Starting Jumping Question
This may be kind of difficult to explain, but I'll try my best!
I've recently started my horse over jumps. We have a gymnastics line set up at my barn consisting of 3 jumps and spaced to trot in-canter out. I usually start with 3 smaller crossrails and will go through the line a couple of times before raising them, but once Shamrock gets the hang of it, he doesn't jump them, but trots over them as if they were just trotting poles. Is that an indicator that he needs more of a challenge and I should raise them? Or what can I do to get him to jump them every time regardless of how high they are? Is he just being lazy? And I do apply leg before the jumps.
I want to start showing him soon in H/J shows, but would probably enter him in only flat classes to start with. However, if I wanted to put him in a crossrails class, I wouldn't want him to just trot over them if they aren't that high, you know?
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Does he jump everyday? How much of your riding session is spent on jumping? You may be doing too much. He may be getting bored and/or lazy about it, but that doesn't mean to keep adding more jumps and higher jumps.
He sounds like a sweet boy who is trying his best for you and he must enjoy doing it too! Just be careful that you don't overdo it and turn him sour on jumping. Keep it short and sweet and he will stay fresher for you. Don't keep drilling him if he has got the point.
hmm, I don't know then, Just thought I would ask and give that thought, you never know.
He sounds like a great guy though! You know him best and it sounds like you are on the right track with him and have thought of everything, if your instincts are telling you that it may be time to raise them, as long as you have ruled out everything else, then you could try raising them, it may be that he is ready.
When I was teaching Charlie to jump my instructor had to put the jumps higher so that he would think they were indeed jumps and not trotting poles! Then he made an effort and jumped nicely. He's a big guy, he's 17.1 h, maybe they seemed too small for him!
So yes, you may be right that it is time to raise them for him. You could also book a lesson with an instructor, and that way you will know for sure what to do.
That's what my horse does when he's bored. The catch 22 is, raising them creates more stress on the legs and less room for error on your part versus maybe boring him to death. Maybe setup different types of grids at the current height rather than raising them to keep his mind engaged. Do exercises that involve changing the number of canter strides you can get between to fences, cantering bounces (2 poles or jumps 9' apart) or any myriad of other fun things. He sounds like he's good boy just looking for something more to do. Being able to trot jumps is good. At the very least, he's building up some serious muscle doing that. That will pay off once you're jumping to your show height.
MyBoyPuck is right, even if you do just raise them up he will get bored with that too, so instead of simply just raising them up, change things up for him! Keep it interesting without adding the extra stress to his legs! Have fun with him!
Thanks guys! That makes a lot of sense. :)
However, the trainer has the jumps set up for her use with her students, so I'm not sure how'd she would like for me to move them all around. :/
She is supposed to be putting another line of jumps in the jump field though, so that will make things interesting!
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