Staring a BIG, green horse O/F
So I've been given a project for the week - a 16.2hh Perch/QH who is JACKED. He's very green - he doesn't have a half-halt, and his haunches and shoulders are ALL over the place (which I'm working on, the flat schooling isn't a problem). We lunge him over fences and he canters 3'6 oxers in stride, not a problem, very handy. Today I trotted him over a crossrail on the lowest hole - probably six to ten inches in the middle, and it took me a couple tries to even get him over - and then he just kerplunked over it :/ any tips to make this big, heavy horse to be as athletic over fences with a rider as on his own?
I tried the first time to just leave him alone for the most part to find his own point of balance - he just ducked out. Obviously I'll have to keep a connection to the base of the fence, lol!
It sounds like to me, he needs to stay completely away from fences until you have his flat training down almost perfect. If he doesn't understand what you want on the flat, then he will not know what you want over fences. He should be very responsive to leg, seat, and rein cues before you ever let him look at a jump and even then, introduce him very slowly and if you start to have a problem, then take it back a step and start again. If he is as jacked as you say, I am not really sure that you can make a whole lot of progress in just a single week.
Dressage, dressage, dressage, dressage.
GP Jumpers do Dressage 5/6 days a week and only jump one day a week - because Dressage is what makes a well rounded, developed mentally and physically - horse.
LOTS of dressage.
Definitely keep wprking on that flat work. That is the foundation for everything. You could do some trot jumps with him. Put some trot poles on either side of the jump (about 9 feet out, one on either side). That will help him trot right to the base and learn to rock back and use his hind end. I woud use these for awhile and stick to the trot jumps for awhile until you can get him further along on the flat work. Good luck!
Thanks guys - I agree with everything that's been said, and I wish he was a long-term project so that I could really give him a good foundation! Probably should have put this in the original post - his owner wants him to look nice enough by the weekend that she can make a sale video. Nothing fancy - just calmly trotting x's and being obediant u/s.
If its just for a video...I would try to not interfere with him much from the saddle...then set up the jump exactly as it looks on the free lunge...with a person standing exactly where he/she would if free jumping. That way the whole scenario looks to him like he is just free jumping...you just happen to be up there in the saddle.
have you tried having someone lunge him over the jump with you on his back not touching him just sitting there so he understands what is wanted of him?
I haven't tried that yet - if I'm feeling brave I'll give it a go tomorrow ;)
Also, you could try lots of trot poles, then move it to a small cross rail when he's not looking
Vincent's dressage has improved quite a lot in just a few days - he's cottoned on to the fact that <B>I</B> decide where his shoulders go quite quickly! He's doing a lot of trot pole work and being a good boy; tomorrow I'm going to add a jump at the end of the line of poles. I'll try to get some pics of him too; he's cute and for sale (potential giveaway; his owner just had a hip replacement!!).
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