Teaching the OTTB to jump...anything.
So my super hot OTTB has been doing so well on flatwork that I got inspired to point him towards some tiny jumps today. He has been previously terrified of even trot poles, but now moves nicely over them.
On the ground I walked him over a 1 foot flower box jump. And he walked over it fine so I headed him toward it under saddle, and he walked over it again with a little encouragement. I did the same thing with some cross rails and he walked over those.
My question is, how do I get him to actually jump the jumps? He is 16.2 so he has really long legs. I have free jumped him over 2" and 2.6" and he looked great...how do I get it to translate under saddle?
Really? No ideas??
Start with trotting over a series of trot poles, and after a few times have someone raise it to a tiny cross rail before you come around again. don't change anything, but squeeze to go over the cross rail. If he tries to trot over it, ask fir the canter right away and canter away. Keep doing this and he should figure it out
Thanks, I worked on this tonight. At first he was just jumping his rear end over and stepping over in the front, but Im hoping we can get the front to mirror the back hehe :)
its a better problem to have than him rushing and diving over them :) sometimes it takes a while but I am sure he will get it, maybe take a video for us
1 foot is actually quite small and he doesn't know that he's supposed to jump them. why jump if he can just step over them? :) make sure as you're headed towards the jump that you are going at a nice forward trot. Remember forward does NOT mean fast! It means he is in front of your leg and going with impulsion. If he just steps over it pick up the canter immediately upon landing. Eventually he will start to jump over it. He just may not make too much of an effort over the small stuff. which is fine!! (which is great!) your job now is just to keep him happy and comfortable and teach him where to put his legs. Once the jumps get higher he'll put out more effort.
Most horses don't do more than canter over things that small, especially when they get really accustomed to jumping, I don't think I've ever watched a cross rail class and thought, wow that horse really jumps in good form, maybe a small pony though. At that level the judges aren't really looking for that anyway, just a calm consistent horse that safely is doing or in some cases, learning how to do a course. BUT, part of your problem is the fact that your walking over them, your kinda giving him the idea to walk over them, if you were trotting them he might react differently. I don't think walking him over them is a bad thing, probably a good way to introduce jumping where your main goal is to teach the horse to go over the fence. When he is more confident you can trot and canter fences of the say size and he might actually start jumping a little more. When the fences get bigger you will see him make an improvement, or maybe when he taps a rail for the first time he might actually think of picking up his legs. If you still aren't statisfied with his effort, gymnastics that include a series of bounces or one strides can get a horse to really jump a smaller fence. But have someone help you set that up right if you haven't set one before and make sure he is confident trotting and cantering single fences and lines before trying a gymnastic.
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