Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
I really don't think that "SQUEEEZE"ing will help when it comes to trotting poles xDDD
Stella, most of the answers that I can give you ARE long term. However, it probably has a lot to do with your experience and your horse's experience over jumps. Do you know if Jamaica jumps regularely? She most likely hasn't been correctly schooled to jump, even if she is a 'school horse.' Most instructors figure that if the horse can get over the jump, they're good enough. Ofcourse, you can't fix anything if that IS the problem since you're fairly new to riding. Check with your instructor to see what Jamaica regularely does.
As for you, what you can do is limited to how much you've been taught. How much has your instructor worked with you in collection? (I'm going to hope atleast a bit if she's expecting you to trot poles in a hunters class. O.o) If you do know how to collect your horse, what you need to think about is how long your horse's stride is, and how long it needs to be to get over the poles nicely. (with each foot landing right between the poles) If she's over reaching, you need to pull her in a bit to make her strides shorter and her body rounder. If she's under reaching, you need to urger her into a longer stride. (NOT a faster one, a LONGER one.)
Another possibility is that Jamaica just isn't paying attention. In that case, it's your job to keep her alert and awake. Wake her up before you do your poles with some figure eights, backing up, trotting circles, etc. Once she's listening and bending for you really well, start your poles. She needs to be watching where she steps and moving at a lively gait to sucessfully not only get over the poles, but look nice when you're doing it in the ring with a judge. Instead of going 'oh..poles. *thunk thunk thunk*' she should have a brisk 'oh hey! I know how to do those!' attitude.
I hope this helped, and if you don't know what I mean in what I've written, just tell me and I'll try to explain =] if none of this works- I'd say you should ask your instructor to switch horses atleast for the time being. NOT to Scout again; mind you- if he provides no challenge that you really shouldn't be riding him any more for lessons, but to one that possibly can judge for itself how long his or her strides should be, atleast until you understand the fundamentals. Then you can go back to Jamaica and try to get HER to do it!
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