Originally Posted by hunterjumper1998 View Post
How can I get my pony to jump big fillers? She does flowers fine as long as I ride her past them in warmup on the rail, just so she knows the jump has a filler, and cones, as long as she can see the other side. She has done mini roll tops at a show last year and a small brown 2 foot coop at the same show. We gave her a break for a while while we worked with my other horse, and we just went to our second show of the season. She did warmup cross rails fine and I showed her the two jumps that I was concerned about, a red, white, and blue horizontally striped coop about 2 feet and a 2'3 -ish red and blue wall filler jump. We practice 2'3 at home and she has room to spare going over a 2'5 fence, so I wasn't concerned about the height. She has jumped fillers before, has done coops before, and has done jumps where she couldn't see the other side well.
She slammed on the brakes before the coop, but I finally got her over it once, but it was not pretty. She kept refusing the wall. I got her over it, but she hit it with her knees and knocked the whole jump, including standards, over. I was up by her ears and she was bucking and tripping. I got her over it once more , but she just quit. I pulled out of the two foot classes after a disastrous walk trot and under saddle class, and proceeded to do the one foot class, which was three plain cross rails and a cavaletti.
This horse has NEVER refused a plain cross rail, no fillers, no nothing. And she refused every jump.
Would anyone have any suggestions as to what went wrong? And why would she slam on the brakes before cross rails? She is green, but we consistently school 2'3 with flowers at home. This was her fourth show.
Sounds to me like she already had a bit of a confidence issue before (needing to look at all the jumps first, etc.) and now after having some bad jumps over the coop and then totally plowing through the wall she's really scared herself and lost even more confidence. Refusing the crossrails and cavaletti is, in my opinion, a sign that she needs to go back to basics at home. No fillers, and start from trot poles until she comfortable jumping again.
She's green, so she's already going to be unsure of herself sometimes, but that means that when she does have a bad day and has a lot of trouble it's going to affect her a whole lot more than it might a seasoned, well-trained show horse. I'd take out the jumps completely for now. Go back to trot poles and canter poles. When she does those without any hesitation, put some standards on either side of one of the trot poles in the middle, then go through it again until she's confident. Then put up a tiny, tiny crossrail. And I mean tiny. A glorified trot pole is what it should be. Just trot her right through like you've been doing before. It'll be something like the following: trot pole, trot pole, itty bitty cross rail, trot pole, trot pole. Keep doing that until she's comfortable and then VERY slowly make the little crossrail bigger. When she's back to jumping her regular height (at just the crossrail), take away the trot poles and put a placing rail before and after and canter it. After she's comfortable again, take the placing poles away and make a small grid.
Just keep building back up to where you were. Some horses gain confidence back quickly, some don't, but don't rush her or you'll end up in trouble again. She needs to be BORED by it before you start working her back up to her old height.