How high to jump??? :? - Page 2

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How high to jump??? :?

This is a discussion on How high to jump??? :? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        12-30-2007, 01:00 AM
    I think we're getting a little off track from Blu's questions! Also, I'm pretty sure Blu is over 6, so he's good to go.

    Did you find out high high 4-H jumps are? I would recommend that you eventually get Blu comfortably jumping things a few inches taller than the 4-H limit so that he can easily handle the jumps at shows.

    Someone mentioned 4-H probably goes up to 1'6" and Blu can definitely do that! YOU could probably run and jump over that yourself. It's pretty small. Blu is 16.1hh right? So is my horse and he gets lazy and pretty much walks over anything too small. He really perks up and has fun when we're at 1 foot or more. You could try free-lunging him over jumps. Then you can easily increase the fence height since you're already on the ground. Of course, he'll be able to jump much easier (and higher) without a rider. Then you can take some cute pictures too!

    Take Jazzy's advice and listen to Blu...when he's totally comfortable with a height, increase it a little. Slow & Steady wins the race. Luvs2ride also has good advice about conditioning with caveletti, hills, and pattern work. When he's strong on the flat, it'll be easier for him to jump. And easier on you (when you're strong too). We have this little pond at our barn that dries up in the summer. It's perfect for riding up and down the edge for hill conditioning. We don't have any trails near by. Anyways, I even noticed that when we're riding up the hill, I naturally get in a very comfortable forward position and move well with my horse. Of course, when I jump with him in the arena, my legs slip back, I'm too ahead of the motion, I don't release enough, etc etc. I think I need to ride that hill more often!!

    Another thing to remember, jumping is more than just getting over an obstacle! Even at a 6" crossrail, you can add things like flower boxes, tarps, or other scary objects (near by). Then Blu will be ready for anything at a show plus he'll be less likely to get bored if you're sticking to smaller heights for a while. Also, set up little courses in your mind and ride them. Concentrate on your preparation before the jump (coming in straight, centered, and balanced) and after the jump (balanced, correct lead, looking where you're going).

    Wow, I'm really rambling! Anyways, have FUN! That's the most important part. Have you jumped before with other horses?
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        12-30-2007, 01:27 AM
    O my bad I just assumed he was a baby. I don't know why.
        12-30-2007, 03:30 AM
    "I've heard of horses jumping 3ft when they were only 4 years old and they were fine. My horse is 3 years old and she only jumps around 1ft like I said and she is fine."

    She may be fine now, but waiting to jump is looking after their long term soundness. I also heard to wait until they are about 6 years old to start jumping them to make sure they are fully developed, and have developed the balance and musculature for doing it.

    "if it is so stressful for them why do they race 2 and 3 year olds?"

    For money. It seems that many involved in racing care more about the overall business than the actual horse and what happens to them after they are no longer able to race. Many horses end lame and unable to do ANYTHING due to being worked too hard too early with high impact sports. Why would you risk doing that to your horse?

    I feel like this discussion has occurred before with you?? I know and respect that you chose not to listen to others about your training and such (as you stated in your rearing post) - so I apologize if my input is unwanted.

    Blu - sorry for that aside. As for the height you should take blu - I would just take it slow as stated before and go up in increments. Don't go up in height until he is confident and consistent at a particular height (with all appearances and forms - oxers, decorated and plain, etc.). I think you will likely know when you reach his max height - it may take a couple of seasons or more to reach it. Just try to read his confidence especially carefully and be sure to back up your jumping practice with plenty of flat work to keep him balanced and strong.
        12-30-2007, 01:13 PM
    Originally Posted by horse_luver4e
    I've heard of horses jumping 3ft when they were only 4 years old and they were fine. My horse is 3 years old and she only jumps around 1ft like I said and she is fine. If it is so stressful for them why do they race 2 and 3 year olds? I can see if I was trying to jump my horse 3ft now but come on 1ft. I guess we need to lock up the horses till there 6 years old so they don't gallop too fast and hurt themselves!
    They might be fine now, but what about 3, 5, or even 10 years from now? Working a horse too hard young can cause all sorts of long term damage to their joints and bones.

    Those 2 and 3 year old race horses OFTEN break down on the track, or develop serious issues soon after, like bone chips, bowed tendons, hairline fractures, early onset arthritis, etc.

    Just RIDING her at 3yrs old for more than 15-20 minutes can stress her growing joints and bones (if you and ALL of your saddle and tack weighs more than 150 lbs and you go at more than just a walk on flat ground).

    Jumping is stressfull on a horse's knees, pasterns, shoulders, hocks, and stifles, as well as the horse's back, neck, and hips. Done correctly, it's no problem. But done too early or too much, and the horse can develop long term soundness issues.

    And no, on their own a horse will not (usually) hurt themselves. They need to have large pastures to run and play in as they grow. And riding a horse early (at 2.5-3) with a LIGHT WEIGHT rider can even strengthen a horse's bones, but you need to FULLY understand a horse's physiology and maturation process. If you just get on and go, you can risk doing long term damage to the horse.

    For the long term soundness and health of a horse, they should not be ridden until 3yrs old (AFTER their ACTUAL 3rd birthday), no hard training like a lot of canteing on circles and hard and long (more than 3 hours) trail riding until 4.5 years old (so the hocks can develop), and no intense riding/training like jumping, cutting, barrel racing, etc. until 5yrs old or later. And the horse should be well conditioned for hard training and intense work, not just hopped upon and jumped one day .
        12-30-2007, 02:16 PM
    My last instructor started jumping her gelding when he was 3 or 4 years old 2ft and up. And he is still jumping and he is 26 years old. Same with Poise the mare I learned to ride on. She jumped, sis western pleasure, and ran barrels full time since she was 3 years old and she is 23 and fully sound.

    Like I said my 3 year old jumping 1ft every couple weeks isn't going to hurt her.
        12-30-2007, 03:38 PM
    ^^^ They are just saying to be careful. Every horse is different so you never know. And if you want to take that chance...we can't tell you what to do but we can help guide you.

    Blu is approx. 7rs old now. I've arranged his birthday to be the day I got him, June 26th. Lol. We've had so many mixed answers about his age. Some vets said, others said 5. But the most answers we've had are at 7 and 8. Yes, he's 16.1hh since the last time I measured.

    Like I said a while back, the highest he's jumped was about four feet....or to his chest. He's got long legs. Lol.

    I'm going to try the trot poles and all that. Sounds like it will help a lot. The one muscle he seems to build very easily are his gaskins, I believe they are called. Right below the shoulder and hindquarters. Those are big now and its Winter! Lol. My baby's bulking up!

    I really appreciate everyone's help here!
        12-30-2007, 07:07 PM
    Horseluver - I mean no offence by this I just want to say that its a good idea sometimes to listen to what people who have been doing this for many many years have to say. What has been mentioned about horses age for jumping is very fair not to mention right. No amount of arguing the point is going to change the facts.

    As I said I mean no offence so sorry if its taken that way
        12-30-2007, 10:13 PM
    Originally Posted by horse_luver4e
    My last instructor started jumping her gelding when he was 3 or 4 years old 2ft and up. And he is still jumping and he is 26 years old. Same with Poise the mare I learned to ride on. She jumped, sis western pleasure, and ran barrels full time since she was 3 years old and she is 23 and fully sound.

    Like I said my 3 year old jumping 1ft every couple weeks isn't going to hurt her.
    Just because some horses turn out okay, doesn't mean all horses will turn out okay.

    Blu: Sounds like you have a good plan for your boy! I'm sure he'll do fine . Yup, gaskins in back, forearms in front, at least that's what I remember from 4-H class, lol.
        12-30-2007, 10:26 PM
    How do you know when your horse is comfortable and confident to go higher? I've started my 4 year old mare over cavallettis, trot poles and very low "jumps" I was doing it in the summer, but have slowed down due to the snow/winter. I don't plan on doing anymore jumping with her until she's older and done growing (never knew how fast horses can grow. Got her a blanket last her and this year its a little tight). Anyways, how do you know when its time to move the jump up?
        12-30-2007, 10:34 PM
    ^^^^^ what I ask myself to judge that is: does my horse face every jump steadily and with confidence? Is he constantly clearing each jump? Is he clearing different styles of jumps with the same confidence eg; cross rails, oxers, coloured ones, decorated ones etc? how is his form? Has he gained enough muscle and condition to be able to handle higher jumps?

    But yeah as said earlier, the worst thing to do is rush it. Spend a couple of months on one height if you need to. You and your horse should be able to jump each height in your sleep before moving on :)

    Hope that has helped a bit :) im sure others will have more to add though ;)

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