calm over the jumps at home before trailering him out; if he had seemed nervous or uncomfortable w/ the concept, I would have had my trainer come to my place to work w/ us until he was comfortable at home before taking him to a scary new place w/ neon coloured pinwheel jumps and etc(that is, her barn).
                              He's not in a regular program w/ a trainer yet, despite my attempts to have a dressage trainer take him on for the basics. I do take dressage lessons on him w/ another trainer, but she does not ride, and I cannot afford to take lessons w/ her every week(they end up being about every month). My h/j trainer is not "new", yes new to my horse, but not to me, I've been w/ her for several years now, taking lessons every week, but haven't taken my gelding to lesson w/ her, as I felt that she might push me to get him started over fences as a 3y/o, which I was not comfortable w/. I would in fact like to keep the jumps under 2'6" until next year.
                              Again, thanks for the input everyone - I won't be jumping him again until we're in lessons together, I mostly just wanted to make sure he could pop over some little stuff w/o getting worked up, which he quite clearly can, and was actually much calmer than I expected him to be.
                              Oh - I measured the vertical at 25" ...perhaps it looks smaller due to the tall grass? the ring needs a mow, but our lawnmower's in the shop at the moment.
                              I also appreciate the comment "he looks pretty big". He's only 15.3hh and doesn't(imo) take up a lot of leg, I always worry that at 5'8" w/ long legs I make him look like a hony. Good to hear that's not necessarily the case.


                              • #16
                                I like how you are totally ignoring the (kindly meant, and hardly radical) many suggestions that you wear a helmet when working with a young horse over fences.
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man


                                • #17

                                  Especially on a greenie. He seems quite sane for a young'un, but you never know.
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                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by asterix View Post
                                    I like how you are totally ignoring the (kindly meant, and hardly radical) many suggestions that you wear a helmet when working with a young horse over fences.
                                    Okay, I thought it would be less offencive to ignore but ...I'll do as I please thanks, if I feel inclined to put myself at risk I'll do so. On some days I wear a helmet(though typically not when it's 95F out, as now), and on some days I don't. I initially was planning on wearing it for Riles' first time over jumps, but it's mysteriously dissapeared from it's hook ...nobody in the house seems to know anything about it, but I do need to find it ASAP as I'll need it this weekend. hmm. I appreciate the concern, but it's really not anything you ought to feel obligated to distress yourself w/.


                                    • #19
                                      Actually, we do. Every time someone puts a video online of a helmetless rider, its just another thing some kid will see and think is ok because others are doing it.


                                      • #20
                                        I'm not going to comment on the specifics of the ride, the lack of helmet, or the obstacle. I will say that I agree with others that you should get yourself a good trainer to help you with him.

                                        I will also say that he appears to be handling this little rail in a fashion that is totally normal for a baby horse presented with an obstacle such as this. You can't tell much about how a horse will turn out from their first jumping efforts. That said, there is a lot you can do to help them develop good form. I rode one once that was a terrible leg hanger at first (kind of scary, actually). With time and training, he now jumps just as tight and as round as can be. That is why I suggest a good trainer who is experienced with the young/green ones. He looks like a really cute horse - I think it is worth it to spend the extra money on a trainer so as to help him to his full potential!