Groundwork for jumping? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Groundwork for jumping?

I've got a month coming up soon where I won't be able to ride much at all. I still have to pay for my lessons, but I can convert them to training sessions instead.

I'd like to have Pony trained to go over small jumps. What I'm wondering is what I can do now to help him get to where he's ready for that training. When I say "groundwork" I don't necessarily mean, you know, "ground work," I'm just wondering what I need to do to get him ready. Here are my thoughts so far:

1. Get a stinking saddle that fits him! Working on it...
2. He needs to be better on his left lead. Working on it!
3. I need to work on extending and collecting his gaits. Will work on it.

What else can I work on now to lay the groundwork for him to be trained to jump? Assuming I lay the groundwork, would one month, at four trainings per week, be enough to teach him the basics of jumping small jumps? He's athletic and a quick learner, if sometimes stubborn. And fat.

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 06:48 PM
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you mean laying a 'foundation' for him getting the most out of a month's worth of lessons on jumping?


I guess helping Pony get better about taking the requested canter lead might help. Keeping his aerobic fitness up by riding as much as you can. And, all the other stuff you are already doing.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry to much . He'll be fine if you did nothing other than find him a fitting saddle (unless trainer is prepared to work bareback on him).
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 07:06 PM
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Yeah what you've said about leads & collecting & extending in gaits will be helpful to work on. As will getting him jumping small obstacles on line/free, before you're aboard. If you're only wanting to do small jumps, while I've always taught mine on the ground as part of their general groundwork anyway, and I'm not interested in showjumping or such, I've never given much thought to further preparation for jumping. Just start with only small logs & get them confidently jumping those with me before I ask them for slightly bigger.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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@tinyliny yes, that's what I mean, thank you!

And no, I doubt anyone wants to jump him bareback LOL. I just wrestled the XXW gullet into the last saddle, and man it's wide. I hope it fits!

@loosie how do you get them to *jump* over small logs vs just trot or even canter over them? Just make them higher?

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 08:21 PM
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^Yeah, high enough that they have to actually jump it. But I'm no jumping expert, by any stretch of the imagination, & I came here with that exact question when we got Darcy's gelding who just liked to run over things. Had to go to about 1.5' before he actually jumped. So after getting him to jump without a rider, they started jumping ridden at about that height. Now he's practiced at that, he usually jumps smaller too, rather than just running over them. Perhaps jumping is easier for him but he just didn't get how to do it... I'd never had that issue before with a horse, they have just naturally jumped anything bigger than about 1'. I've trained many horses, but not more than 'bush jumping' & not had lessons in any formal methods. I did also have a minor issue with my current mare trying to step over(& getting confused & stuck) rather than jump some bigger stuff... but that was because I'd underestimated the size & that I'd never given much thought or had probs with other(inc smaller) horses going over that height(unridden). So IOW that was because I'd assumed & 'overfaced' her - should have known better, duh, she just needed to build up to it more gradually.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-25-2020, 10:33 PM
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IMO, they should be able to carry their own rhythm before go jumping undersaddle. By that, I mean they have a steady pace and are reasonable balanced on their own. You can help them get there, but once they are going nice, you can test them by inside rein or both reins. They don't have to hold it long, but they shouldn't immediately change speeds, lean, throw their head, ect. Like 4-5 strides.


Chute jumping over grids/pole grids is a good exercise for them to figure things out on their own.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-26-2020, 06:21 AM
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I'd also suggest trotting over poles. You can even set some up in a circle and lunge over them. Mostly, I'd probably want the horse to increase his fitness levels and let the trainer do their thing. But if he is not fit, it will be a lot harder. So work him 4-5 days a week for 30 minutes or more maybe, if you can.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-26-2020, 06:35 AM
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Your horse needs to learn to work with a cadence...speed and set length of gait.

And you need to learn his stride length so you can present to him challenges of easy and get progressively harder so he learns to shorten/lengthen that stride and how to push not pull himself forward in motion as push-off is needed to clean fences of any height well and with fluid motion.
Some gridwork to use as a example of what kind of things you can do to prepare...you also don't need to make "jumps" but a raised rail of a few inches will also teach the horse to pick up their feet and watch truly where they place them.

...
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-26-2020, 07:29 AM
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What hlg posted along with the other things mentioned. Perhaps getting him to lift his feet and work those muscles would help with his leads too.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-26-2020, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks these are all great!

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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