Getting a new jumper used to distances.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-06-2008, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida
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Getting a new jumper used to distances..

So, Annie and I have been coming along nicely with our jumping. I've started her with verticals, and some very simple small grids consisting of a maybe 12 inch cross rail, and 4 trot strides to a 12 inch vertical.
The other day, my instructor decided to make a distance jump, and Annie was.. not having a thing to do with it. My trainer made a 12 inch vertical, and then put a ground pole directly in front of the jump, and directly after it, to make her have to jump a little longer, and she refused to go over it... even from a trot. Well... then we took the two ground poles away, and she jumped the vertical fine.
So, I'm not sure how to make her get used to it..
Maybe just start with one ground pole right before the jump.. and then slowly bring the height up, and then when she's comfortable jumping with the one pole in front, try and incorporate the second pole, and a very low height? I just don't really know how to go at it..

Help me :]
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-07-2008, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: South Australia
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The two poles sound like a good idea, ive only ever used the one pole in front of a jump with my horses, but thats only because the main isue is to get the taking off part. Perhaps just use to one pole in front and as she gets her confidence in jumping, then add the back pole, if you feel shes ready for it. Some horses just dont like the back pole, and is scared of landing on it, so maybe if she does go over it in the end, push her really hard when shes mid way over it, and then she will stretch out a bit longer...

how far apart was the back pole again? because if its to far back, then she could stumble on it when trying to land, so you have to be really careful with the distances you put it as.

another really good exercise for getting the canter strides right, is laying out 4 poles on the ground in a straight line, or it can be in a circle, then walk 16 steps (4 canter strides) inbetween then. But be fussy when you go over the poles, that your smack bang in the middle of the pole, its no use just lining up the edge of it, because when shes out in a show jumping course, she will jump over the jumps to the edge, because thats where you would have been practicing over the poles so make sure you line them up straight :)

have fun and good luck
ChestnutEventer is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 09-07-2008, 11:53 AM
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Hm, that's really interesting! I use a ground pole on the in and out of every jump! So all of my horses think it's the norm and I take away the groundlines on special occasions! :) In fact, I've never heard of a horse being afraid of them (it's supposed to help them judge the fence so I actually know horses that are a little afraid when there isn't one!) Like what was mentioned above, make sure that they aren't too far out. Starting off little like you were thinking and moving up when she's comfortable is always a good technique.

To teach a horse to get the correct distance you need to make sure that all of your work on the flat is done. A horse should be very adjustable on the flat, lengthening and shortening their stride. A great exercise is to put 2 ground poles out about 5 strides apart and practice coming at the line on a normal stride, a long stride, and a short stride. Just so your horse knows how to adjust. Then you can make those poles into fences. Another exercise is to set up a gymnastic. My favorite combination is a bounce, one stride, to a vertical. SOo... (fence)(fence)(one canter stride)(vertical) if that makes sense. The spacing between the bounce will be 9 feet I think depending on your horse's stride and whether you come at a trot or a canter. The one stride between the bounce and the vertical is what I play with. Start off by making it the the most comfortable length for your horse. Then make it longer so she has to stretch out a bit and leave long for the vertical. Then make it shorter so she has to learn to compact her stride.

Also remember when you're teaching a horse to find a distance, you want to teach them to find the distance on their own, not to always have to rely on you for it. That means you have to allow them to miss a bit and figure out what's comfortable (hitting the correct distance) and what's not (leaving long, leaving short).
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