We keep knocking poles! Help? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia, Sydney
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Unhappy We keep knocking poles! Help?

Hello everyone
Today I participated in a showjumping horse show, I was riding my horse, Lancelot, he's a chestnut horse, gelding, Dutch Warmblood. Anyways, considering it's my first time riding in a showjumping horse show with Lancelot, he's been quite jumpy.

When the show really did start, they started off with a few Grand Prix alike jumps. Lancelot keeps knocking down the poles. We lost WAY too many points to number and it was utterly embarrassing...Me and my horse were the only one's with the lowest, lowest, lowest points!

So I'm asking ya guys and gals, how to try and train Lancelot to not knock the poles? My riding instructor told me to just "leave it" or "buy a new horse and dump Lancelot away.". I don't find that very helpful though.



"How small are you, to have such a great destiny." - The Great Dragon
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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You would have to post a photo or video of you and your horse to get any realistic help.

More information in your post like the height of the fences in the competition, and what your schooling/training routine at home is like; whether he jumps well at home but just failied to do well in the competition, etc., what your horse had been trained in/competed in previously, etc, would all be helpful information as well.
maura is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 07:34 AM
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I, too, would like more information, but I want to know if your horse folds his feet and legs well at home or lets them 'hang'? Ideally, a horse brings his knees above his elbows and tightly folds his hooves against his elbows. He flexes his hocks well behind.

Do you use lightweight poles. like PVC pipe for practice jumps?

Do you have access to a 'jumping lane or fences that are solid and do not fall down that you can work over loose on on a longe line?

All of these things contribute to problems. The solid fences can correct 'some' of these problems. Horses that just let their front or hind feet 'hang' are dangerous and if solid fences do not correct them right away (just being sloppy) they are unsafe and need a different job.
Cherie is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 07:42 AM
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I had a quick peek at your 'horse' link- the info says you've had him for a month or so.

I am no expert in jumping, so can't judge the picture there, but I wouldn't sell because after a month it didn't work out- if he's good at home and messed up at a comp, that can be worked on. But a month.. its not a long time at all to learn about him and him to learn about you.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Okay I will take one today when Pony Club starts and post it on here!

"How small are you, to have such a great destiny." - The Great Dragon
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-10-2012, 11:30 PM
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It depends on whether he's punching them out with his front legs or knocking them down with his hind legs.

If he's punching them out with his front legs:
If he's cantering long and flat it's unlikely he'll be able to get enough power to get up and over the jumps. When I'm jumping smaller stuff with my horse he likes to grab the bit and run, completely ignoring my aids, and plow right through the jump. We've worked on really collecting his canter, getting it nice and controlled, it helps him respect the jumps.

If he's knocking them with his hind legs:
He needs to learn to use his hind end, power up over the jump and not let his back legs flop around uselessly. Again, I worked on lots of canter on the flat, trotting over trot poles, canter poles, sitting deep in my seat to encourage him to use his hind end, sitting deep in approach to the jump, etc.

Of course all of this is just assumptions, we need pics / video. ;D
alexischristina is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 01-11-2012, 05:38 PM
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Try trot poles and gridwork to make him think about where he's putting his feet. Remember to give a little kick before each pole/crossrail to remind him to pick his feet up :)

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 03:34 AM
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As everyone else has said - you cannot really judge what could be happening, without looking at photos or preferably videos. But, I will offer what advice I can. What height do you jump at home? Does he usually knock rails when jumping at home? How big we're the fences at the show?

How were you feeling? If you were nervous - then your emotions could be affecting the horse. A horse can feel what their rider is feeling through their seat. If it was your first show together, then you can't really judge your entire showing career on a couple of rounds. At my first show, I got eliminated from refusals - at the third jump. Now, I have no refusals or rails. It was purely practice and getting use to having my horse in different experiences and places.

Otherwise - it could be a training issue. If your horse is sloppy with his front legs, maybe using grids could help. Also, in my lessons I have (with a world cup show jumper) - she was telling me your entire round needs to be smooth. You have to have control, between your hands and your legs. If you come around a turn and your horse is very strung out, not only does this ruin your line. But, your horse continues to be strung out, into the fence. Causing their legs to be very messy over the fence.

Where as, if you sit up and be solid around a turn - get your horses legs underneath him, then you turn and your line is neater. Your horse is more controlled and collected = nicer fence.

You need a forward horse, not a fast horse.

Obviously, this may have NOTHING to do with why your horse is knocking rails. But, you might need to work on your approach, course, etc. see why videos will help? Another thing? Do you practice courses at home, or single fences?

Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,
ChingazMyBoy is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 05:53 AM
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Grand prix like jumps? In what way like grand prix? How high were they?

If you two are new to each other and this was your first show.....I wouldn't be that worried, yet.

Do you have a coach? What do they say? What training have YOU had? We need photos and way more information to give a good appraisal of the situation.
Allison Finch is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 01-12-2012, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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If you're coming down on his back too soon, he'll have a higher chance of knocking the rail. Also, is he wearing boots? Unless they're open fronts, knocking the rail may not hurt or feel bad enough for him to care about it. Your approach to the jump may be off or you don't have enough impulsion.

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