Horse jumps ditches/water - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-26-2012, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Horse jumps ditches/water

My horse wants to jump over ditches, especially ones with water in them. This is very annoying and I don't know how to make him just walk through them. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-26-2012, 08:46 PM
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Learn how to jump?
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-26-2012, 08:50 PM
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I don't tolerate jumping over ditches/creeks on the trail.
I've had instances where I was slammed into a tree, and Lucky about ran right into one after landing on the other side of the creek.
If they want to jump, we'll go back and forth over it until get figure out that walking is just as fine and isn't going to hurt them any.
I can jump just fine, and I'm sure the horse as well, but that doesn't mean that it's safe to do in the middle of the woods. Especially when you're not on a wide/well-used trail.
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-26-2012, 09:12 PM
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is it that he is scared of them ?
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 05:34 AM
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Descend and ascend the ditch on an angle.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Iseul View Post
I don't tolerate jumping over ditches/creeks on the trail.
Not even on command? I can understand not tolerating a horse that will jump when you just ask for a walk across the ditch.

But to say that jumping out on the trail is never acceptable or always dangerous is a bit of a stretch.
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 06:40 AM
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A well mannered trail horse should walk through creeks and ditches when asked, and only jump when asked.

I suspect anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't have a whole lot of experience riding outside a ring.

Usually a horse that jumps rather the walks through is afraid of the footing, and you don't want to punish for that. The easiest way to break the habit is to have someone on an experienced horse lead through the creek crossing or ditch, and to go very slowly, stopping and waiting after each step. The horse in front prevents your horse from jumping, and after each step, pause and praise. This takes time and patience, and again, you don't want to punish, because that will make the horse more fearful. I like to make the horse stand in the middle of the creek for a little while and praise and pet until they figure out the water or footing won't hurt them.

In really extreme cases, I've ponied a really difficult horse from an experienced trail horse until they learn to walk through calmly and easily.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 06:45 AM
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I didn't realize we were talking about something on command. So no, if I want the horse to jump it, we'll jump it. If I want to walk (or even canter, for whatever reason), we'll do that.

I never said that it is always dangerous, I said that it's especially dangerous when you're not on a very wide or well-ridden trail that you have to actually navigate instead of just plodding along and all of a sudden jumping,

Cueing something is very different than the horse deciding to do what it wants, which is what I was talking about. I know I want a trail horse to automatically walk over crossings, because I'm sure I'll want to toss a friend on them and trust that they won't come flying off into a creek because my horse felt like jumping instead of walking. I want jumping to be something I need to ask/cue for, not the walking that I want to be common thought.

ETA-Maura, while I agree with everything else, I don't agree that the horse in front stops the horse jumping. I've seen a horse that was sold last year pretty much jump on top of, right beside, etc the horse in front. The horse was fine with a confident rider and would walk through anything, but he jumped everytime he had a rider that wasn't 100% sure he wasn't going to launch himself over crossing.
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Last edited by Iseul; 02-27-2012 at 06:50 AM.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 06:51 AM
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OK, I misunderstood you.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-27-2012, 07:50 AM
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Goneriding has it. If they are wanting to jump it, instead of crossing the ditch, enter at an angle and have them walk with/in the ditch for a few steps.
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jumping ditches

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