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Terrified of jumping

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:41 pm    Post subject: Terrified of jumping Reply with quote

Coco, my 9 yr. old mare is frightened by jumping.She won't even pass ground poles.As soon as she's in the jump ring, she gets nervous, puls on the bit, and usually goes to the bathroom, I'm guessing because of her nerves.When i first enter the ring, she stops or turns around, and i've managed to correct that with a whip in my hand.She also I've tried to do it calmly, and slowly, which has worked, until I started to really jump her, no more than 18 inches. Now, after 3 weeks of no jumping, she refuses to pass groundpoles. I don't know if its my fault or not, considering she was like that when i first got her. But even when she was jumping, she refused about 2 out of 5 jumps.Help me!
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Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 113
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be entirely honest with you, I do not think that you should ask this horse to jump. Since I don't know her history, I can't make any guesses as to why she is this way, but she clearly is very anxious and unhappy with jumping.

If you are dead set on jumping this horse, then I strongly recommend that you find a trainer/instructor in your area to work with you. Someone with both training and instructional abilities will be able to help both you and the horse. I do not think that it will be an easy fix, however; it will take a lot of time and patience.

If you just want to jump, then I suggest that you sell Coco and find a horse who appreciates jumping.

If you would like another opinion, I recommend posting your question here: http://www.newrider.com/forum/index.php
There are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people there.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:04 pm    Post subject: reply Reply with quote

I have no idea what's happened previously with her jumping, and I think she might have been beat over jumps tooooo high and tooo fast, although her previous owners didn't seem like those kind of people, and, knowing them well, i have never seen them jump her.
Someone was working with me and she seemed okay.Coco jumped little jumps, and was fine with it. I did the same, and coco was seemed happy.But now after about a month or so of not jumping her, she just won't go. The truth is, I think I was to quick to jump her.
thanks again for the advice
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My horse had the same problem.When I got her, she wouldn't move, and wouldn't pass the groundpoles either.
First of all, you need someone to work with you, even if its only once a week. Be aware that you might be the most experienced in the world, someone on the ground and talking with confidence will make your horse feel confident(instead of scared) and maybe even you too.
Then, check that your mare is not in heat. That could be the reason of her stopping. Wink
Also, you need to decide what you want to do with her. If what you want is show-jumping, that I suggest you sell her, like galadriel said, because the truth is, she probably wouldn't do very well because of her fears, and since jumps would be new, ....
Alright, if you'd like to jump once in a while, and for fun, I can help you.
To build confidence in both you and your horse, mostly your horse, work with someone over groundpoles the first week or however long it takes to get her (and you) confident . You can do lunging if you,d like(over groundpoles), but I prefer mounted, I think you have more control.
Circle around the ring a few times, at the walk, so she gets used to it and until she is confident, and then start off at a trot over groundpoles. Sit tall and SQUEEZE!!!
I don't recommending using a crop, because it is likely with it you will lose all the confidence build.
She will probably jump the first one but that's fine. BIG PAT!!!
Let her go over the same groundpole, the same direction, and the same way.Once you feel she is relaxed, hold her back a little to get her to just trot over it.KEEP SQUEEZING!!!
This might be enough for your horse in one day, so let her be done with a big, BIG PAT, and lots of carrots.
Next time, if you feel your horse is ready do the same thing and add another groundpole. Keep adding( until about 4) every time you think she is ready. DO NOT ADD ALL OF THEM IN ONE DAY, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOUR HORSE IS READY. YOU WILL LOOSE EVRYTHING YOU'VE ACCOMPLISHED!!!.
Let me also remind you that she might be ready, but even so you don't want to rush her.
Next "session"(next time she is ready and you and your instructor feel its ok) add a grounpole by a standard jump. Here is where it gets harder, since she will think it to be a jump.
If there is anything to put you in danger, like rearing, stop for the day, and come back to it later. Don't let get the bad habit of rearing though.
Just pass over it as if it were a grondpole, and do the exact same thing: hold back, bla bla bla...
Next session, raise it to about 10 in. keep doing that for a long time, and nex session, slowly begin to raise it on one side. From then one it's all up to you how much to do, how much to raise it, ...
remember not to rush, and I really suggest you do this. Set up a mini course of about 3 groundpoles(in the same direction as she's past them before and the same ones too)with a little jump at the end. REMEMBER NOT TO OVER DO IT, LET'S SAY NO MORE THEN 7 COURSES IN ONE DAY.
Now when can you raise the jump?
I suggset when she simply trots over it( if she can) or when she doesn't rush it...
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Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 113
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imcd2004, I have an article on this site about teaching horses to jump:

My method is similar to the way you describe, but I do recommend teaching a green horse to jump on the lunge first. A green horse can learn to balance better without a rider. Once the horse is somewhat confident about jumping, then I recommend adding a rider.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considert that jumping might hurt her legs or her back? If that is it, no wonder she is afraid of it.

And did you try Caveletty work? That would help her to get used to the movements. That would also stretch and build the massels that are required for her to jump.

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Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Horn Lake, Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah here is an interesting post in which i would love to reply to. This reminds me of an arabian that was shipped to me about 1 year ago(infact just shipped him back since i am finished will his training). This arabian came to me a broken horse. And what i mean by broken is.. Beaten, forced, and Dominated. You will often here people talk about being "Dominent" yes in time it is definately needed but in this horses case it was drummed into his mind until he was so scared of humans. In your horses case it seems as if it has been forced to many times somewhere within its lifespan. Obviously with jumping or within an arena with obsticles. A horse does have a small photographic reputitious memory and unfortunately horses can store scary/trauma things alot faster than normal training. Sad but true. Its sounds as if your horse is recognizing the arena, and rememembering the trauma. Together it becomes nervous and fear builds within it. Try doing something different and see if this helps at all. The arabian i was telling you about definately had a serious trailering problem among his other problems. When this arabian saw a trailer he broke out in a sweat and shook all over. I began sitting outside the barn with him letting him graze with the trailer in his site far away that he was comfortable. Day by day.. week by week.. he finally would walk up to the trailer comfortably and relaxed. Then the really hard work began. I opened the door and he looked inside.. he froze, bug eyed and shaking. I talked to him and patted his shoulder. and then his back. He had become used to my voice and quickly settled down. I then stepped inside the trailer and stood there. He sniffed and checked out the trailer etc.. I dont often use feed in training but in this case it was the big roll to solving his problem in this matter- but it may not work with other horses, every horse is different!. Once he was comfortable i fetched his feed ration and walked up to the back of the trailer. I placed the feed halfway inside the trailer... and yes that little gluton of the horse looked at me and knew what to do. hehe! Anyways he progressed into stepping in the trailer. I fed him in there for a few days and then slowly cut back the food till nothing was in there when he went in. Then i would reward him with a healthy apple treat then verbally tell him how good of a boy he was. Neadless to say his fears are gone but the important thing is to relate something scarey to something a horse KNOWS his good. Feed definately isnt the key to everything, its PATIENCE! Sometimes i would have to sit there an hour before he would put one foot in that horsetrailer.
So what im suggesting to you is lead your horse around in that arena.. give it a treat or two.. possibly carry its food ration and feed it out there while you stand and hold it on a halter. Just make every experiance postive when you go into your training ring. Then sometimes after your done riding and need to cool your horse. Walk it in the ring, let it check everything out. I sometimes sit in a chair in the middle of the ring and just caress my horses. Just to make that ring fell like a comfort zone. Try some of these things and see if it helps at all. Thanks for reading!
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Horn Lake, Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also i forgot to add one thing. If this does help i would suggest laying some poles on the ground and walking over them with your horse. Then rewarding it with either a treat, pat, or verbally. Dont spoil it just reward it differently everytime. This way the jumps dont become so much as the scare boogieman. Thanks again for reading.
Hope this helps!
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