Originally Posted by howrsegirl123
My horse knocks down poles a lot when jumping. ... He enjoys jumping and has had experience jumping 2'6"; I'm new so I have the jumps at about a foot and a half. Why is this? Is he tired, careless? Is there anything I can do to keep him from knocking so many? He usually takes off long to the jumps, so this is probably a reason to...
Could be one or more reasons. Once could be - the jumps just sren't tall enough to make hime exert himself enough to jump clean - he may need taller jumps. Having said that - you can get him to jump "cleanly" at the lower heights but it will take more work on your part.
Instead of pointing him at the jump and expecting him to clear it - instead place a pole in front of the jump about the same height as the jump - then learn to adjust his stride so that he comes to the base of the pole and jumps. Also ensure that his canter has some "jump" TO IT - I.E. The canter can NOT be flat - in the "up" stride he is getting his hind legs underneath himself.
That means Half Halts (search the dressage section - I have explained how to train a Half Halt (HH) there several times). So once you AND your horse know how to do/respond to HH's then come towards the jump - HH 3 strides out, HH just before pole (it rocks him back onto his hind end) then bend forward at waist and allow horse to jump. Unless you have the reins so tight your gagging him he should have plenty of "release" in the reins to allow for such a small jump.
If he is jumping in the canter and you have good HH's then the jump will be clean. It is all about "preparation" - a good rider properly prepares the horse for an activity (jump/ Flying change, etc...) to allow the activity to be correct.