Free jumping over scary stuff - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By Cherie
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-23-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southern California
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Free jumping over scary stuff

So i've had my horse almost a year now. He came to me a total nutcase. However, he has always been pretty talented and can jump a big fence. So after nearly a year of ground work, under saddle, and jumping training with not 1, but 3 different trainers all working together to get the best results from me and my horse... I have finally decided to show him. Tomorrow will be our first show. While he is much more of a jumper, i have decided to take him to a hunter schooling show tomorrow since they have the baby greens and all that. I am posting a short video of him free jumping the flowers for the first time. He's never seen flowers before so he was a little hesitant going in... but once he jumped it the first time, he was great after that. My idea is to free jump him over weird random stuff from time to time to see if it helps with desensitizing him with the scary stuff they tend to put on, under, and around the fences. What do ya'll think? I don't personally feel confident enough to ride him up to the scary fences and hope he goes over. Do you guys think this is an okay option... to just free jump him over scary stuff instead??

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-24-2012, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
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I don't have a problem with free-jumping a horse and have had horses that jumped entire courses on a longe line. I just lean a pole up on the side of each jump so the rope cannot catch the standard. I would rather see more impulsion and a steady gait than yours is showing.

I prefer to teach a horse to not fear 'junk' in front of and under jumps by riding them past new and strange fences. I ride horses parallel to the fence and use 'leg-yielding' aids to keep the horse focused on me and keep the horse from shying away from the boogery fence. When I can ride a horse parallel to any fence, no matter what the junk around it looks like, I am confident that I can ride the horse over the fence.

The one thing I never do is ride a horse up to a fence and let it look at it. This can reinforce stopping and looking at a strange fence. The very first time I address a fence, I expect a bold jump right over the middle of it.

The exercise of riding past jumps (always parallel to the fence) and using your right or left leg to keep the horse directed straight forward and keep his head (and ear) directed back at that leg instead of directed toward the fence, gets a horse much more obedient to your leg and make 'run-outs', 'duck-arounds' and stops a lot less likely under any circumstances. It just gets them much better broke and more obedient without any downsides at all.
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Cherie is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 06-24-2012, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: US
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What a cutie pie he is! :)

I would just work on desensitizing on the ground, if you do jump him over "scary stuff" then make sure it is safe. Bring tarps, flags etc and work on him getting more confident, so then he is more prepared to jump things you want him too/do better at shows.

I think your doing a great job with him--good luck!

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post #4 of 4 Old 06-24-2012, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southern California
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It's funny you say that Cherie, because that is normally what i do with him. I rode him past the big black gate and the scary black roll top fence before i chose to jump him over it. A couple times by it and around it, and he was fine. When i rode up to it, he jumped right over. But i wasn't sure if that was an appropriate option. I was worried that he would be comfortable with trotting by it, but jumping over it would tend to be a different story. Esp with the REALLY scary stuff, like liverpools and such.

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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