Scared of poles?

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Scared of poles?

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  • Help my young horse is frightened of trotting poles
  • Horse scared of single pole

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    04-04-2012, 06:04 PM
Unhappy Scared of poles?

So just under a month ago I was jumping my horse fine, and he was refusing a bit but as he's new to jumping I accepted it was normal and carried on jumping and we left it on a good note. 2 days later he down right refused to jump at all (and my horse is incredibly stubborn), I didn't have enough time that night to get him over it so I left it. The next time I rode him I went back to the basics and done some trotting poles, but he wasn't having any of that either. I couldn't get him over a single pole and in the end I had to get off and it took 3 of us to get him to step over it, which in the end he did but it took forever. We've been going like this for a couple of weeks now and he's steadily improving and it's taking less time to get over each pole. But last night he just saw a pole and he was rearing. It's starting to scare me a little and is knocking my confidence. I can't work out if he's scared of them or is being incredibly naughty and I don't know what to do. Any advice?

P.s he's completely sound and back/saddle has all been checked. He is fine in every other aspect except ground poles and jumping.
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    04-04-2012, 08:46 PM
My first thought is maybe when jumping you were accidently bumping on his mouth or back so he's associated poles with unpleasant experiences.

We had a horse with a fear of poles and started putting them EVERYWHERE in his paddock in gateways and around his feedbin. He had to stand over the pole to eat.

We didnt focus on getting him jumping for a while but as we were riding he'd have to step over the occasional pole. Basicaly teaching him that poles were unimportant.
    04-04-2012, 09:18 PM
I agree with the above post. Make sure he is comfortable and thinks it is a good thing. I would bring a crop, and hand walk him over the pole one at a time, give him a treat once he goes over it.

After he is able to go over one, then try more in a row, then during lounging and finally riding.

Let him know the poles are not to hurt him.

Good luck!

jumping, poles, refusing

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