Is this bad to do for a horse that refuses? - Page 2

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Is this bad to do for a horse that refuses?

This is a discussion on Is this bad to do for a horse that refuses? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        03-11-2011, 12:58 AM
    He turns 7 in April, this is his 3rd year working with jumps. I have been riding since I was four, started out western then wanted to do english when I was about 9. I'm almost 17 now. I know the amount of time has nothing to do with how good of a rider I am, but I was on the varsity riding team at my boarding school jumping 3'+ (not trying to brag, just to give you something to gauge with) Those were all school horses though. I've done all the work with him myself, and I do have a trainer, but in the last couple of weeks, every time we schedule a lesson, it rains, and there isn't an indoor I can ride in. I have some confidence issues, and I know that doesn't help him the least bit, but I am trying to get over them. That's probably what is wrong =/ At the boarding school, towards the end of the year, they put me on a pony that no one could ride, one that refused everything. And of course, that shot my confidence way down the drain. Way to end on a good note, huh?
    Sorry for not replying for so long, I haven't had time to get on here with college admissions and everything that's going on right now. Thanks though so far guys :) I really do appreciate it.

    Also, it probably helps to add that I went back down to a line of ground poles a couple days ago, with standards on either side of the pole (to simulate going through a jump) and got him going nice and steady over that, then moved up to crossrails (like 18") and he's been doing pretty well over that, a little fast at times, but more controllable than before. It seems to help a lot if I focus my eyes on the barn, or the cows in the field, whatever is ahead of me, I really do want to go over the jump! I guess my body language doesn't always say the same thing though lol.
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        03-11-2011, 11:58 PM
    Bingo, you nailed it right on the head :)

    Your confidence issues, your body language - our horses reflect 100% of what we are doing in the saddle. So while you are doing 2'6", your body language is saying "I can't" and he responds "Ok, we won't".

    While you are doing the trot poles and the ground work, your body language is saying "Yeah, I can do this, I am comfortable with this" and he is saying "Ok, I am too".

    So, going back to basics isn't just for him, this is good for you as well :) There's nothing wrong with that! I have confidence issues too - you're not alone.

    Gradually work your way back up, so that the both of you are confident and are both saying "Let's get er done!" :)
        03-12-2011, 10:07 AM
    I was just watching this great youtube video on this issue, but unfortunately it's not in English.
    My main suggestion would be to include a large portion of dressage flat work in most of your training, while keeping the jumps up. You don't want to ride your horse over the jumps, but make him respond to your bending aids, your accelerating and slowing aids, and just be comfortable with all those jumps standing around.

    Ride him in circles and serpentines around the jumps, ride him up to a jump at a walk, trot, canter - then halt him before the jump. This way he will get used to the concept of jumps, not necessarily in association with always having to jump them, and with you being on his back.

    Once both of you are happy with that, work him over the jumps again. Over small jumps - jump him and then again make him stop a few steps after (let him properly finish the jump - don't be in his mouth to break him while still in the jump). Keep working on riding at jumps from smaller bend, don't let him have 20m to think about what to do next. Have fun with it, relax, and keep your exercises fun. :) Adding ground poles before your jump will also assist your horse in finding the right spot.
        03-12-2011, 10:19 AM
    Green Broke
    All good advice here. ANY time you are having consistent trouble with refusals and run-outs, be it rider error or the horse being afraid or not ready (I am not talking about an occasional "oops", those happen to everyone) you should always back up to the point that things are smooth, and then SLOWLY build back on that. If it means all the way back to trop poles or bounces, so be it. Allowing the nervousness and refusals to pile up will only teach the horse that it's okay to do it, even if you are trying your best to prevent it, every dodge adds up, and will make the problem that much harder to correct. Not to mention it eats away at your confidence so the two of you end up in a downward spiral.

    Good luck sorting it out.

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