Just starting...a few questions

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Just starting...a few questions

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    08-04-2009, 12:52 AM
Just starting...a few questions

I never thought i'd be jumping again (never learned and then had a new trainer try to force it on me when I was 18...needless to say it didn't end well and so I quit doing it. It just scared me too much). Anyways, while I was in Scotland last fall, my friend was riding him and discovered that not only does he like to jump he's really good at it. And this is a horse that had never even seen a jump until last year at the age of 14. So long story short, he's been eyeing the jumps in the ring during my weekly lesson and so i've made the decision to try jumping again just because he loves it so much. So today I worked up the courage to set up a little 18" crossrail and just take him over it all by myself (there was another person there at the barn just in case anything happened, but this wasn'ta lesson). I trotted around at two point and then headed him for the jump. Of course I panicked right before it and clutched mane in a really awkward two point and what does my precious little boy do? He just calmly takes me right over it at the trot, canters away, stops when I ask and then looks back at me as if to say "geez mom, its just a crossrail. No need to be so nervous". I'm sorry if i'm boring anyone. This isnt the question, but I just had to brag. He took such good care of me. We went over it several times without any incident. He's so steady and never rushes or anything. I was just so proud of him for jumping like a little pro considering he had a nervous rider on him and he'd just learned to jump.

Ok, so here's my question. He likes to approach the jump, and then right before he takes off, he kinda stops. Its not a refusal. It seems like he just wants to stop and figure out exactly how he should jump it. But i've never had a horse do this: get to the base, pause, look at the jump, and then jump it. Why is he doing this? He never refuses and has cleared it fine everytime. Its just confusing me. I'm going to ask my trainer at our next lesson, but I wanted to see if you experienced jumpers had any ideas as to why he does this and if its a bad thing?

Again, sorry for the long winded paragraphs; im just really excited about how it went. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
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    08-04-2009, 01:52 AM
Oh and just to clarify, I had been doing walk/trot/canter in two point with him previously so both he and I are comfortable with that position (i like to use that position improve my balance on the flat). So I know he's not stopping because the two point confuses him
    08-04-2009, 04:09 AM
I'm not a jumper, so I can't really comment, but I just thought I'd mention that I've ridden a fair few horses that do the exact same thing :) Just a split second pause before they pop over.

I will be interested also to hear the reasoning for it by some experienced jumpers.
    08-04-2009, 03:09 PM
Oh, nice to hear that someone else has experienced this too =)
    08-04-2009, 06:42 PM
Try free-jumping him. You will need atleast 2 people to free-jump a horse successfully. Seek out an experienced horse-person if you can. Build a chute, start off with small jumps and work your way up to bigger jumps and small grids. I recommend you take some lesson on a seasoned jumper so that you can build up your confidence. Green over fences+nervous rider=disaster. Set up a small cross-rail with a groundline in front of the fence on both sides approximately 6 inches away from the jump. This is going to tell him when to take off. Trot him over it one way and continue for a few strides, bring him to a stop, turn him around, trot back over it, continue for a few strides, stop, turn around, trot back over it, etc and keep doing this until both you and him are COMPLETELY comfortable and he quits looking at the fence. My guess is the reason he is looking at the fences is your nervousness is transferring to him and he's thinking "moms nervous about these fences, I guess I should be nervous too, let me just check it out for the both of us. Oh, ok I can jump it, its fine" or he may be doing what is called "chipping"
    08-04-2009, 08:23 PM
I think he might be pausing because you're dropping him before the fence. My horse does it too. What I mean by dropping him is, you get up into 2 point too early and put the reins forward (aka dropping the contact) while he's still approaching the fence. Once you get more fluid at jumping and stay with him better, that should go away.
    08-04-2009, 08:52 PM
There are many ways you can drop your horse.

Your shoulders, your hands, your eyes, your head. When you get up into two point early, you are jumping ahead

I firmly believe that 99% of mistakes that occur while riding - whether it be dressage or barrel racing or jumping, regardless - 99% of it is rider error.

Our horses jump blindly, so they rely 100% on us to get them to the base solidly and properly, in order for them to do their job, we have to do ours.

I agree with MyBoyPuck - you have to do your job properly, for your horse to beable to do his.
    08-04-2009, 10:01 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
I think he might be pausing because you're dropping him before the fence. My horse does it too. What I mean by dropping him is, you get up into 2 point too early and put the reins forward (aka dropping the contact) while he's still approaching the fence. Once you get more fluid at jumping and stay with him better, that should go away.
i think you hit the nail on the head with this. Now that I think about it, I do get into two point about 2 strides before I think he's going to jump. But I need to ride him all the way to the fence to help him out. I'll talk to my trainer about the best way to go about doing that. Thanks =)

AMKEquestrian, thanks for the advice but he already free jumps oxers, lines, you name it. That's what we started him with way back since he'd never seen jumps before and then moved up to having my friend jump him. But I hear what you're saying about repition and its really true for me. About the 4th time we went over that little x I started to relax and focus on my position, and the jumps went a lot better. And i'll make sure that I do enough repitition so that i'm completely comfortable before I would move onto any verticals or anything higher
    08-05-2009, 04:38 PM
So did you like it? Were you nervous afterwards? Did you jump again? I am not helpful but I just want to know what it is like.
    08-05-2009, 04:51 PM
Originally Posted by Larra98    
so did you like it? Were you nervous afterwards? Did you jump again? I am not helpful but I just want to know what it is like.
thanks for asking =) I actually did like it after the first couple of times. I mean, I hated it when I learned and I was just scared all of the time (which was why I quit doing it). But I trust Rocky so much and I know he'll take care of me so it really helped me to relax. And he jumps so smooth as well. I've never been on a horse who went over a fence that smoothly. So i'm hoping i'll be having enough fun to keep up with it this time.

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