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Would you free jump a ten month old?

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  • Would you free jump a ten month old?

    I have a lovely pinto daughter of Voltaire who has jumped out of her board fenced pasture a few times already..........
    Someone interested in her from another state just asked me for a video of her freejumping........I'm a bit unsure of how or what to do!
    First of all I don't want to encourage this jumping thing at the moment, haha.......and secondly I don't want to have to build it , encourage her through, etc...at her young age.
    Is this something you do, or would do? I already have a very nice video of her moving with video of both parents too!
    www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

  • #2
    Jumping is a natural activity of jumper bred horses - including foals (obviously, hahaha). However, when you do any kind of structured exercise, you have to take it into consideration that it has to be done:
    1) very moderately so it would not cause physical harm
    2) in correct form so it would not cause physical and mental harm
    3) the jumps have to be small enough so the exercise would not cause physical and mental harm

    For a 10 month-old I would set up the chute so the distance between the first and second "jumps" should be 15-16', between the 2nd and 3rd "jumps" 20 feet. You would start out with leading the foal over ground poles where the "jumps" should be, over and over and over again, until the foal is super comfortable with the poles. Then, I would lead the foal in, let the foal go in front of the first pole, help the foal over the poles with a following whip aid - and an assistant should wait 60-100 feet from the end of the chute with a bucket of grain to catch the foal - and let the foal relax while munching down a mouthful. Then I would set crossrails, maybe a tiny vertical and oxer depending on how the foal catches on. I think a mentally mature, well handled foal with good aptitude will figure this out in 4-6 "runs", that can be videotaped and I'm sure a couple can be shown to the client. If they want more..... well, too bad. No deal is worth to risk the welfare of the horse.
    Andras
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    • #3
      NO!!! Jumping out of a pasture is a baby taking a "best shot" at escape. In my mind to get a "representative" video of a baby jumping would take wayyyyy too many schooling jumps!!! I would not do it....nor sell to a buyer with such a request.
      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
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      • #4
        I always wait until they are yearlings, and then I don't do more than MAX a 2'6" oxer by the end of it. I would say if they really want to see something, no more than a cross rail. They will over exert themselves anyway, so this should give the prospective buyers a good glimpse. Just remember those baby joints and bones are still growing, and are in a very vital stage of life!!
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        • #5
          We had a client's foal here in our weanling kindergarten program. We were also marketing him for sale for them. When we got an inquiry to see him jump a pole on the ground, I left the decision up to the foal's owner. She agreed and he was ask to go over it 2 times just to get the shot we needed. I wouldn't ask a foal for much more than that, though our foals this year had to be taken out of the pasture with the log jumps to our CC course becasue they thought it was fun to run and jump them on their own.
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          • #6
            I have such mixed emotions over this and this question comes up time and time again ...

            On one hand, I think it is plain wrong to have a structured jump chute navigated by a 10-12-15 month old. They are simply too immature (IMO) to be asked to face this test at their stage of life and growth

            On the OTHER hand, the way they buck and leap and play constantly at liberty would - technically speaking - cause much more strain on young bones and cartilage than a few low jumps in a jump chute, managed by a knowledgeable handler, ever could

            I think in the end, "we" believe its wrong to ask "babies" to perform this type of "work" more than there is any physiological and/or emotional and/or physical reason that it is a bad thing to do ...
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            • #7
              Can anyone share what the consensus is over seas about free jumping a foal? Do they free jump their babies? I would aSSume it would be like anything and if you ask 3 different breeders, you get 4 different answers, but I have seen countless pics come across my FB page of foals jumping though chutes at a young age (before they were 1) Is it a normal practice for many breeders over seas? How much if any does it show future ability? Would be interesting to compare pics of foals that were asked to go over an obstacle to later pictures once he/she has been put under saddle with a rider.
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              • #8
                I have to agree that I think "free jumping" has to be clarified. As said, babies do some very hard things to their bodies for many minutes at a time, several times a day, very often. Many of those things are nothing compared to sending them through a jump cute a couple of times at low heights.

                5 months? No way. 10 months? I can't say I'd say "hell no", though I wouldn't be saying "why yes of course let me get right on that!".

                But that said, I can't see how you'd remotely damage a 10 month old by sending him through a low chute a couple of times to gauge his forward willingness and some general sense of style. I would absolutely be caveating to the potential buyer that this was going to be a "one and done" deal, no practicing, nothing remotely to get that perfect run.

                OTOH, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable selling a weanling to someone who wanted to see him "forced" to jump
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alliekat View Post
                  Can anyone share what the consensus is over seas about free jumping a foal? Do they free jump their babies? I would aSSume it would be like anything and if you ask 3 different breeders, you get 4 different answers, but I have seen countless pics come across my FB page of foals jumping though chutes at a young age (before they were 1) Is it a normal practice for many breeders over seas? How much if any does it show future ability? Would be interesting to compare pics of foals that were asked to go over an obstacle to later pictures once he/she has been put under saddle with a rider.

                  This was the first picture I ever saw of Amazing...apparently he was free jumped as a weanling in Holland before I purchased him. Compared to the picture as a 7 year old, I'd say it can be indicative of natural ability

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Cornerstone Equestrian
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                  • #10
                    Well - I Think a foal / weanling can jump over a pole that is about as low as a foot high, but not again and again and not higher. One can get a much better impression of what he is/will be by looking at the very first few tries. But that's it. Period. An impression !
                    I have seen videos of foals sold jumping as high as the foal Amazing in the picture. But very very seldomly in Germany. For me that's a no go.

                    If the foal is older and someone would request a video, I would do as Szipi describes and send the the full thing without cutting. But only a few jumps/chutes - maybe 5 / 6. A person that has knowledge can look through everything else around and may be quite happy to be able to see the full thing for judging the attitude. But if people have no idea, they will not be able to judge from such a natual video. What they would need is a video as if fullgrown up. And I would never ever train a 10month old to get a sale video as if I would freejump a 2,5yo !
                    For the very first time in my breeding linfe I have avideo of a foal freejumping. Momma saw the chute in the ring and was quite eager towards it (likes to jump). So I put all pole quite low and let her go through. Foal after her. He overjumped a lot. we did it a second time, but not again. I have a rather great picture from it as we were videotaping him anyways.

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                    • #11
                      I wouldn't becuase what most people consider video quality would require repitition/practice. A fence jump is "one time" event (sorta of for you LOL) they run, jump and done. I would question someone's knowledge/ability to critique a weanling's try when most people would not do this as normal practice.
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                      • #12
                        I have, with one foal, but 10 months is about as early as i'd be comfortable doing it... I prefer waiting til they're yearlings or a bit older.

                        I free-jumped my (now sold) filly in August (she's a May 2011 baby) and I do think that done calmly and methodically there's no reason for it to be taxing or stressful, mentally or physically.
                        I did what szipi described - leading her a couple of times at trot over poles, then raised the second to a crossrail and sent her through it twice. This is the second time through, we ended on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nU20TL2Q38
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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Still not sure what I'll do....or when. Supposed to rain again tomorrow and Thursday and I go to the YHS in Wellington on Friday.

                          I have freejumped many using Andres methods, just never any youngster under1 1/2.......so was/am leary doing so with a filly born the end of April. Actually when I count, she's only eight months at this point! (I saw her do it......she wasn't afraid, just wanted to play with the youngsters on the other side of that fence, haha........thank God she wasn't hurt!

                          Also, since she has already jumped out of the pasture, I hate to encourage her too much yet. There is no doubt she has the talent, haha!

                          I'll post it if I do it, but in the meantime, like Allikat, I'd be interested to hear others experiences.......
                          www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

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                          • #14
                            There was an article in warmblood magazine about free jumping, and they talked about free jumping babies. They had a certain height range for each age group, and how long it should be done. I'll have to see if I can find it. Also I asked my vet when my baby was little, and he said a small jump a few times was no big deal because foals in the wild would jump over things. They also run, buck, and jump around out in the pasture I don't think a tiny vertical would bother them if you only did it a couple of times.

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                            • #15
                              At the breeding farm where I grew up in Europe, the mares with babies were housed in huge sheds. There was a breezeway going from the sheds to hundreds of acres of pastures. Every morning they would go out to pasture and every night they would come in. There were three "jumps" constructed in the breezeway from smaller used tires. We never had a young horse there that had any difficulty jumping.... we also very rarely had an unsound horse.

                              Originally posted by alliekat View Post
                              Can anyone share what the consensus is over seas about free jumping a foal? Do they free jump their babies? I would aSSume it would be like anything and if you ask 3 different breeders, you get 4 different answers, but I have seen countless pics come across my FB page of foals jumping though chutes at a young age (before they were 1) Is it a normal practice for many breeders over seas? How much if any does it show future ability? Would be interesting to compare pics of foals that were asked to go over an obstacle to later pictures once he/she has been put under saddle with a rider.
                              Andras
                              http://www.prairiepinesfarm.com
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4SfHHhoc_8
                              http://www.andrasszieberthtraining.blogspot.com

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                              • #16
                                I also don't think that free jumping a few times (4-6) likes Andras suggests over cavalettis is going to injure or compromise a foal.

                                Going through the chute teaches you tons of things on the horse, IMO, even as a young one. You can see how their mind works, can they solve this problem? Can they figure it out or are they frightened by a challenge? Can they figure out how to balance themselves a bit? Are they quick or slow learners?

                                It's a quick glance at what their future holds and while I wouldn't practice free jumping with a foal, if I had a buyer asking for it, I'd have no problem doing ONE free jumping practice for a video.

                                A good prospect for any discipline over fences won't take long to learn.
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                                • #17
                                  It would depend on the buyer. If I felt that the buyer had the knowledge to look at an uncut video of a baby figuring a jump chute out in 10 minutes max, and they were serious, then yes. If I felt they had absolutely no idea what they were looking at and/or weren't serious buyers, no.
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