Training my horse to jump
 
 

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Training my horse to jump

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  • Slow progression with a green horse

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    05-20-2013, 11:15 PM
  #1
Foal
Training my horse to jump

I'm 45 yr old and have grown up around horses. Overall knowledge would rank me in the "greenie" category, unfortunately. For my second "career" (ie hobby) I want to get into eventing or intro hunter or intro dressage competitions. Dressage isn't my favorite. I have a Cleveland Bay x Thoroughbred - he is sometimes pokey, sometimes not.

Problem is I'm going to be doing this without a trainer. My dressage trainer lives 2 hours away, no trainers can come to our barn and I can't get a horse trailer at this moment.

My uncles built me cavaletti and standards. I've been working on walk, trot, canter transitions. Getting those automatic. I don't have any idea how to get him on the right lead.

Do have 101 jumping exercises so looks like we have months of flat poles before we even get to cross bars. In the meantime will be doing hill work, cantering on the flats a bit. Is it ok to use the bitless bridle on him on the trails? When we're clearing brush sometimes I find I'm in his mouth when I don't mean to be.

Doing serpentines and figure 8s is not really an option in our big outside ring because it puts divots in the grass. I really do need a straight shot where I can do circles alternating to the left and the right.

Also, how do you find out about the easiest eventing venues in the southeastern US?

Any recommendations? Comments?

P.S. Haven't actually jumped him yet - just planning, planning - he'll be 5yrs old end of August - he's 16.3H
     
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    05-21-2013, 12:28 AM
  #2
Foal
Well I'll keep you all posted and ask Qs when I get stuck. Fortunately I have a sweet horse. If I take it really slow, take every step to the point where he has a lot of confidence - then once we make some strides get s few small jumps set up in a month or two - then get a pro to assess us - probably via video I guess. It will all work out. I'm taking this horse to the next level. I can feel it. God willing and the creek don't rise, it's going to happen.
     
    05-21-2013, 01:44 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Tall order since you don't have a trainer and are green yourself. Really not much advice I can give you at this point... other than to say a green rider and a green horse are a bad color combination because usually all you have left in the end is black and blue.
     
    05-21-2013, 02:54 PM
  #4
Yearling
Get yourself a good trainer to work with you. Trying to teach a horse to do anything when you're a greenie is hard enough, but jumping is even harder.
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    05-21-2013, 02:57 PM
  #5
Trained
While you are waiting, spend HOURS in 2-point and riding without stirrups. When you are comfortable with your horse at the canter without stirrups, and in a safe area, like an arena, start closing your eyes and concentrate on the feel to stay with the horse at the canter. No amount of jumping lessons will teach you feel, and many people fight the tendancy to jump ahead of the horse bc they haven't practiced this.
Practicing these two exercises will prepare you for good lessons.
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    05-21-2013, 04:27 PM
  #6
Green Broke
BTW with a green rider and a green horse.. jumps.. even small ones are not a "month or two" out.. they are a year or more out.

Really.
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    05-21-2013, 07:24 PM
  #7
Banned
No one can give you this type of instruction over the Internet, and a green rider trying to teach a horse a skill that the rider is not confirmed in usually does not end well.

Howèver, I am sympathetic to your dilemma about not having easy access to a trainer. Here's my suggestion - find a local riding school and take jumping lessons on a schoolhorse. Once you're really solid in your two point, and can navigate a 2' 6" course successfully, ask to be put on different and greener horses. Also ask the instructor about the rational for the exercises, eg, why cabaret or placement rails are used, why gymnastics are used, how do you seat them for your horse, what skills a horse needs to have mastered on the flat before beginning jumping, what constitutes a good distance and good jumping form, what a standard progression of exercises for a green horse would be, etc.

Also ask if you can watch other lessons, you'll pick up a lot watching other riders. Even better would be to be in the middle of the ring with the instructor so you discuss what you see. Watching experienced riders school greenies would be great too.

You're also going to want to get comfortable jumping single fences of at least 3'3" before you start jumping your horse - green horses often over jump and make a big, round effort over a new fence. You want to make sure your capable of staying with that - if the horse jumps you out of the tack, you get left or catch the horse in the mouth, you're creating more problems, not training.

Good luck!
Corporal, Elana, Missy May and 3 others like this.
     
    05-22-2013, 07:43 AM
  #8
Banned
"Cavaletti or placement rails" not "cabaret". - Auto Correct strikes again!
     
    05-22-2013, 08:55 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Love auto correct...... Hahaha (sorry)
     
    07-28-2013, 01:23 AM
  #10
Foal
Thanks for your all's advice. I did bring him down to a trainer I'm working with several days/week. Today we did free jumping to teach him his "stride lengths" and I'm working on lunging walk/trot transitions - basically learning how to lunge period. I listened to all of your advice and acre on it. Stopped doing poles and cavalettis at home by myself. The good news is she says he's a good jumper. Bad news is I'm a terrible rider - "exaggerated Littauer" position is my MO apparently. The other good news is she says my jumping balance/skills are definitely my strong suit right now. Can't thank you all enough for saying "green + green = black and blue!"

Today, for example, I would have kept free jumping him and maybe raised the jumps higher than roughly 2'. She got him to do a full canter around the ring in both directions with good jumps x 4 each way around and then quit on a positive note. Says she wants him to end on a positive note so he associates jumping with fun.

The bad news is that he is "phlegmatic" - ie lazy. I don't guess there's much cure for that. It is very exciting to learn new things from a trainer! Also focusing on moving the haunches.
BornToRun and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     

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