Training green horse over jumps - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-21-2008, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Training green horse over jumps

Some of you have read the other post I made in General...a brief history...I long while back I trained a 6 year old (now 7) to jump with the help of a friend (we both worked with him) and now this girl is riding him and is totally ruining him. I know she won't listen to me, nor don't think the BO will do anything about it, so I'm thinking that I'll just have to switch and find a better jumping horse.

There is a 6 year old Paint mare...14.2 Hh that has the movement and speed to make a great Hunter. I was thinking of putting some work into her and turning her into my jumping horse since that is what she would do best at.

But since I haven't done it in at least 6 months I'm stumped on how I should start. She's already gone over small cross-rails and did good, but needs work.

First, of course, I'll be doing groundwork to get her used to people being in two-point on her back, and then listening to my cues and get bonded with her and also get her respect (cause she can be bratty at times). I've already done some groundwork and she's doing good now, so it's just in saddle work that she needs.

What is your suggestion to first start her? Once I get the feel of starting out I can finish her, but can't remember how me and my friend started out the other horse
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-21-2008, 09:15 PM
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Ground poles! Very first thing. I would go back and make sure the horse has no holes in it's foundation (which also includes ground work). Walk, trot, canter over ground poles and then work up to small jumps and increase it gradually. Make sure the foundation is very strong. Maybe try free lunging the horse over the poles/jumps once you have more rapport.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-21-2008, 10:28 PM
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Yes ground poles are the first step. Make sure she is very comfortable over the poles before you start any jumping work. Then start over some small crossrails with ground poles in front. This will help her learn timing and how she should take the jump. Slowly start to raise the fence as she is getting more comfortable. Once she is nice on her take off and timing you can take the poles away. Its important after she has started over the fences to work her in some gymnastics to strenghten her and sharpen up her form. Once she is comfortable with timing and distances, start practicing lines, etc.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-22-2008, 09:50 PM
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Not quite sure what you mean by "First, of course, I'll be doing groundwork.... I've already done some groundwork and she's doing good now, so it's just in saddle work that she needs. " I don't know if this means you've already got her good at everything you can on the ground or you still have to.

'Bratty' behaviour, especially in a young green horse is more often than not out of fear &/or confusion. Therefore, make sure you can read her very well so you don't inadvertently punish her for those reasons.

I teach a horse to jump on the ground, before I add the balancing act of a rider to the equation. Therefore I'd start with lunging/driving/leading her over poles & small jumps before I rode her over them, and do the same when you progress to bigger jumps. Once she's good at jumping them alone, it shouldn't be difficult for her to learn to do it when you're riding, especially if you have a good seat & yielding hands.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-01-2008, 06:29 PM
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I think its good to introduce the rider earlier on as it would make a big difference in the technique used to jump. If you introduce the rider too late, it may feel too awkward for the horse.

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-02-2008, 01:35 PM
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My trainer and I started a couple of horses jumping last summer...

We took them over ground poles in all different shapes in all three gaits for a few weeks. Then we started trotting them over teeny tiny crossrails for a few weeks. Then when we thought they were ready to go bigger we either set up a vertical in a round pen or on the longe line and let them free jump it a few times. Then we just got on and jumped! I also remember that we were adament especially the first few times about not letting them back out...say we were trotting up to it...even if the horse broke to a walk and curled her neck in that "you want me to do what with you on my back" look...we forced her to go over...which at that point they usually be ready! If they learn to refuse or turn sharply on those little ones it will become a terrible habit later on.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-02-2008, 02:24 PM
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lol im not sure if this is the way to go but when i tried to train my gelding to jump i made a 1 foot jump and just kept running over the jump with him. we did this and then tried it under saddle and it worked fine besides the few refusals.

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-02-2008, 05:04 PM
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ground poles!!!! i have been traingin hunters for years..always remember the "simple" basics. jumping in the wild in natural, however, jumping with a human can be a little scary. get some adjustable cavaletties and take it one at a time. once she understands that this is "play" not work, then you too will have tons of fun.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-03-2008, 12:07 PM
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The thing is with a youngster is groundpoles are very good to keep rhythm and straightness. However, when jumping they do tend to complicate the jump and this may lead to issues. I suggest that a better idea would be to use ground poles in trot but take them away before cantering.

Literally training horses to jump is very simple, the fundamentals are already there. All you need to do is make sure you always make them jump and don't let them get away with anything.

If you have any problems, there ar esome tips on my website.

Life's too short so keep on living!
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-04-2008, 11:38 AM
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yes ground poles. first walk over them a few times BOTH directions then trot over then canter always sit back over them. then start two pointing over them. now you have to work your way up. get the jumps out and do half a crossrail with a horizontal laying pole in front of it on the ground. remember to give her a gentle squeeze with the legs over the jump to pick up her feet. After you and her feel confindent going over the poles, raise it up to a crossrail and so on. good luck.


your not a rider until you've fallen off and tasted dirt- michele sult horse trainer
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