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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My horse Rusty likes to jump most of the time. Sometimes, though, he gets lazy and then refuses to jump. He will run out at the last minute, sometimes even after his feet have left the ground (how I fell off last Thursday). My instructor thinks he's just playing games, and it's kind of frustrating. When he gets this way, he also won't respond to leg pressure and will refuse to move at times unless I use a crop on him. Also, when we turn corners, he has a tendency to bulge out. Any ideas on this?
 

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Keep in mind that this happens to every jumper at some point. Each time he refuses, it makes you anticipate a refusal more and more. Without realizing it, you change your seat and the horse is slightly aware that you dont think he will - and then he doesn't jump! It's an ugly cycle, I know! The way I look at it is, you cant be afraid to fall of, since it is very possible to get flung. Then, you have to put yourself in the state of mind that he WILL jump, and he will because you will cue him and TELL him to. It doesnt sound like there is a pain issue here, hes probably just getting away with what he can. You must get your mind right before approach. Have a good attitude and don't consider a refusal. Just push push push with confidence and a strong seat (that will help incase he does a sliding stop as well!). Also, be relentless. Don't end on a bad note unless you have to, and just keep trying until he realizes that you mean business. It would be far better to be left behind because you were too focused on getting him to jump, than to let him get away with this consistently. Once he is jumping consistently, then you can worry about your jumping ettiquette. Good luck. I have been there many times and fully understand your frusteration!! He buldges out how? He may just be stiff and doesnt want to bend, if he is bulging the way I am picturing. Stretching before riding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When we turn, he tends to come in with him front legs but not his hind. He was fairly hard to turn into a jump, but now he's getting a lot better. He seems to be lazier if I don't carry a crop. If I carry one, he jumps a lot better and doesn't try to break into a trot in tight corners. The games go away. When I trailer him, he won't get on a trailer unless someone is behind him with a lunge whip. As far as I can tell, he's not scared in any of these situations. He trailered just fine over the winter. As soon as spring got here, he began to get fussy about trailering, and he got a lot more excitable in lessons, like trying to race to the jumps and tossing his head when I asked him to slow down. He goes to lessons once a week and I try to ride at least two other times a week, whenever I can when I'm not working and it's nice outdoors since I don't have an indoor.
 

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Also, when we turn corners, he has a tendency to bulge out. Any ideas on this?
I can only help you with this part. He's either ignoring your outside aids or you are not using them enough or effectively. When you are first walking around the ring before your warmup, turn him back and forth using primarily the outside rein and leg as if you were doing a rollback turn in slow motion. He will probably continue to ignore you the first few times, but eventually he will understand what you want and you will feel him turning using his hind leg as a pivot. It's a simple exercise that lets you and your horse come to terms on how much or little outside rein you actually need.

Once you're in business there, use that same aid to do a spiral in/ spiral out at the trot. Every time you make your circle a little smaller, do it with that outside rein and leg. If you can master this, you will find your turns on approach to fences will suddenly be straighter. Good luck.
 
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