Young Horse Jumping Critique! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 17 Old 04-06-2013, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Myboypuck- thank you! We have been working on half halts, and I've been experimenting with bits so he isn't really used to the bit I was using. He has the strangest mouth. So far his favorite bit is a walking horse bit, which I can't jump or ride english in. One touch on the bit and he frames up beautifully.

Ellieandrose- I appreciate your concern but I make the choice. I also asked to please not comment on it.

Franknbeans- he's almost 5; in 2 months he will be 5. And it isn't a high jump, it's barely 2 ft. I know many people who jump 4 year olds over 3 ft regularly. Getting him into it, maybe 30 min sessions once a week isn't going to hurt him.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-06-2013, 12:51 PM
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Sorry, not strange at all. Most horses will tuck their head with a walking horse bit - it is very severe and makes them tuck their heads into a false frame. Get this horse into a snaffle and learn how to ride a horse back to front - there are tons of threads on here in regards to that.
As for the jumping - are you working with a trainer?
The major thing in all these photos is that your horse isn't using his back at all - I'd take him back to flatwork and dressage to teach him how to round up and use his back.
I like that you're looking up and forwards over the fences, but you look to be getting ahead of the motion and you're collapsing down on his neck. For small fences, you don't need to come that far out of your tack or lean that far forwards. Your release is really inconsistent in all the photos - in the first, you are keeping too much contact, the second you've thrown all contact away. I would suggest trying for a shorter crest release, grab mane higher up the neck.
Do you have video? That would be much easier to critique as it tells the whole story.


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post #13 of 17 Old 04-07-2013, 10:35 PM
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Just because you know lots of people jumping 3 feet on a four year old horse doesn't make it right. Just because a lot of people go to jail for committing crimes doesn't mean it's right. At almost 5, his bones probably haven't finished fusing together fully, typically the knees fuse around last and the knees take quite a bit of stress and weight during jumping.

Your horse has a wonderful expression and he has a lot of potential in jumping, but in the best interest of him, slow down! Give your horse a nice solid foundation in dressage.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-07-2013, 11:36 PM
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Won't comment on jumping ,not something I do.
Pics doing flat work I see a horse on it's forehand. Need to work on him lateral excercises gaining body control & softening his jaw & relaxing/giving to bit coming into frame.When you pic up those reins He should be softening his face coming into your hands & you driving him forward into frame maintaining it , he should be driving up from behind & rounding his body.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-07-2013, 11:46 PM
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Do you have an arena to do your flat work? The ground looks very hard, and a lot of consistent work on that hard of ground could be very hard on his joints. I agree you should take a step back with his training, and get him to use his topline. You'll get better jumping that way, too.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-15-2013, 02:56 AM
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I'd take him back to jumping cross rails in easy combinations. He's very clumsy over the jumps, which is to be expected of a young horse just starting- but now is the time to make it a good learning experience and teach him how to use himself, start to figure out strides, etc. I'd leave out verticals and cross country jumps all together right now. I think you're putting yourself in an incredibly dangerous position jumping a young, inexperienced horse who's clumsy with his legs over solid fences, especially without a helmet, and I really hope you take some of the advice here and slow down a little bit. Your horse is very cute! And I think progressing at a better, easier speed will really prolong his career. It's very easy to sour a young horse with too much work like this.

A perfect example is a horse I was leasing before I purchased Jackson. She was five when I brought her home, already beautifully trained and jumping lovely rounds, but she was SO soured, she's cycled through four or so homes, all who were working with good, reputable trainers, but she's gone from a sweet sweet horse to an absolute brat, she HATES jumping, where she was an otherwise willing and (according to my coach, who knew her when she was in training) happy jumper.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-15-2013, 03:37 AM
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I too think it would be best to take it a step back and work more on the flat. I agree with MyBoyPuck in saying he is not supple or relaxed, or accepting contact.

In going back to the flat work, when you return to jumping he will be much better off and balanced over fences. I got my guy as a 3 yr old last October. I waited until he was 4 yrs old (in Feb.) to even pop him over a crossrail. In the meantime, we worked on flatwork and over trot poles.

We now jump every once in a while over small fences, but flatwork consumes the majority of our time. I just ordered the book "101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider", which starts out with trot pole exercises, then progresses from there. We will be working on the trot pole exercises to help mix-up our flat work and keep him entertained. He is still super young, so I see no reason to rush into things he can do later down the road. It is better for the babies to learn a good foundation in their flatwork so they are ready to start over fences later on, and then you avoid issues of having to go back later and do things on the flat that you should have done from the very beginning. It is also better on their legs, and I do have to disagree... 30 minutes a week over fences is kind of a lot for a young horse.

Last edited by LostDragonflyWings; 04-15-2013 at 03:42 AM.
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