Originally Posted by iRide Ponies
Whats your advice on a horse that over jumps when going over trotting poles?
I have a very sweet Arab mare whose chief delights in life seem to be trail rides, food and jumps. Whenever I am at pony club and there are ground poles laid out, she will walk up to them, rock back on her hind quarters and jump them at about 40cm. If we are trotting over them, the jump height will be around 60cm. If we place two poles in a row next to each over, she will jump lower but wider. Her record is 7 trotting poles all cleared in one bound when my (experienced) friend thought she could cure her of the habit.
While she is doing this, she is totally relaxed with easy quiet paces and a nice, soft arch so I don't think she over-jumps out of fright. She genuinely seems to enjoy this and one more than one occasion, has actually given a low nicker apon seeing the poles! She will do this regardless of energy level.
She also over jumps while going over small jumps (around 50cm is as height as I jump at the moment) but she only over jumps then by about 20cm more than the actual jump height so I'm not worried about that.
I do not particularly mind her jumping poles except for the fact that I am due soon to be tested at pony club and have no intention of failing because my mare would not step over a pole. So I am hoping that you or someone else on here might have some advice?
(PS: I know for certain she has no bad experiences while jumping. For one part, she adore jumping. For two, I was the first person to ever jump her and I have owned her for all of her jumping life.)
This is a matter or personal opinon but for trotting poles, don't use your jump poles get some squares ones. Especially if your horse is jumping them they can't roll away from your horses hoof and cause ligament tears/damage, just check out Tim Stockdale for one you'll never see him using a round pole on the ground.
Start by using one pole on the ground and bring her up to a complete halt immediately after the pole, do this a few times and then allow her to walk on a few times so she doesnt get in the habit of just stopping after the pole. Do this in walk, over and over just one pole and once she has done this succesfuly move on to try it in trot again with just the one pole bringing her to a full halt again and then allowing her to trot on a few times, mix it up don't halt her everytime.
The point to this is that your making the pony concentrate on what's going to happen after the pole and not the pole itself, in your pony's mind she is thinking that the main excercise is after the pole and the pole becomes merely the approach to the main event.
I hope this helps.