moving up in height...how soon?
im wondering how long you really have to jump one height before you start lifting the height when teaching a horse to jump.
possum has been jumping 1ft for about a month and seems to be getting really bored with it. she likes jumping but she is starting to get overly excited and usually jumps way higher than the jump anyways. so do you think its reasonable to lift at least some of the jumps to 1 1/2ft?? i would still keep some at 1ft and just lift 2 or 3 of the others up a bit. i know she can do it and likes to do it and i hardly see the point in continuing with 1ft jumps when we can do them in our sleep lol one of the ladies at the pony club reckons i should wait longer but i dont know
If I were you, I'd lift it higher. I'd lift it higher once the horse is getting board and knows how high to jump it, (as you explained).
You don't want your horse to get bored, but rushing and over jumping are usually signs of some sort of anxiety. You want to make sure that your horse is completely comfortable before moving up or you can really shake his confidence. Are you jumping courses yet? An alternative would be to stay low but start courses or maybe make the courses slightly more difficult, and add in lots and lots of gymnastics! (that is fantastic for rushing) That way he's still thinking and working but doesn't have to worry about height. I usually don't increase fence height too much until they're jumping courses on a relaxed easy stride.
If my horse starts rushing to jumps I lower them and do more complex courses, roll backs, gymnastics, and bending lines. He sometimes just gets into a thing where he thinks he knows where he is going and doesn't have to listen. And yeah, I think now would be a good time to move up, especially if she seems to be getting bored.
Also, have you introduced her to flowers, boxes, anything like that yet?
yeah i know rushing and overjumping can be nerves or anxiety but she gets excited when we do anything that isnt flatwork. you can tell she is over excited and not nervous ;)
the first 20 minutes or so she does well. no knock down or knocks of any kind that would make her lose confidence. as she gets warmed up she gets a little faster and energetic for want of a better word :) i dont just jump when i have my jumping days. i do a little flatwork, a little jumping, a little weaving through cones etc etc and i switch from one to the other as i feel like it :) as mentioned in an other thread about my wb, i get just as bored as the horses so i need to keep things interesting :)
supermane - i havent introduced her to flower boxes etc yet as all those fancy things are locked away and we cant access them unless its an event day. we only get the poles and the stands to work with all the time. apparently the get stolen and broken when they are left out. im looking forward to introducing her to them but im not worried about them as nothing really spooks her or even makes her look sideways :) the first time we ever played kids polo (with a beach ball instead of a hard ball) we thought we would have to get her used to the ball so we were bouncing it near her and bouncing it off her shoulders and neck and legs and she didnt flinch once. things just dont bother her :) nevertheless i am still looking forward to bringing jump standards into it :) i think our first practice day with those things will be @ a training day im going to next month but i am thinking of taking some things in from home to put at the jumps but we will see :)
Signs you and your horse is ready to move on:
- Not rushing at the fence
- Finding the box with ease and consistancy
- You and your horse can jump without you being left behind or jumping ahead
- Your horse approaches the fence in a nice frame and relaxed canter, jumps the fence (remember, it's just a longer higher stride) and canters away at the same pace and looseness.
I agree with JDI
You can also use saddle pads to put over the poles to get horses used to scarry things.
I use Saddle pads all the time. Oh, you can also collect pine tree branches and stick them under the jumps.
For starters i wouldnt be constantly jumping the same height all the time. I would vary it, some challenging and some quite easy. You should be making spreads, vertical, oxers etc. Give her something to think about all the time.
update - i did some more jumping yesterday. i had 8 jumps set up all together with a row of trot poles. i left four of them at 1ft and lifted 2 up to 1 1/2ft and left the other two at about 1 1/4ft. she was doing better with regards to rushing. it seems the few exercises ive been doing to calm her down are working nicely :) i did about 20 minutes of just jumping the lower ones and then when she was all warmed up and surprisingly, behaving very well we headed for the bigger jump. she jumped it but clipped it but thats ok because it was the first time she had jumped that height. i hopped off and put a trot pole on the ground in front of the jump and the next time we went over it she cleared it really well. she settled down even more once she had these new jumps to tackle. i think she was getting bored and found the mix of heights and the addition of a few extra jumps/gymnastics very refreshing as she worked really hard and calmed down a lot.
i know rushing etc is usually considered nerves etc but i do believe that her problem was excitement and boredom/ when you get too excited with no way to release it you end up exploding :D she was soo much more attentive and calm and all up we had our best jumping day yet :)
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