Alright guys, I'm getting ready to start prepping Sour for learning to jump in-hand! For anyone who isn't familiar, Sour is an approximantely 36 inch tall miniature horse mare who just turned three. I don't plan on doing anything more than 8-9 inches until she turns four, but I'd like for her to get the basic idea down this year. So far she knows all of her basic ground manners, (back up, yield to pressure, lunge w/t on command, trot inhand, etc) and we're working on disengaging her hindquarters as well as cantering on the lungeline and inhand. What are the first steps towards getting her ready to jump? For supplies I have a lungeline, a lunge whip, three poles, two flowerbox (removable flowers) jumps that are 6 inches tall, a crossrail that can be anywhere from four inches tall in the middle to one foot, and a yellow striding box that looks like this:
She can walk and trot through this without a problem. We also have a bridge, poles to go around (not over) and a sort of horse teetertotter although I doubt any of those would do any good. She is familiar with all of these, though.
Should I start her with trotting poles? I want for her to have good form over small jumps (tucked, controlled, and calm) by the end of the summer! I really have no idea how to train inhand jumpers, so ANY help is appretiated. How do I respond if she refuses? Should I jump with her? (I will only do this if I must, as I have knee problems and it hurts me to jump) Should we start with walking over the jumps? Anything you think would be helpful is great!