horse afraid of jumping? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-04-2009, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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horse afraid of jumping?

Last winter my trainer and I decided to take my pony's shoes off. After a few months of jumping fine, he started refusing. We put his shoes back on, but he has been nervous about jumping ever since. We have gotten him to jump, but he has to look at each fence and smell it before jumping. It has been about 7 months and he still refuses most fences the first few times we attempt to jump it. We've looked at his back and his feet and they are fine. He is slowly making progress, but its frusterating!Do you know of any other way to encourage him to jump?
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-04-2009, 10:01 PM
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If there is nothing physically wrong with him then mentally he just doesn't want to jump.I wouldn't keep pushing him to do it.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-04-2009, 10:12 PM
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I would act like he's never been trained to jump before and start from ground pulls working to the size of jumps you are working him on now,
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-04-2009, 10:14 PM
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I'm not an expert, but it sounds like he got scared and just needs to get back into things slowly and realize jumps are not scary...what is he jumping now? What if you went back to small cross rails first and just worked up his courage over fences again?

If you're already doing that, try starting with just ground poles stacked up...I know it's frustrating to start from square 1 again, but there must be something at the root of the problem if there is nothing wrong physically, that's causing him to refuse them.

Does he refuse them with ANY rider, or just certain people?

Ask MIEventer or UpandOver for advice, they're both great with jumping advice!

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-04-2009, 10:50 PM
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Go back to basics and act as if he's never jumped before. The worst thing you could do is keep pushing him when he's afraid, that will ruin any confidence he has left.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-05-2009, 12:28 AM
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Like everyone said, go back to the basics and start over. If it becomes obvious that he still doesn't enjoy jumping, please don't continue jumping with him. It's not fair to make him do something he so obviously doesn't enjoy.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-05-2009, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Last winter my trainer and I decided to take my pony's shoes off. After a few months of jumping fine, he started refusing. We put his shoes back on, but he has been nervous about jumping ever since. We have gotten him to jump, but he has to look at each fence and smell it before jumping. It has been about 7 months and he still refuses most fences the first few times we attempt to jump it. We've looked at his back and his feet and they are fine. He is slowly making progress, but its frusterating!Do you know of any other way to encourage him to jump?
Hmmmmm.

Ok, lets start with the physical.

Have you had a full veterinary examination done with him? Eyes checked. Xrays. Full Vet Check???? Teeth? There could be something physically wrong with him, and this is something that needs to be addressed first and foremost.

He could be in pain, and refusing to jump is his way of telling you that something is wrong.

Have you had your Farrier come out and do an abcess test? There could be something going on hoof wise, since you removed the shoes. There could be brusing underneith the layers, that only one of those "pincher" things that Farriers have can show. Or - xrays.

Have you had a Professional come and examine your saddle? Your saddle could be pinching or bridging.

~~~~

After those issues have been addressed and passed with a check mark - lets turn to the facts.

Did you know horses jump blindly? Did you know that they cannot see the fence at all when they are about 3 strides away from the fence?

Read this thread to help you better understand:

What Horses Really See When Jumping

So lets address what has occured through past riding experiences, to of possibly led to your horse "refusing" the fence?

Do you have video footage of you both jumping? Photographs? Vids preferrably....

First step - have a Vet come and do a thorough vet check, xrays to find out if this is or isn't something physical.

Find out through a Professional Saddle Maker/Fitterthat your saddle is fitting correctly, or isn't.

Then lets address what is going on through your riding and approach of the fences that could of contributed to this issue.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-06-2009, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnrock25 View Post
Last winter my trainer and I decided to take my pony's shoes off. After a few months of jumping fine, he started refusing. We put his shoes back on, but he has been nervous about jumping ever since. We have gotten him to jump, but he has to look at each fence and smell it before jumping. It has been about 7 months and he still refuses most fences the first few times we attempt to jump it. We've looked at his back and his feet and they are fine. He is slowly making progress, but its frusterating!Do you know of any other way to encourage him to jump?
Hm. Interesting. Really really tough to tell what's going on without more info. First of all, how much training did the pony have before you pulled her shoes? Also, WHY did you pull her shoes? How did she respond without them? How sound was she without them?

Some horses do not stay sound jumping without shoes. Or even if they're technically "sound" it still hurts them. Some of them don't get proper traction without them and no horses like to slip and slide when they're jumping. If she was green at all and somehow associated jumping with pain or slipping it might make her more anxious and start to stop. Stopping is usually caused by 1) fear 2) pain 3) rider. Or most often some sort of combination of the above. I had a horse that came to me a very anxious jumper. Putting shoes on him helped him tremendously. He never showed "lameness" but he jumped a heck of a lot better with them.

OR it could be completely unrelated to the shoes altogether. Is he spooky else where? Could it be his vision? Is his rider more nervous?

Tons of factors that could be at work here...
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