Refusing Warmup Jumps?!?
One of the people in my group lesson rides a black draft mix named Ronan. We usually warmup on small jumps. Ronan usually goes first. He keeps refusing jumps. Kate, Ronans rider, does back and fourth movements with her hands but they still don't work. It is dangerous for Kate, Ronan, Jack and I, plus all the other riders and their horses they ride. Any tips for helping control the refusals? Help us out!
Please explain the back and forth movements your talking about. If she's pulling back, that's probably why he's refusing. It sounds like the rider is causing the horse to refuse. I would suggest you let your trainer handle this. If your trainer is not helping, I would suggest finding somewhere else to ride. That is what lessons are for. If you don't feel it is safe, and that you are learning anything (and by the sounds of it, you aren't), i would look for a new lesson barn.
also check her saddle
check to make sure that the saddle of the refusing horse is back in the proper position. many horses refuse jumps if their shoulders are not free.
also often times jump riders position the saddle too far forward. The girth needs to be at the horses natural girth which is usually farther back then you think.
if she moves her hands back and forth in a see-sawing manner to get the horse "on the bit" i can tell you that is part of the problem right there. it's teaching the horse to false frame and resist the bit. if the horse is resisting rein contact with the rider, his back is hollow and hind end is not engaged. and you can imagine that without proper impulsion and a hollow back it is INCREDIBLY hard for a horse to jump properly or safely and jumping like this can cause great discomfort and back/hind end pain for the horse - resulting in the horse essentially being trained to refuse (even though that was not the rider's intention).
sounds like this horse needs to go back to basics of trot work and balance and learn to accept the aids, and the rider needs to be doing a lot of two point work and even some longe line work to not rely on the reins but rather to learn how to get a horse to use their hind end and engage the back and reach for the bit from her seat/leg aids.
that said - you mention this happens in lessons, and causes a dangerous situation for the GROUP in the lesson not just the rider. my question and concern is where is the trainer during this? why are they not addressing this with the specific horse/rider that are the issue and why are they not moved to private lessons until they are back up to the level of the rest of the group? more than anything, if the trainer is not addressing this, i would consider you as well as any other students that feel this way bringing your concerns to the trainer and if necessary the barn owner. if that doesn't work, and this is an ongoing issue, perhaps you need to consider changing barns or trainers.
i hope for the safety of all you are able to work this out. best of luck to you!
she could be nervous, the horse might be feeling her nerves and put him off... as he doesn't do it when doing a jump round? if you have an experienced/really good rider, get them to jump him, and see what he does. as she would have a different feeling to others.
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