zig zagging coming up to jumps
   

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zig zagging coming up to jumps

This is a discussion on zig zagging coming up to jumps within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to stop your horse zigzagging up to jumps
  • How to teach your horse to stop zig zaging

 
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    10-02-2007, 07:36 PM
  #1
Trained
zig zagging coming up to jumps

Ive started teaching my mare to jump. She is 14 and has never jumped before. She is purely a dressage girl.

I started with trotting poles placed about 12' apart (from memory, this is the length of a horses stride ??? I think lol correct me if im wrong please)

The initial issues was she didnt seem to get the concept of picking her feet up. This was sorted when we went from trotting poles to a jump height of about 20cm. She started picking her feet up more when I put them at this height and put another pole about 1' in front of the jumps.

Now the problems lies in our approach to the jumps. She weaves to one side so I gently push her back and she goes to the other side and so on. By the time we get to the jump she only just sees it and does a stupid little jump that knocks the pole off, she breaks into a canter and bolts over the last two jumps. She is very, very soft on the mouth and I don't like pulling much and the usual aid to stop just doesnt work.

I originally thought she was just getting the hang of it all but it worries me that she can't seem to do it all calmly. She's not all crazy and stubborn, just very unsure I think.

Although she is still knocking some poles, (at the massive height of 20cm lol) the biggest problem is the weaving all the way to the first jump and the bolting after she jumps. She never did this in the beginning and if she knocked a pole, generally, she would just keep going and clear the next two.

I had a horse once who used to bolt around a jumping set up and it made jumping very strenuous on everyone involved. I would hate to see this happen with her.

Any ideas/suggestions would be gratefully accepted

Thanks
Emily
     
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    10-03-2007, 12:26 AM
  #2
Foal
Just a shot in dark... have you thought about placing some rail on ground where she will have to run through it and can't zig zag?
     
    10-03-2007, 03:37 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by JinxXx0085
Just a shot in dark... have you thought about placing some rail on ground where she will have to run through it and can't zig zag?
oddly enough I tried that this afternoon. She just zig zagged over the poles (on the ground) :) I think the only thing that may help is rails about 4 foot high lol but seeing as she has a disrespect for fences I thought that might not be good (she doesnt seem to remember that the fence is solid and my legs are hurtable lol)

She really is a funny thing. She is perfectly mannered and educated when doing flat work and then away from that, she seems to be a little all over the place. She does this zig zagging when cantering along tracks as well unless she is cantering towards home (no I don't do that all the way to the gate :))
     
    10-03-2007, 12:03 PM
  #4
Foal
Dang!! How about lunging her around and over the jumps? Might be easier to do this in a round corral to do this for 1st time.
Your horse is a funny one... She probably should be named Zig Zag

Is her bit a good fit? Doesn't it pull to sides that you can't feel?

I'm just throwing around ideas and hopefully you'd find the problem.
     
    10-03-2007, 12:24 PM
  #5
Started
This is purely an unconfidence issue. Maybe you pushed her too hard. I'm not saying you did, but maybe things are moving too quickly for her and you didn't notice her unconfidence when it first started.

I would start from scratch again. She isn't that far along anyway, so it won't hurt to take a few steps back. Ask her to back over ground poles, but make sure they are secured so they don't roll around. You would be surprised how that will build confidence. If she hits a spot where her feet get sticky, don't push her. Allow her to stop and think about it, rub her, and then retreat some. Then ask her to back again.

Once she is okay with that, then have her walk and trot over poles again, and then ask her to canter over poles. Again, if her feet get sticky and she slows down do not push her. That's a sign of unconfidence. Allow her to figure it out and build her confidence, and then you can ask for a little more effort.

Once that is solid then try lunging her over the jump from the ground. If she zig zags on line then it's safe to assume she will do that if you are on her back. Stay on the ground and practice this for several sessions until she can do this calmly. She bolts after the jump, again, because of unconfidence. What's happening is she gets unconfident, starts the zig zagging and you keep telling her to go. Then all that fear builds up and she bolts after she gets over the jump. When you start riding her again and asking her to go over the jump, if she gets unconfident DO NOT DRIVE HER FORWARD. That will only make things worse. Recognize her unconfidence and RETREAT from the jump. Ask her to circle DIRECTLY BEHIND the threshold where she got unconfident until you feel her relax. It would be best if you did this on a loose rein. Walk around the arena and try again. Do as much approach and retreat as necessary. You have to be patient.
     
    10-04-2007, 01:26 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse
This is purely an unconfidence issue. Maybe you pushed her too hard. I'm not saying you did, but maybe things are moving too quickly for her and you didn't notice her unconfidence when it first started.

I would start from scratch again. She isn't that far along anyway, so it won't hurt to take a few steps back. Ask her to back over ground poles, but make sure they are secured so they don't roll around. You would be surprised how that will build confidence. If she hits a spot where her feet get sticky, don't push her. Allow her to stop and think about it, rub her, and then retreat some. Then ask her to back again.

Once she is okay with that, then have her walk and trot over poles again, and then ask her to canter over poles. Again, if her feet get sticky and she slows down do not push her. That's a sign of unconfidence. Allow her to figure it out and build her confidence, and then you can ask for a little more effort.

Once that is solid then try lunging her over the jump from the ground. If she zig zags on line then it's safe to assume she will do that if you are on her back. Stay on the ground and practice this for several sessions until she can do this calmly. She bolts after the jump, again, because of unconfidence. What's happening is she gets unconfident, starts the zig zagging and you keep telling her to go. Then all that fear builds up and she bolts after she gets over the jump. When you start riding her again and asking her to go over the jump, if she gets unconfident DO NOT DRIVE HER FORWARD. That will only make things worse. Recognize her unconfidence and RETREAT from the jump. Ask her to circle DIRECTLY BEHIND the threshold where she got unconfident until you feel her relax. It would be best if you did this on a loose rein. Walk around the arena and try again. Do as much approach and retreat as necessary. You have to be patient.
im pretty sure I didnt push too hard. We did trotting poles for a week. When she first started she was ok. Definitely no unconfidence. Im no expert (i don't believe anyone is) but there were def no signs of not being confident in the beginning. This is why I chose to go up a little in height. The only issue was her not picking her feet up.

I did lunge her over the poles before I rode her over them and she was fine. My husband took her for a walk last night while I got her feed ready and he ran her over the jumps and she was fine. I thought it might be me but my seat and riding are as strong and steady as always (video taped myself to make sure lol im my harshest critic)

This morning I took her for a walk on the ground and ran her over the jumps again and no issues. I know it is all new to her but no issues on the ground should mean less issues in the saddle right??

Ill keep up the ground work for a while anyways as I wont have much time to ride over the next week so it will be a good chance to run over the jumps a few times each day.

I find it hard with the approach and retreat thing mainly because she is not spooky or a horse that shys at anything. She was shown the jumps before hand and she was perfectly comfortable and at ease. Head down, snorting at the jumps. I don't have a whole lot to approach or retreat from. Nothing is scaring her as she is always so relaxed and I can't feel any tension through her back to indicate the she is having issues. If she clears the first one she would be fine. On the times where she clears the first jump ok she continues on quite normally. Its only coming up to that first one. But why does she also do it when cantering along a path she knows to be her 'run spot'. Going one way she is fine, the other way she weaves all over the place.

Thanks for your help

Jinx - zig zag would be a good name lol better than her show name already "Moments".

Her bit is also fine

     
    10-04-2007, 02:31 PM
  #7
Started
I find it hard with the approach and retreat thing mainly because she is not spooky or a horse that shys at anything. She was shown the jumps before hand and she was perfectly comfortable and at ease. Head down, snorting at the jumps. I don't have a whole lot to approach or retreat from. Nothing is scaring her as she is always so relaxed and I can't feel any tension through her back to indicate the she is having issues. If she clears the first one she would be fine. On the times where she clears the first jump ok she continues on quite normally. Its only coming up to that first one. But why does she also do it when cantering along a path she knows to be her 'run spot'. Going one way she is fine, the other way she weaves all over the place.


Just because she doesn't spook or shy on the ground does not mean she will be the same under saddle. A lot of horses are confident in their humans on the ground, but they lose that confidence when the rider gets on. Mainly, I believe, because the rider will push the horse through thresholds. Like a horse that balks on a trail ride. Usually people keep telling the horse to go, then start kicking them or trying to force them to go forward. This behavior from the person makes the horse feel unsafe and he loses confidence in the rider as his leader. But if you just allow the horse to stop and wait and assess the situation he will GAIN confidence in the rider because a good leader does not push the other party into a situation they precieve as dangerous. The zig zaging is an unconfidence issue, or it's a physical issue. Those are the only 2 possibilities I think it could be. I still stick by my original post....maybe try it.....you don't have anything to lose.
     
    10-04-2007, 07:05 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse
i find it hard with the approach and retreat thing mainly because she is not spooky or a horse that shys at anything. She was shown the jumps before hand and she was perfectly comfortable and at ease. Head down, snorting at the jumps. I don't have a whole lot to approach or retreat from. Nothing is scaring her as she is always so relaxed and I can't feel any tension through her back to indicate the she is having issues. If she clears the first one she would be fine. On the times where she clears the first jump ok she continues on quite normally. Its only coming up to that first one. But why does she also do it when cantering along a path she knows to be her 'run spot'. Going one way she is fine, the other way she weaves all over the place.


Just because she doesn't spook or shy on the ground does not mean she will be the same under saddle. A lot of horses are confident in their humans on the ground, but they lose that confidence when the rider gets on. Mainly, I believe, because the rider will push the horse through thresholds. Like a horse that balks on a trail ride. Usually people keep telling the horse to go, then start kicking them or trying to force them to go forward. This behavior from the person makes the horse feel unsafe and he loses confidence in the rider as his leader. But if you just allow the horse to stop and wait and assess the situation he will GAIN confidence in the rider because a good leader does not push the other party into a situation they precieve as dangerous. The zig zaging is an unconfidence issue, or it's a physical issue. Those are the only 2 possibilities I think it could be. I still stick by my original post....maybe try it.....you don't have anything to lose.
i just want to make it clear that I am not one of those people you are talking about. I am gentle and never push my horses. She never loses any confidence in me when I get on except this one thing. Even when I push her to come back over when she moves from the line, it is all gentle and not all about MAKING her do it, more just asking her.

I certainly never kick her, she only needs gentle aids. Im not completely clueless when it comes to dealing with horses.

And yes, I allow horses that are feeling unsure of where they are going, the time to check it all out and feel comfy with it. You don't have horses for so many years without learning the basics.

I understand what you are saying and as per my previous post, I will continue with the on ground methods. However, I am going to incorporate some stuff I have learnt from others along with the on the ground thing and see how we go.

Sorry if I sounded narky I just don't like it being insinuated that I push my horses past their threshold etc I know its hard to judge through a computer screen and because you don't know me but, I am probably the person that babys her horses too much sometimes lol

What I meant about the approach retreat thing was she is soooo calm with everything until you line that jump up. I know she is only learning, hence the tiny jumps and trotting poles but it seems odd to have such a strong reaction to it all that's why I thought as I originally said, the it was a confidence issue as well. I have also had her checked physically and there is nothing wrong with her in that regard.

I think im going to take a bit of everything from everyone, including myself, I nut this all out. My and my hubby have been running her over the jumps a couple times a day. She has been doing ok at that so I will give it a week or so and try the saddle again. I am going to try the backing over the poles thing to. She backs up easier than she goes forward sometimes lol

Thanks for the help. A lot of it I did already know but it never hurts to have it drummed in a little lol :)
     
    10-04-2007, 07:35 PM
  #9
Foal
She's just learned how to get out of jumping, every time she goes to zigzag make her work and then when she goes to jump make it easer then zigzagging. I not a jumper but I get horses to do dumb things all the time I don't make them do it I make them want to do it.
     
    10-04-2007, 09:34 PM
  #10
Started
Jazzyrider-- I never meant to accuse you of kicking her or really pushing her past any thresholds. Sorry if it sounded like I was accusing you, that was not my intention at all. From your posts it is very obvious that you love her A LOT. Anyway, I hope things work out for you.
     

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