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?
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.