Jumping - No impulsion, help!

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Jumping - No impulsion, help!

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    08-25-2008, 04:21 AM
Jumping - No impulsion, help!

I need some advice, I'm riding a horse for a lady - I'm not sure of her breeding but I'm fairly sure she is Arab/Brumby. She's 5 and is ridden in a hackamore with a treeless saddle as the owner is an active endurance rider.
I'm trying to teach her to jump - she has done it once before with another lady.
I'm jumping her over small cross poles and I just can't get any impulsion out of her. She will jump if she has to - but will try her hardest to walk over the jump. As soon as she's over it she will either stop or walk.
Towards the jump I just can't get her going forward - the most I can acheive is a slow trot. I know she can jump and she doesn't seem frightened so I'm not sure how to deal with this. She will happily do an energetic trot/canter on her way home however!
I use a whip on her however she always kicks out or pigroots when I use it. This makes me hestitant and I don't want to bruise her sides by continuously booting her. I try squeezing with my legs as hard as I can but not much reaction!
I don't think she is bored because I don't continue the same thing forever - I will try jumping for around 5-10 minutes then usually take her out for a ride in the bush.
I just can't get her moving forward. It's very hard to get her warmed up and moving well because she has never been ridden in an arena - I experience the same problem here, she will not trot for more than a few meters in the arena. I try to make my aids very clear, I have never had this problem with a horse before therefore little experience on how to deal with it - any suggestions would be welcome!
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    08-25-2008, 09:08 AM
Gah, anyone..?
    08-25-2008, 09:09 AM
Awesome... thanks guys! =|
    08-25-2008, 09:40 AM
Most people here are on the other side of the world and they have been sleeping the 5 hours your post has been up ;) sometimes you might need to wait a day.


There sounds like there is either some issues with comfort or maybe just lack of respect. Maybe ask the lady about her who you are riding her for. Does she have similar problems and any suggestions?
    08-26-2008, 08:16 AM
The lady is away at present, so I can't ask. I think it may be lack of respect.. She is quite pushy. She is getting worse come to think of it, if I put my legs on her sides she kicks out. I must ask the owner to get her saddle etc checked. Cheers.
    08-26-2008, 11:51 AM
Green Broke
Sounds like it's not necessarily a 'jumping' issue as it is an all around training issue. I have a feeling once she has impulsion and forwardness on the flat it's going to carry over to jumping. The important thing to be working with is to teach her to pay attention to your leg so she's always in front of it going at a nice forward pace (not fast, just ready to go as soon as you say) and to maintain a rhythm on her own. I agree, continuously booting her will not solve the issue, it'll only make her more dead to your leg. When you ask for something you ask nicely first (touch), if they ignore you ask harder (squeeze), if they still ignore you you ask really hard (kick with a smack from a crop). If you repeat this over and over she'll eventually learn to go when you just touch her with your leg. But since she doesn't like the crop it could cause some problems. There's a lot that could be going on that we just can't see since we aren't there with you. Does she know what the crop means and just doesn't like it (reinforcement of your leg) or is she confused as to why you're hitting her? How sensitive is she? I've found that horses that ignore your leg but get upset if you smack them with a crop often are actually very sensitive and need the reinforcement but not necessarily physically. Something that works (but is difficult to explain and takes some practice) is to take a dressage whip and 'slice' it through the air parallel to your horse's side so it makes a whooshing sound. She may leap away from it, esp at the beginning. But I've ridden a few horses where that is much much more effective then smacking them with it (or spurs). I'm kind of hesitant to even bring that up because you have to do it just right, and be knowledgeable in how to use a dressage whip. But it's an idea if teaching her what a crop means just doesn't work. On top of a lot of transitions I'd work a lot on her steering, circles, changing directions, and tons and tons of lateral work. Once her flatwork improves I have a feeling the jumping will too.
    08-26-2008, 11:57 AM
Green Broke
Also, is the kicking out constant or is she in heat? I worked with a mare that was extremely touchy when she was in heat and often kicked out if you kicked her during that time.

What do you do when she kicks out? Her owner (who was a beginner and never should have gotten her in the first place) would get intimidated by her when she did that. Eventually the mare learned just kick out bigger and bigger (sometimes with both legs) every time the girl kicked her and the girl would get scared and put her away. Lunging helped A LOT. I may be saying things you already know but make sure she never gets put away when she acts up.
    08-28-2008, 09:30 PM
You brang up some interesting points, especially about her being in heat.. I'm not really sure, she seems to have been kicking out for about 2 weeks. She has had a foal before.

The thing is when I'm riding her, and I ask her to move forward (she ignores) so I ask firmer, etc, If I have to use the whip, her ears go back, the tail swishes and she kicks out - I'm not sure what to do when she kicks out? It worries me when she does only because after she has been kicking whilst I've been riding, she becomes very cranky on the ground. She becomes impatient and stamps her front feet - I try to put her rug on as quickly as possible but she is just so pushy!

I don't think she has ever really been ridden with a crop before - she seems to be surprised when I use it, perhaps you're right and she is confused as to what it means.

I understand about not letting her get away with things, however when she does kick out, what do I do? Should I give her a smack again? I once rode a horse who would jump up and pigroot evertime I used the whip - the owner told me to keep smacking, the horse went besurk, however after he had finished jumping around he calmed down alot and realised who was boss and he went quite well.

The owner of the horse spoils her a bit - she gets cuddles and kisses and lots of praise everytime she does something, I know its important to praise although I think she over-praises her. Good behaviour should be expected. Maybe this is why she has become so pushy.

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