Retraining a horse to jump?
 
 

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Retraining a horse to jump?

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  • How to retrain a horse that rushes the fences
  • Ideas on how to retrain my horse to jump

 
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    11-21-2009, 05:57 PM
  #1
Yearling
Retraining a horse to jump?

Ok, so I'm looking at this cute saddlebred gelding who I've ridden and showed for a while, I've only done saddleseat and dressage shows with him, but I like to ride english and western with him too. My trainer, and his former owner, said as a four year old he used to jump and was really good at it. She said he did 2ft courses. I'm just wondering (and this is just IF I get him) if I should treat him like a green newbie and start from scratch (jumping-wise) or just take him over a 2ft jump and see how he does? I know how to get him in shape and I've taught 4 year olds to jump, but he's 9 and hasn't jumped for five years so I'm just double checking.

Thanks ahead of time to those who reply! ^^
     
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    11-21-2009, 06:33 PM
  #2
Foal
I would start off with grid work and crossrails it would do him good in helping him build his muscles for jumping.
     
    11-21-2009, 06:38 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveTheSaddlebreds    
ok, so I'm looking at this cute saddlebred gelding who I've ridden and showed for a while, I've only done saddleseat and dressage shows with him, but I like to ride english and western with him too. My trainer, and his former owner, said as a four year old he used to jump and was really good at it. She said he did 2ft courses. I'm just wondering (and this is just IF I get him) if I should treat him like a green newbie and start from scratch (jumping-wise) or just take him over a 2ft jump and see how he does? I know how to get him in shape and I've taught 4 year olds to jump, but he's 9 and hasn't jumped for five years so I'm just double checking.

Thanks ahead of time to those who reply! ^^

Hire the use of a school and set up some trotting poles to regulate his stride so he learns not to rush, and once you have him going over them cleanly, introduce the wings of a jump at the back of the poles and set a pole on the lowest rung. Get him to do this cleanly and then start to raise the pole, but don't go too mad or you could break his confidence.

Don't be too ambitious and ask too much of him until he is really comfortable with it all and don't do this for more than 25 minute sessions max so you get the best from him whilst his attention span is still there
     
    11-21-2009, 07:30 PM
  #4
Yearling
Thanks both of you! So I should treat him like a newbie jumper? And I think I will REALLY need to work on not rushing once I start him, cause whenever he's around jumps he gets excited and prancy as if to say "Are we jumping? HUH? HUH? HUH?" lol
     
    11-21-2009, 08:05 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveTheSaddlebreds    
Thanks both of you! So I should treat him like a newbie jumper? And I think I will REALLY need to work on not rushing once I start him, cause whenever he's around jumps he gets excited and prancy as if to say "Are we jumping? HUH? HUH? HUH?" lol
Very much so. Take him back to first principles and he will not be fazed by it. Don't forget to use a placing pole by the front of the jump so he doesn't get underneath it.

This is our pony taken a couple of years ago. We played loads of games with her, and the grid work was an enormous help to her. Teach the horse to sort its legs out before the jump and make sure it is cantering on the correct leg as it turns off the corner before the jump and it will make life so much easier for you.

She makes it look easy because she is such a clever pony and figures out her strides and the correct leg. You can see her shuffling them when changing the rein so she always goes in to the jump on the correct leg (may be a bit difficult as she isn't hanging around in this vid with my daughter on her.

     
    11-21-2009, 08:14 PM
  #6
Foal
Hmm. Alright, well bear with me.

I'm currently training a horse to jump. She's going to be 19 soon and we're almost at two feet in height after about 9 months of reconditioning and training.
I have also retrained multiple horses (the mare is included here), nd one of them was an abused showjumper. He got super excited whenever a jump was nearby. When at lessons, my mom (who rode him in lessons) would have to walk him around so he didn't know that it was his turn. I ended up riding him aftr she got too busy.
Anywho, what I found worked really well was trotting to a tiny crossrail (my foot wouldn't even fit under it) and then slowing to a walk, walking over the crossrail, and the halting about five strides on the backstretch. And constant reassurance.
I eventually got him to trot a small 12" crossrail and then halt almost immediately after it. He's now a lo more sane and my little sister (who has more confidence over jumps) is progressing him for herself.

But I would always treat a horse who hasn't jumped in a while as a greenie. Better safe than sorry.

Good luck!
     
    11-21-2009, 08:26 PM
  #7
Yearling
I'm helping retrain my pony to jump. While other people ride him, I'm usually the only one who jumps him. We started wtih ground poles, then small crossrails, then small verticles. He rushes a lot so we are taking a break, but he hadn't been jumped in 10+ years because of a bad accident, and is doing very well. He definitely hasn't "forgotten" how to jump, but he's definitely not easy to jump.
     
    11-21-2009, 09:07 PM
  #8
Foal
I can never express the importance of ground poles and grid work it is a forgotten art in some places and it helps in soo many different areas. A horse that rushes the fence a line of ground poles before the jump work on rhythm through then introduce a small cross rail. If they rush after the jump then after the jump go maybe a stride or two then come to a halt. Do a turn on the forehand then continue trotting with a relaxed rhythm remember our body controlls the speed. It is hard at times but if we work on posting in a calm steady rhythm the horse eventually picks up on this.
     
    11-21-2009, 09:40 PM
  #9
Foal
Something to consider when considering your purchase is if you ever intend to get into really big hunters, jumping wise, there may be a breed bias - especially if your Saddlebred is gaited. I know TONS of gaited horses who are wonderful jumpers, but they don't seem to fit in the hunter ring unfortunately.

Started him over poles and Xs would be the best way to start a horse back over fences. Grids and gymnastics are the way to go to help teach him distances.
     
    11-22-2009, 06:51 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunsjump    
Something to consider when considering your purchase is if you ever intend to get into really big hunters, jumping wise, there may be a breed bias - especially if your Saddlebred is gaited. I know TONS of gaited horses who are wonderful jumpers, but they don't seem to fit in the hunter ring unfortunately.

Started him over poles and Xs would be the best way to start a horse back over fences. Grids and gymnastics are the way to go to help teach him distances.
He's deeeefinitely not gaited! ^^ and I know how to make him look like a hunter and make him drop his head, although I'm not sure he'd do very well in a hunter u/s class lol I'd like to try eventing or foxhunting with him. If that doesnt work out I'll probly just do what he does already along with some jumping.
     

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