Originally Posted by yourcolorfuladdiction View Post
Exactly, I noticed your hands coming up a few times in the gymnastic, which could actually start backing him off to jumps in the long run. So really leaving him alone is the best option, just be very supportive with your leg and your upper body (shoulders back, eyes up). The nice thing about not putting the jumps up too quickly is that if he gets into "trouble" he can always stumble over them and "figure it out" because the last thing you want to do is pull a horse out of a line and teach them to run out. So enjoy the little jumps, I always bring my pony (a solid 3'3" jumper who dabbles at 3'6") back down to cross rails and low verticals when I'm trying to teach her something new or challenge her (you know that whole: beep beep nothing's happening.... pony's asleep at the wheel).
We've had days where she's been fighting me like crazy over the big jumps and I'll set up 5 or 6 jumps in a row that are all 2'-2-6" with trot poles in front, she'll rush and trip through the trot poles and try to canter over the last two, throw herself over the first jump, bunny hop over the second and probably knock it over, take a big stride to three, have to shorten her stride and cat her way over four, and finally manage to make a pretty jump over five, and six if it is there. And I just sit there in two point with my leg on and my hands down on her neck and pretend the world is peachy. But because they're little jumps for her, it's no big deal that we went "bowling for dollars" through there because the point of the exercise got through and the next time we come through she backs off, listens, and gets her striding and stops fighting (redheads, always have to prove them wrong lol). But sometimes you just have to let them figure it out the hard way without muscling them, or injuring them (okay so she may have a little paint on her hoof but no worse for wear). Granted if the gymnastic were at her limit, ranging from 3' to 3'6" I couldn't do something like that, I'd have to be active, I'd have to hold her back through the poles then leg on over the first jump so that we don't crash and burn and get hurt.
But when they're little, and can be stepped over at the walk, there's no harm in letting them figure it out without getting in their way (it's very easy to confuse a young horse into messing up).
Yeah, I've said before that I haven't jumped in over a year and before that, due to having to switch barns a couple of times, didn't get a good solid jumping foundation myself. So I'm definitely not perfect, but I've noticed and I'm working on it. After watching myself on video and in stills, I notice that I stand up, but don't necessarily get in 2 point.. so the last time I jumped him, I approached in 2 point and stayed there the whole time so I knew how it felt, and then tried to mimick it from then on. It certainly worked, I noticed a difference anyways. :)
They're definitely small to the point where he can walk over them fine, even if I do a vertical, it's small enough to where he can just step over it.
Thanks for explaining your process with your pony! It makes sense, I'll definitely be doing that with my boy!