My horse tries to avoid jumps - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-30-2014, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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My horse tries to avoid jumps

I have an Anglo-Arab horse with no experience on jumping, he has no problem with jumping while trotting but when it comes to gallop he tries to avoid the jumps by drifting away to the right or the left. I try to put leg pressure prohibit him from drifting but with no success. Is there anything that can be done else than using spurs?
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-30-2014, 07:33 AM
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If a horse has no experience jumping, just cantering up to a jump and expecting him to jump is NOT the way to go! Get a trainer, if you don't have one already, and start things slow & low - walking and trotting over cavaletti grids, little cross rails, etc, working on your flatwork, etc.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe you misread my post, The horse is performing in a perfect way while walking and trotting over cavaletti grids and little cross rails. Anyway thank you for your precious advice getting a trainer.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 06:33 AM
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OP-you may not like it, but obviously (a) the horse is not ready to canter jumps and/or (b)you do not know how to teach the horse. Agree with the above-get help from a trainer who knows what they are doing. I don't think anyone misread anything.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Naj View Post
Maybe you misread my post, The horse is performing in a perfect way while walking and trotting over cavaletti grids and little cross rails. Anyway thank you for your precious advice getting a trainer.
If he was truly trotting these perfectly, then there should be no problem with asking for a canter through them. It's your lack of training and the horse's lack of experience.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 08:43 AM
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How is he at cantering over a pole, then two poles a stride apart, then three? A trick we used to do was to aim the horse so we were heading back toward the barn. The horses were always a little more eager to comply.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 08:50 AM
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If he's is avoiding the jumps in canter it is because he is not confident or comfortable enough to go over it, in other words his training level is not there yet.

The horse has to be super confident in both himself and you that he knows how, and when to take himself over a jump without hurting himself. This means quite extensive training in which he learns how to pace himself, when to take off, how to provide sufficient impulsion, how to pick himself up over the jump, how to land safely and how to move away. If he hasn't got all of those skills then he is going to take the easy option and avoid the jump.

Putting spurs on him could achieve a number of things -

- you may force him to take himself over a jump that he is not confident about. This can only have an instant bad ending when he knocks himself (or worse) thus proving to him that he should try harder to ignore you

- or he may choose to ignore the spurs totally thus worsening the relationship he has with you

Teaching you how to do this properly from here is impossible - setting up jumps and placing poles and watching you and your horse and providing on the ground correction and advice is not possible on the internet screen. Therefore I agree with the other advice - get to a trainer and enjoy learning.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 01:10 PM
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Looking at it from another perspective, is the horse simply avoiding the jump because he knows you're going to let him get away with it?

At our school if a horse with a capable rider on his back darts a jump, the rider is instructed to circle that horses butt around and drive them into the jump as many times as necessary to get the horse to finally take it. The horse is NEVER allowed to just avoid it, otherwise they'll make a habit of it in order to avoid the work.

Of course that opens up a third question – what is your riding ability? If your horse doesn't feel comfortable going over the jump because you're not balanced, pulling on his mouth, or generally a mess up there, as others have mentioned, Basic self-preservation (if I take this jump I'm going to fall and hurt myself) will come into effect. Ultimately, that's not the horses fault.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 01:20 PM
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The older I get the more I like to train the horse to do everything first From The Ground. I can watch my horse perform and see if he is comfortable. It's gonna take TIME, not just a few pops over. I agree, that if YOU are not confident you are teaching your horse fear. You should Always learn to do something on an experienced school horse who will take orders from a trainer on the ground, or even stop at a jump, if the rider isn't ready bc it's part of the horse's job. Don't rush things.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-31-2014, 02:10 PM
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I hope by gallop you mean canter. Please no not gallop into jumps.

It's funny because I also have an Anglo Arab who had this problem, although instead of running out he loved to slam on the breaks and dump me over the jump!

Take it nice and slow, if he is okay to pop over a small jump in trot then continue with that until he is feeling confident (and you too!)

Do some canter pole work so he gains confidence cantering over something and works out his rhythm.

I find grid work; a grid of about 3 or 4 small jumps is great for nervous horses, it really helped me and my horse with our confidence and rhythm.
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