How can I get my pony to jump big fillers? She does flowers fine as long as I ride her past them in warmup on the rail, just so she knows the jump has a filler, and cones, as long as she can see the other side. She has done mini roll tops at a show last year and a small brown 2 foot coop at the same show. We gave her a break for a while while we worked with my other horse, and we just went to our second show of the season. She did warmup cross rails fine and I showed her the two jumps that I was concerned about, a red, white, and blue horizontally striped coop about 2 feet and a 2'3 -ish red and blue wall filler jump. We practice 2'3 at home and she has room to spare going over a 2'5 fence, so I wasn't concerned about the height. She has jumped fillers before, has done coops before, and has done jumps where she couldn't see the other side well.
She slammed on the brakes before the coop, but I finally got her over it once, but it was not pretty. She kept refusing the wall. I got her over it, but she hit it with her knees and knocked the whole jump, including standards, over. I was up by her ears and she was bucking and tripping. I got her over it once more , but she just quit. I pulled out of the two foot classes after a disastrous walk trot and under saddle class, and proceeded to do the one foot class, which was three plain cross rails and a cavaletti.
This horse has NEVER refused a plain cross rail, no fillers, no nothing. And she refused every jump.
Would anyone have any suggestions as to what went wrong? And why would she slam on the brakes before cross rails? She is green, but we consistently school 2'3 with flowers at home. This was her fourth show.
She's green, so she's already going to be unsure of herself sometimes, but that means that when she does have a bad day and has a lot of trouble it's going to affect her a whole lot more than it might a seasoned, well-trained show horse. I'd take out the jumps completely for now. Go back to trot poles and canter poles. When she does those without any hesitation, put some standards on either side of one of the trot poles in the middle, then go through it again until she's confident. Then put up a tiny, tiny crossrail. And I mean tiny. A glorified trot pole is what it should be. Just trot her right through like you've been doing before. It'll be something like the following: trot pole, trot pole, itty bitty cross rail, trot pole, trot pole. Keep doing that until she's comfortable and then VERY slowly make the little crossrail bigger. When she's back to jumping her regular height (at just the crossrail), take away the trot poles and put a placing rail before and after and canter it. After she's comfortable again, take the placing poles away and make a small grid.
Just keep building back up to where you were. Some horses gain confidence back quickly, some don't, but don't rush her or you'll end up in trouble again. She needs to be BORED by it before you start working her back up to her old height.
Lol glorified trot pole... love it ;)
That's what I was thinking, going back to basics, but the problem with that is that she gets bored too quickly and becomes, literally, unmanageable. She tosses her head, sidesteps, plows through things, ignores me, rushes, refuses to canter, trot, jump, halt, you name it, she does it. But no rearing... yet o__0. She is thirteen, but we bought her off of craigslist as a "beginner rider" trail horse (*note- not for a beginner) before I started riding as a sport, so she is only green to the show scene. We just started really working with trot poles. I know, we did it backwards, but we had jumped before out on the trail and we weren't experienced with horses when we were jumping her, but now I have a trainer who actually cares about me reaching my goals and we are teaching her not to jump trot poles. Ironically, the trot pole and cross rail grid is what we were working on in my last lesson!
Whenever she gets fussy like that make her work through it! One thing that really helped an OTTB I was working with to not jump trot poles and to keep his feet moving was to put some poles on a small circle (about a 15-meter circle). He had to focus not only on going around the circle but on picking his feet up and staying in the middle of each pole as well. It's one of my favorite exercises for horses that like to try and jump trot poles.
And I would definitely keep working on really little jumps and tiny grids, things that are super easy that will really boost her confidence.
Thanks! I will! I never thought about them in a circle... would that help her stay in a "circle shape"? She tends to drift and make lumpy circles. That is another thing we are working on.
Well, it will help give you a gauge for keeping her on a circle (especially if you have striped poles to use). You can really focus on getting her to the center of each pole and it'll help you learn to ride each quarter of the circle individually instead of trying to ride the entire circle all at once (if that makes any sense haha). It's helpful, I think, to break up the geometry into a "piece by piece" exercise.
Yep it will! I'm riding tonight so I'll work on that with her :)
I really don't like the practice of letting horses look at all the 'scary' jumps before they do them. It teaches them that they have something to be scared of, and that they don't HAVE to jump whatever you point them at, especially if they haven't had a chance to see that particular jump before. I would go back to basics and work your way back up again, gaining confidence as you go and leaving the idea that you need to let her look at everything behind you. Make her trust you, make her go over all the new jumps without being 'de-spooked' or 'reassured' first.
She has never seen a wall of that type before. She has done roll tops, flowers, and coops before without looking at them. At home I will just add flowers randomly under fences at 2'3 and she will go over them without hesitating. Something was dreadfully wrong that day, I don't know what, but she was extremely nervous when we entered the ring before warmup. We don't know what it was, maybe a tack thing, but she was really off. The wall was actually a few inches higher than it was supposed to be, so that played into it as well for her because she hasn't gone over 2'5 at all.
We also have a limited supply of fillers ( 1flowerbox at the indoor arena that we go to not for lessons) and throwing a saddle pad over the rail or buckets/cones under fences. My trainer does not jump, but used to, so she doesn't have any fillers. We are in the process of making more though.
She is still green and we are coming back from a crash on the flat and are still a little bit iffy about uneven terrain, and the arena was uneven. But we are working on that! Major confidence buster, but I rode her in a kimberwicke last night and she was a dream over cross rails and on the flat.
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