Let's talk about Fence Jumpers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Let's talk about Fence Jumpers

Hi all,

I have something of an athletic pony. And also a slightly flighty pony. Dont get me wrong he's a good cookie, but he's definitely got his flight reaction down pat. Recently I attempted to leave him at a friend's and he got out by jumping the 4.5' fence. This is the same height of fence as at home, and he happily remains in that fence. Because of Dynamics with the other horses where i had him staying, I believed that he was chased off and probably pushed to the fence line at which point he jumped it. Because riding at this barn and keeping Nick there would be a really good situation- we reintroduced the horses, monitored interaction and determined that the herd had accepted him and he should remain happily. Not So! Out he went again and I had to go find him and miss lecture. So alright. I have a horse who knows he can jump tall wire fences and appears to not remain in a fencelines unless he actually wants to. I can accept that I cannot leave him at this particular barn overnight in a pinch because he's batting 1000 for leaving. But I will in the future have it be necessary that I put him in unfamiliar enclosed paddocks and he will have to stay in them (apparently this is too much to ask) and he needs to be safe doing it. As a horse owner that doesn't own horse property I'm limited in what I can do to other people's fences. However I can work with my horse.
I would like to train him to hobble- as this seems the safest most mobile method of mitigating this problem. I have a friend who has hobble trained a number of horses that I could seek help from. My caveat with this is that it would be a solution I could count on when he's in paddocks alone- as I don't want him immobile should another horse decide to chase him off. But that's a manageable downside. This solution would be for situations like "I'm going to a show and he's going to be in my friends grandma's paddock for one night" well actually exactly that situation. .

Has anyone hobble trained a fence jumper? Tips. Was it effective? Pros and cons of hobble training in general?

"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 05:58 PM
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Sorry can't help you, never hobble trained. When one of my horses was a yearling to two years old he was jumping four and a half foot fences and he actually jumped a 5-foot fence at a horse show trying to get out of a paddock. I was sick and tired of retrieving him from down the road because he would jump into another horse pasture and hang out with those horses. We made the fences just a bit over 6 feet. Like your pony, my horse chooses to stay in, because in our pasture the cross fencing is 5 feet. If he knows his girlfriend is at the bottom pasture, he will jump the cross fencing to get to her, but Mr lover boy won't jump back. He stands there and screams until somebody comes and gets him when the mare leaves. if I know the neighbours down the road have let her out into their bottom pasture, I make sure all the gates are open so there's no jumping. If you want to keep him overnight someplace see if they have an extra stall maybe?

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @waresbear
I think paddocks- like smallish runs are what I have available to me. All else fails I'll board him overnight at the show grounds, but I'd rather not if I can help it- it's more than a bit pricey, and I have never stalled this horse in 3 years of owning him

"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 06:23 PM
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You could always teach him to high line and then if you are in a pinch and need to put him somewhere with low fences you could high line him instead.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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That one has been on my list for the purposes of taking him camping. This poor English pony gets all the ranch and trail tricks pulled on him.

"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-10-2019, 07:24 PM
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I'd rather high line than leave one hobbled. And I hobble train every horse I work with. Regardless of discipline. Just because of the benefit if they ever get caught in wire or even an extension cord.

But I'd rather string temporary electric fence than either of the first two options. I had to do that with a great little Connamera pony I had. He'd jump cattle guards, corral panels, even barbed wire. My husband was so annoyed he came up with a way to quickly attach a single strand 18-24" above the fencing of whatever area where we were trying to contain him.

Fortunately, he was content in the large pastures.

I sure miss that horse.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-11-2019, 11:14 AM
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I wouldn’t hobble a horse that was kept in the same field as other horses.
I feel your pain! We’ve had several fence hoppers in the past and currently have one. K will jump out if she thinks she’d rather be in the stable because it’s too cold, too wet, too windy, too many flies......
If we’re going out I tend to leave her stabled because if she jumps out so will a couple of the others.
She used to jump out if anything scared her but we seem to have cured that by putting her in with another horse who wouldn’t bat an ear if Godzilla strolled through.
We had one horse that used to jump out for something to do - and jump back in too - we stopped him eventually by putting electric tape 6 foot high all around his paddock.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-12-2019, 01:29 AM
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Another option I've had to resort to with my Houdini dog, that I've heard people use on horses too is the E-collar fence - you can set it then that he can't go within 10 feet(or such - you decide the distance, from about 1m) of the fence. It would also be very easy to use portably too, just string it around the border fence for the night. You'd just need to set it up at home for a training session or few before using it elsewhere. They get warning beeps when they get in range, a vibration when they get closer and if they keep approaching they get a 'shock' but that's nothing in the realm of a real electric fence, only light static shock, but enough that they want to avoid.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-12-2019, 02:22 AM
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My first choice would be a line of electric fence along the top of containment fence. Make sure they touch it once so they know it shocks. Horses have excellent memories and will remember to avoid the wire. If that is not possible (if the property owners say no) then hobbling would be a "friendlier" choice and more acceptable high lining. With hobbling they can still be pretty mobile, but it will prevent jumping. I hobble older mare when we camp even though she's picketed, since she quickly figured out that if she's not hobbled she can, over the course of the night, use her 1200 lbs to work the picket pin out of the ground. You find that once they get use to the hobble they become quite mobile. Move slower, but still pretty mobile so that they can move around the pasture and graze as if they were not hobbled. High is too restrictive for me and think about how it will be for the horse if you don't let them out for a very significant period every day. I don't even bother to train for high lining since hobble and picket training is so much easier and I like giving my horses the ability to move around some and even graze ii there's grass available (i.e if it's not January or early Feb LOL).
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-12-2019, 10:26 AM
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Some horses (and especially mules) can cover a lot of ground in hobbles, and also jump. Our neighbor has an appaloosa mare that cleared a 4' electric fence at a campsite and was 6 miles down the backtrail when found. She's graduated to the 'tied at night' option and jumped herself right out of being allowed to graze overnight on camp trips with her escape attempts.
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