Having fences down! Grrrr... help?

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Having fences down! Grrrr... help?

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    09-23-2007, 02:03 PM
Having fences down! Grrrr... help?


My mare is 15.3hands, she is a registered british sports horse (but actually a Dutch wb x tb) and just turned 6 years old.

She is well schooled up and has been going very nicely, hacks out any where and passed anything, so is very bold. She is a pleasure to do in all ways and laid back to a nice degree. I have had her since she was 3 and we have a great relationship......

The only problem is......

She's the least careful (show) jumper I've ever encountered!! Its so frustrating as she will go cross country and never touch a fence. She will do everything in her power to get over a solid obsticle and absolutely loves it. Perfect brakes and outline in a snaffle with caverson and a pleasure to take.

Show jumps however are another story....she's not scared of them, nor is she faint hearted in the slightest, its only after she has had a pole down and realised that it comes down, that she will start having them down again and again. It is always with her front legs as she throws her backend up and out of the way perfectly. Its not consistant as sometimes she will fly every fence (loosing 5ft with ease on one occasion) and it happens regardless of whether im on board or she's loose jumping.

I have tried heavy wooden poles, bright colours, making them scary by hanging thing over them and all sorts but the majority of the time the fence (no matter how big or small) will come tumbling down. Although different days bring different outcomes.

I have tried pole work/cavelletties etc but she has no respect for them whatsoever. Also she is not over jumped at all, she does it once a week if that and the rest of the time she has a very varied work regime. She CAN jump and DOES but only when she fancies and I really could do with some advice....

Thank you in advance.

Elz x
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    09-23-2007, 03:38 PM
Hmm, the only thing I can think of is that she's not taking proper stride to her jumps. Put a pole about 2 feet away from the jump so she has something to visualize her point of take off. Maybe a little urge with a crop would help too.
    09-23-2007, 04:09 PM
Yes we have tried placing poles in the past and they have worked a treat....it just concerns me that you don't have placing poles in a class for her to rely on? And she isnt unexperienced as such anymore...

Her jumping with a placing pole (still a little close and im again having to pick her up abit)

Both my instructor and myself have jumped her and even if you are on a great stride and ride for that stride she will often chip one in and nock the fence. You are sat there wondering why the hell she didnt pick up and what just happened?

Also she is much better at loose jumping when you put v-poles on the fence- she will balloon it! But again they arent in a class either.

Mmmmm sooo difficult to know what to do but I still love her to bits...lol
    09-23-2007, 04:41 PM
This sounds a bit cruel but its not really and should help. Get thin piece of metal like aluminium or something and put it just behind or under the pole, if the horse cathes it it will fall down and get inbetween their legs it will catch them but wont hurt them, it should scare them into picking their feet up next time
    09-23-2007, 05:14 PM
In what way a thin bit of metal?? Like a strip or what? Lil confused but get where your coming from!

My instructor was going to have her back at her yard for a week where she mentioned loosing her over a 'metal pole' and that she wouldnt hit a fence again after, but it was going to cost the best part of £120 for the week and im in no possition to pay that at the moment. Do you think that's what she meant??

I was also told to try weighted training boots so once she has them off her feet feel lighter and she throws them up higher? Don't know if that would work myself but they are all suggestions and appreciated?

Also putting hard/sharp bristles on the pole but wasnt sure how to do that either?! Or whether it would help?

Thanks guyz!

Keep them coming though.
    09-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Oh she also jumps spreads better and much neater than uprights and I have no idea why they are prefered by her??
    09-24-2007, 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by ktmott
get thin piece of metal like aluminium or something and put it just behind or under the pole,
Nothing sharp to hurt her. Lol I think ktmott was probably thinking something along the lines of a pie plate.
    09-25-2007, 12:21 AM
Omg that sounds exactly like my friends horse taht she events at prelim...

One possible thing (i don't think this is the whole problem) but in the picture it looks like you are jumping ahead by pitching your upperbody forward which would cause a sensitive horse to knock a rail with her front legs

I havent tried/ heard of anyone using weighted boots, but in theory they sound like they could work lol

Also maybe try doing a lot of gymnastics, with variation- do a bounce, 1 stride, bounce, 1 stride for example and do it with varying stride length so she has to figure things out for herself. Once she does, change it up. Change it to a one stride, 2 stride, bounce or something so she's always thinking.

One more thing... is she on her forehand at all? You could practice engaging the hind end by having the idea of trotting in place (piaffe ish but not fully) for a couple strides, and then move into a forward trot to engage her but and keep her shoulders up

O and I also agree with a little pop with your crop right before taking off to remind her to keep your front legs up

I definetly know how frusterating it is to have a horse that takes down rails, and so im sorry!!! Best of luck and tell us how it goes!
    09-25-2007, 07:04 AM
Ok 3day3ways I will definitely try that! My coach said bounces would help but with her being so careless she was worried that the more we jumped her, with her being so careless, the worse and more used to not trying and having rails down she'd become.

She is actually worse at jumping with me on than loose so I will also work on my possition.

She is also fairly on her forehand, yes! She is quite long and prefers to go very long and low than to actually use her back and butt, but she has been getting better recently. She has one of two ways of going at a fence

1. With her head poked in (looking very pretty but not actually going anywhere or looking at the fence) so when she gets to the fence she hasnt even seen it and bashes straight through it.


2. Has her head up and bombs at the fence, fighting and head tossing the whole way so that she gets to the fence all wrong.

Don't get me wrong sometimes she's formidable and clears everything but others my god the embarrassment!!

My coach also said that she needs to start thinking for herself and that I try and help her to much, she's always shouts at me its my job to get her to the fence and her job to jump it! But Flo doesnt seem to get that idea! Hehe

How is your friends horse going now?? What has she tried?

My old yard owner (an old fashioned showjumper of yestayear) had my mare out loose jumping (after seeing her do an awful round at a local show) and got the heaviest planks he could find, stuck a false ground line on it and put them at about 4ft. As you can imagine Flo bowled along, didnt look as usual, and attempted it (cuz she'l never stop-just plough through!) and almost turned herself over- she jumped perfectly for about 8months afterwards!
But I don't wana do that again!

Anymore help would be great!???


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