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When is "high" too high?
The other day I decided to keep raising the jump higher and higher until my horse started knocking rails. Normally I don't jump courses higher than 3ft, but I ended up going up to a 4'3 oxer before Sheena started hitting rails. It got me thinking, how do you know when you shouldn't ask you're horse to go any higher? I don't normally jump that high, i just wanted to see how high I could go. My horse is a 12 year old 15.3 paint/qh cross that loves to jump. I don't want to ask her to do anything that isn't safe or anything that is above her ability. Any thoughts?
It could be she started hitting the rails because she was starting to tire if you had jumped her over other fences.
Height can be hard to judge. It is going to depend upon the horse's ability and level of fitness. If yoo have only been jumping 3' I would build height slowly in order to make sure Sheena is fit for the next level. I think you are right though in that eventually, you are going to hit a height that she consistently drops..in which case the height one level lower is going to be your maximum.
At the age of 12 she probably still has a lot of jump time in her but as she ages you may want to limit your higher jumping; while not necessarily cutting down the height but cutting down on how often. Obviously there will come a point in time where you have to drop the height due to age, condition, joint stress etc.
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