Push...Leg...Lean......Eh. Maybe Not...

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Push...Leg...Lean......Eh. Maybe Not...

This is a discussion on Push...Leg...Lean......Eh. Maybe Not... within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    05-24-2010, 02:50 PM
Push...Leg...Lean......Eh. Maybe Not...


Okay, so I have been doing jumps on my mare Annie all winter. I posted a thread about starting her and then I contacted her old owners....She's already broke to jump! Hmph! Would've helped to know that earlier.

So I have logs and stuff thrown over the trail and I jump those when I can't get to an arena. I have never had a problem with refusing. She has never refused ANYTHING I put her in front of.

But lately, I go down the same trall we always do and I ask her to jump a little log (Hardly 2 feet) and she takes off, btu then decides to shut down and jerks her way to a stop, which nearly sends me over her neck. I'm collecting her, pushing her forward and getting up on her neck like I have always done, but for some reason she's just shutting down. The footing is good....Better than the arena I think, actually....and she isn't lame anywhere. I've already gotten her semi-annual vet check before show season. The saddle fitter is convinced the saddle is fine, and her bridle fits too. So what's wrong?

She had so much jumping heart this witner on the circuit. Now it's just depleting rapidly and I can't find any physical reason why she would be acting up all of the sudden....She just shuts down.

Opinions would be nice. Thanks
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    05-24-2010, 08:06 PM
Green Broke
How much have you been jumping her. She could jsut be getting sour and need a break or change of scenery like change up the jumps or the trail or something.
    05-25-2010, 01:07 AM
I've been jumping her consistently for eight months now. When I am arena jumping I do a differant course all the time but I suppose she could be getting tired if the trail jumps.
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    05-25-2010, 01:51 AM
Green Broke
She could just be plain tired of jumping maybe try switch her to just some basics or fun stuff that doesn't invlove jumps for a couple weeks or so.. my friends horse got gate sour so we took him to a different place at our trainers he was there for just a week and has completly calmed down and will walk in and out gates fine again
    05-25-2010, 02:07 AM
I can't really put her in anything else. I rein, cut, game, halter, and drill with her too and. I haven't dropped anything in her workouts. Do you think I should just stop jumping her alltogether for a few weeks and continue everything else? It would give her an extra day off, which could be a good or a bad thing...
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    05-25-2010, 02:16 AM
Green Broke
That would prbably be a good idea just give her a week or 2 off of jumping and maybe switch up your routine with her some if possible
    05-25-2010, 11:23 AM
Green Broke
It's hard to know what's really going on without a video but I'm thinking it's a lot more then "she needs a change of scenery". Usually when horses get bored they quit trying and their jumping gets sloppy, but they don't stop. Horses stop b/c something is hurting them or making them mad, they are afraid, etc. And by "something" it's usually the rider. :)

"and she takes off, btu then decides to shut down and jerks her way to a stop, which nearly sends me over her neck."

The fact that she takes off tells me there's more to the equation. Horses that are bored with jumping don't take off. Your title may clear some up, "push, leg LEAN?". You mean lean in front of the fence? And then you almost fall off? You never ever lean at a fence! That's a fantastic way to teach your horse to stop! (and fall off since that throws you off balance) Your horse wants you to be still and balanced so he can do his job. You stay absolutely still with your upper body and let the jump come to you. Then as you go over the fence you close your hip angle and let your horse come up to you. Imagine trying to jump something with a big backpack that keeps throwing itself around on your back, or worse, forward on your neck? How easy would it be to jump with that? My feeling is that's what's going on. But like I said, almost impossible to tell without a video! Any chance you could post one?
    05-25-2010, 11:45 AM
Upnover - poor wording on my part. You get up over the neck when you jump. That's what I mean. I get in position and she jumps and shuts down. That's what is making it hard for ne, because I'm on her neck already for the jump and when she plants her butt and decides she doesn't want to.
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    05-25-2010, 11:58 AM
Oh and I don't know about the video. My camera kind of sucks. And sorry ifthat last post doesn't make sense either. I don't know the technical terms forit.
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    05-25-2010, 11:59 AM
You shouldn't be on her neck if you're jumping and you know she has a tendency to stop... You shouldn't be leaning on her neck at all, ever. Have you ever taken a jumping lesson from a trainer? They would have shown you the 3-point seat, and how to stay balanced without leaning on your horse's neck.

If you're throwing yourself at the jump, instead of waiting, any horse will stop. Because you say she starts the jump, it's not because she's not willing... it sounds to me, based on the way you've described the situation, that you're not staying back and out of her way so that she can take care of her job.

I rode a horse that would slam on the brakes if I even leaned slightly too much before a fence. I would go back to tiny crossrails, in the arena, and see if you can't get someone to watch you. Ask them to see if you seem to throw yourself at the jump. You have to keep your eyes UP, shoulders back but not tight, and stay relaxed. Let the horse move beneath you.

Pushing is ok, but not when it's a sudden, three strides before the fence, WHAM type of push. You have to be consistent. If you're going to push and encourage, do it all the time, not just when you think she's going to stop right before the fence. When you're approaching the jump, you shouldn't have to change anything about your position, energy, or gait. That'll mess your horse up even more than just throwing yourself at the fence would.

You have to wait, wait, wait, you can't expect your horse to jump when you're not staying out of her way and allowing her to do what she's supposed to do. If you need to encourage, be consistent. Don't wait for her to stop to push and get her energy up. You can't just meander up to a fence. The horse needs to have energy and power, not speed, but power. I rode a 14hh pony when I was younger that could trot a 2'9" fence, because she had power and energy. The moment you stopped letting her do her job, you'd find yourself on the ground or with a refusal.

A video would be great, if you could get one. Then we could see what's going on, maybe you're missing something in your descriptions. Good luck!

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