How Do I Motivate Her?

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How Do I Motivate Her?

This is a discussion on How Do I Motivate Her? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        06-05-2011, 08:23 PM
    How Do I Motivate Her?

    Ok, so my mare is really smart. Too smart for her own good sometimes. And she just gets really bored and frusterated when I school her over the same thing when she isn't getting the hang of it. And she kinda blows up.
    She gets all hot and worked up. And can't focus.

    Currently, I'm working on her jumping. I need to get her tuned by the end of this month for a big show. She's been doing awesome the past few weeks, but the past couple days weren't as great. She did a few small one's great, but I try and take her over the bigger ones (as in like a little under 3 feet.), and she kinda flips out. She has had no problem before. But now she's leaping over them, or more like lunging her self over, very hard btw. And then I'll bring her around and she'll leap sideways and try and bolt at the last second. But not always, it's completely random and I believe it's because she's bored.

    But I have no idea what's been going on with her lately.. Any thoughts are appriciated.
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        06-05-2011, 08:52 PM
    If my horse would did that, I would be taking it as "break time!" Maybe let her have some time off. Otherwise, I would twist up my jumps. Is she jumping the same fence time and time again? Plain ole thing? Put some more interesting objects around it, set up multiple fences with different elements to them.

    However, considering she is only doing that at the higher fences, I'd say she's not ready for those large fences and needs to be brought back to the lower fences. But, if she is truly bored, maybe only work her every other day, or skip a couple days in between. My horse responds better when he hasn't been worked because he's like "Woot! I've been sitting and doing NOTHING, let's DO THIS".
        06-05-2011, 10:23 PM
    I have no experience with jumping, so keep that in mind while you read this. I do have experience with high-level games horses, though, and if they start getting sour, do something else. If you're getting her tuned up, try going down the road (if you have one that's safe to ride on) and work on things like leg yields or changing length of stride. I'm sure you'd know what exercises to do, just get her out of the arena for a couple days. Then take her back in, but for a day or two, don't even look at a jump. Let her relax and get her mind right.

    The best reward for a horse is rest, so when you go back to the jumps, when she does one really well, show her by walking on a loose rein or just letting her chill out for a bit.
        06-06-2011, 08:25 AM
    Does she get bored with flat work and if you do smaller jumps over and over? If she is bored, change your routine up. Change jumps, change what the jump looks like, etc. She may also think she knows what you are going to ask her, so she gets excited and anticipates what is going to happen next. If she is only doing it over the bigger jumps, they may be making her nervous, or something may be uncomfortable. Try doing the bigger fences in a grid and see if she is still leaping. She may just not know how to use herself over the bigger fences and it is making her anxious.

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