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idance0nhooves 08-19-2008 10:50 AM

My horse and I are both green jumpers :]
Hi. I'm the owner of a 6 year old Quarter Horse mare by Zips Poco Pine.
For about a year and a half, we've been completely converted to english riding [instead of western pleasure like she was trained as a 2 & 3 year old]. About 8 months ago, I started under a dressage trainer. Since then, Annie and I have been training up to training level, and we've just recently incorporated jumping into the mix. Annie's proven to be quite good at it. She tucks nicely, she's scopey for the height [18 inches so far] and really enjoys jumping. About four days ago, we started doing some grids. We set up three 18" crossrails, and trotted her over it. The first time, she refused the middle jump, to which I kicked her until she went over, and eventually, she would trot over all three in complete confidence. The problem we're having though.. is that she still kindof tries to slow down before the middle jump, to which I'm forced to squeeze the poo out of her so she'll jump it, and then she ends up jumping a little under herself, and just canters over the third jump.

I don't know if it's me, or her. Or if I should just keep doing it, until she gets her confidence up at doing them. My trainer said I'm doing a good job of not falling on her front end, and I'm doing a good job of keeping my seat independent, and off her back through all of it, so I'm wondering why she could be doing this. I'm also making sure I give her lots of release before each of the jumps, and not popping her in the mouth after the jump, so I just don't know what it could be. I don't think she's in pain either.. her tack fits correctly, the bit is VERY nice on her mouth and she performs incredibly in it, and I'm making sure to stay out of her way as much as possible, so I'm not slamming on her back over and after jumps..

Any help would be appreciated :]

saraequestrian 08-19-2008 12:12 PM

having a green rider and jumper is not the greatest combination. Do you have a jumping trainer?

I'll give my two cents.
Drive her with your seat, don't just use your legs. When she's going over the first jump, give her a kick to say "hey, wake up, there's another jump right after this" Make sure your sitting up tall and your not in her face.
Check your jumping position. Are you doing anything that's making things uncomfortable for her? Like throwing yourself on her neck, yanking on her mouth, etc.

Is the striding correct between the jumps? Maybe she's slowing down to compensate for the striding.

What are you doing exactly? Is it a bounce? Is it a one stride? Two stride? Maybe she just doesn't have the coordination to do it yet.

It sounds like your doing three jumps to the line.
I would personally do two jumps with five or six strides in between them, until she stops slowing down/hesitating. Once she's comfortable doing that, take a stride out. Keep doing that until it's a bounce. Then you can move on to three jumps/gymnastics.

Before I go, I just wanted to stress how important it is for a green jumper to have a line with the striding completely correct. Measure it every time before you ride, just to be on the safe side.

hope this helped!

idance0nhooves 08-19-2008 12:23 PM

Yes. I only do these lines with my trainer there. She's a combination rider. She rides jumping and dressage, and manages one of the most respected jumping/dressage farms in our area.

I know I'm not all over her back or mouth over the jumps, or my trainer would have told me, and gone back a step in riding until I was good enough to handle it.

We've done so much pole work it's not even FUNNY. Annie's striding is very very polished for her level of training. The striding between the jumps is 3 inbetween the first two jumps, and then 4 between the last two jumps. I havn't noticed and stride compensation from her, she seems pretty regular, but she just kinda bundles up like she's going to refuse, which is when i really start trying to push her forward.

She's only ever refused with me one time, and I don't plan on letting it happen again, I'd just like to boost her confidence.

And no worries about the correct striding in a line thing, I never do them unless my trainer is there to either set them up herself, or let me do it, and give me suggestions. I'm just trying to take things slow with Annie, beause she has so much talent that we havn't even begun to tap into yet, and I don't want to screw anything up.

Thank you for your input :]

Also, are there any other types of grids/gymnastics I could try?

saraequestrian 08-19-2008 12:58 PM

okay, deffinately seems like you know what you're doing :)

I really like bounces. They helped my horse out so much with balance and using her hind end over fences.
One strides are really nice too. It has the same effect, but just not as... powerful i guess?

idance0nhooves 08-19-2008 01:02 PM

Hm. I've never tried a bounce, what do they look like? Is it similar to a one stride, just... closer together?
Anything I should watch out for with them? Or any common mistakes people make when first trying them out?

appylover31803 08-19-2008 01:38 PM

Have you thought about making the heights of the jumps different? Like have the first two 12 inches and the last 18? I'm not sure if that would help, but it might as she will realize that the 2nd jump isn't anything to slow down about. Or what if you just made it a ground pole so she doesn't think anything of it?

idance0nhooves 08-19-2008 01:45 PM

that's actually a really good idea.

next time my trainer's out, i think I'll have her help me change the heights. we'll start out making the middle one a ground pole, and then just slowly bring it up.

appylover31803 08-19-2008 02:03 PM

oh no problem!

Andi 08-20-2008 04:50 AM

Maybe even doing it the other way around, like the first and last jump ground poles, or very low jumps, so she feels confident coming into the second jump. If she's jumping close the highest she's practiced jumping on the first one, she may be a little nervous with the second one coming up. If you got her going over a little cavelletti the first jump she might feel more confident when faced with a second. Also, are you entering the grid at a trot or canter, if you are trotting maybe a canter would help as she would be in a more consistent rythm. Try putting the middle jump as a single jump and jump that, then put one before and jump it and then add one after so you build up to a grid but with all the same jumps and heights.

Or simple trot cavellettis where she can keep her pace but has to pick up her legs, followed by a low jump after. Also if she stops at the second jump, if its low enough always make her walk over it, its best if she knows that she has to go over it. In the beginning a lot of jumping is just practice, so the horse learns how to feel confident and balanced with both itself and the rider on the back. Give it time and practice and don't rush the heights, and you should be jumping soon. :)

saraequestrian 08-21-2008 12:24 AM


Originally Posted by idance0nhooves
Hm. I've never tried a bounce, what do they look like? Is it similar to a one stride, just... closer together?
Anything I should watch out for with them? Or any common mistakes people make when first trying them out?

sorry for the delayed response.
It's basically a no-strided jump. A proper "bounce jump" is a horse that lands and immediately takes off again, if that makes sense.
For my horse, I measure out 9 of my feet.

Just make sure you stay balanced and don't get ahead.
Some mistakes I've seen is a horse who doesn't know what to do/can't coordinate himself will bail out. Also, as you can tell, it would be hard for your horse to jump this combination if he's on his forehand.
just a vid i found off youtube for a visual:

it's probably one of my favorite things to do... cause it's fun and it's really beneficial for your horse


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