I'm in line with Elana's thinking on this. I would not be jumping a single fence on a horse that I've only been working with over fences for a month, particularly one that's slow getting their forearm up.
I'd be doing lots of gymnastics and grids, most with trot poles in front to help set up the distance for the horse in a safe way. And I'd be doing low bounces and more complex gymnastics - trot poles to a crossrail, one stride to a vertical, two stride to an oxer, for example, to teach him to snap his front end.
I actually like the horse very much - he has a lovely attitude, and is rounding his back and using his head and neck, but he just doesn't know how to retract his landing gear. Single fences are not the way to teach that.
Besides keeping him doing grids and gymnastics of increasing complexity over the next couple of months, I would really be working on shortening and lengthening stride and developing clear, defined paces within the gaits, and working over a canter pole, teaching him to meet the pole in stride. As a transition to single fences from gymanastics, I would put placement rails on either side of the single fence, and practice that at a trot and canter.
And I wouldn't even be doing that until he was really snapping his front end consistently while doing gymnastics.
It's just too easy for a green horse to get into more trouble than they know how to get out of, then get scared and backed off.
Last edited by maura; 04-23-2013 at 10:53 AM.