Scared of coloured poles

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Scared of coloured poles

This is a discussion on Scared of coloured poles within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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  • 1 Post By 4everiding
  • 1 Post By updownrider

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    09-17-2012, 10:44 AM
Scared of coloured poles

Don't know where to begin so here goes. I own a 7yr old Connemara pony who I've recently started jumping. The only problem is she seems to be scared of coloured poles. Now as we have only started jumping together we are only jumping max 40 cm and in time will build the height anyways anytime I introduce a different coloured pole and ask to trot over it there's a big fuss made now I know she's able to jump as she's being hunting with her old owner. So when making this fuss we usually would walk over the jump 2-3 times and then trot with no fuss. This happens every time I introduce a new colour and I'm worried that's it's going to become an issue when jumps get higher and when in competition in the future. So any help or advice would be great. Thanks in advice dawn x
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    09-17-2012, 10:54 AM
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Horses don't see things in the same colours as we do but in shades yet I have known horse dislike different colours on jumps (and one who for some reason disliked yellow trucks?)
I think once you've got him used to all the various colours you're likely to meet in the ring the height of the jumps wont make any difference - provided he is confident with that height
Its usually all the strange fillers that phase them after this stage so if you can find a way to introduce him to lots of different things by maybe building some yourself or taking him somewhere that has a good variety of jumps that will help a lot
I have had quite a few horses that were amazing reliable hunters - jump anything you put them at cross country but refused point blank to have anything to do with showjumps so you will have to put the time in to convince him that its a fun thing to do!!!
    09-17-2012, 11:04 AM
Thanks Jaydee I was kinda hoping that it will just take time paitence and experience. I've being setting up lil courses for her to do in the arena and she loves it once we get over the initial fear.
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    09-17-2012, 11:16 AM
My OTTB used to refuse all the time and it would take a while for me to get him over the jump without an issue. I am training him to be an event horse and I knew that all the jumps out on the xcountry course or in the stadium ring would create a problem if he wouldn't jump new fences. It took a while to figure out that I was the problem, not him. He wasn't scared of the new jumps, we was unsure what to do because I was not committing to the jumps. Now, when we are going torwards a new jump and I feel him start to draw back, I tap him with my heels every stride going torwards the jump and he jumps. He listens because I am telling him we are going not saying "well, if you want to..."

Try to committ to the jump and ride every step of the way, it might boost her confidence if you ride more confidently. Good luck.
    09-17-2012, 11:40 AM
Ok I may try that tomorrow would you recommend doing this on jumps she's ok with too?
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    09-17-2012, 11:44 AM
I would committ to anything you are jumping, it will really up her confidence, make her tune in to you and she will start to focus in on the jump in front of her and go without an issue. Plus, it will make you a really confident rider.

Just make sure your heel taps (or increase leg pressure, if that works for you) are saying "go" not "run really fast and out of control", you don't want her to run at fences :)
jaydee likes this.
    09-17-2012, 01:07 PM
I would use every colored pole you have and scatter them all around your ring and incorporate them into your daily flat work. Try getting your pony used to trotting over them on the ground as a daily exercise. This same exercise works with flower boxes or any filler if it is available. You want your pony to just trot over the rails or filler, not jump it. The idea is to familiarize your pony with color so much that your pony will not be scared of color when the poles on the ground become a jump.
jaydee likes this.
    09-17-2012, 02:27 PM
@4everriding I'll Defo give that a go I find she moves forward if I just kinda make this clicking sound do maybe that would help too? @updownrider that's something I never thought off and is a brilliant idea can't wait to give your ideas a go thank you?
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    09-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Just a wee update I tried the increasing leg pressure she didnt really like it and keept stopping so again went back to basics and once she realised it wasn't scary it was all fine when we did this alot of times I did the jumps in the opposite direction the fuss began with one of the jumps because she saw red the bollard before realising it was same jump but after walking it once or twice it was all fine I really don't know am I doing the right thing by letting her walk until she realises its ok to trot and canter
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