How can I help to make jumping more interesting for Sapphire?
I've been jumping my mare, Sapphire (TB x) a lot lately, and where as she does enjoy it, I can sort of feel that she isn't getting as much enjoyment from it as she used to. She's only 5, 6 in August, and we've been jumping just from early January and we're clearing small jumps. I try to vary the fences and things and make different paths, but she's not changed. And besides hacking out, we only really jump. We gave dressage a go but no it doesn't agree with her and she was acting quite annoyed. I took her up to a cross country course yesterday and she seemed to enjoy that but we don't have too much of a wide access to cross country courses. So what can I do with jumping/in general with my mare to make riding a happier experience for her?
Thank you xx
set up short courses or gymnastics exercises like a series of bounces or a bounce to a one stride.
you can also start introducing her to different types of things like flower boxes or liverpools if you havent already.
how much are you jumping her? make sure you arent over doing it , a general rule is not to jump more than 1-2 times a week on a regular basis and i wouldnt make most of my rides jumping, IMHO.
hope this helps.
I'd jump her generally about 3 - 4 times a week. I do know that jumping puts strain on the back over time and varying riding is best - but we can't hack out all the time :/ that's the problem really - nothing to do besides jumping and hacking. Thanks anyways.
wow, not to be mean (dont take it personal) but i would not suggest jumping that much. the fact is you CAN do other things besides jump. take time to work on the flat and really get your horse going nicely, you both will benefit from it and your horse will be thankful for it. if you get bored of just riding around set up cones or poles to weave and work on bending, do serpentines/circles/etc, courses of just poles on the ground, lateral movements, work on your position without stirrups, etc,etc.
you dont need to be doing 'serious' dressage to work on the flat. even when i was just showing h/j the majority of rides i had were on the flat.
hope this can be helpful to you
Try doing the cloverleaf jumping pattern. It's a really challenging exercise and gets your horse thinking, guaranteed that she won't be bored. Icelandic Horse, Training, The Cloverleaf Pattern
Things that my horses have found absolutely terrifying and I guarantee she won't be bored.
Lattice (flower climbing fence) under or propped up on the jumps,fake flowers under the jumps, flags on the standards, pinwheels!, AstroTurf on the jump, Tarps under the jumps as liverpools, anything that might look like a black hole.
You could cut up some party streamers and tie them to jumping rails and standards. Even more interesting when its windy! You can also put a tarp over the jump.
try watching the Horsemastership class on USEFNetwork.com. The vid is cut up in to segments, or you can watch the whole thing... which i believe is about 4 hours long. I learned how to practice shoulder in. Both at the trot and at the canter. I learned how to get the horse to work better at long and low. I learned allllllllll sorts of things that have given me more to do when i hack out. I agree that walk, trot, canter, walk, trot, canter can sometimes make you feel like your brain is melting... however, if you try some of the more interesting movements it will keep her mind engaged.
With all of that being said, i am going to agree with jumper12. I don't particularly agree with jumping your horse 3 to 4 times a week unless it is super small and super simple to just keep her fitness up.
Another quick idea might be to try ground training. maybe some ground driving or bitting up. you might be surprised how your relationship with your horse, as well as her interest in what she's being taught, changes when it's being communicated/received on the ground.
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