Training to jump - My horse spooks at fillers?
Horses are individuals, with different personalities and
attitudes; therefore, they react differently when training to jump.
Horse show jumping
Make sure the horse is jumping pole fences confidently, before you introduce fillers.
For some young horses, this can seem scary, while others will just take it in their stride.
It does not matter if you do not have any fillers, be creative and use what you have.
Roadside cones make great fillers and tyres too.
Horse rugs, coats and blankets, in all different colours, can be draped over an under pole.
Use a blue blanket, for a water tray.
Hay or straw bales and forty-gallon drums al have a purposed.
Use your imagination, and you will be surprised at how many different fillers you can jump train at home.
The more you practice, the more confident the horse will become.
When the horse is happy to jump any fence you point him at, it is time to venture to a show.
Going to a competition, for the first time can be scary for most horses.
Many horses will spook at the fences, when you enter the ring. Allow the horse time to have a good look, before you start.
The more times you compete, the quicker the horse will learn. Sometimes, it is a good idea to hire the arena the day after a competition.
This will enable you, to take your time and get the horse jumping confidently over all the fillers.
It is quite difficult, to negotiate a course of fences, when you are riding a horse that spooks, as the rider is unable to keep a rhythm.
A horse that spooks on approach to a fence, can sometimes rush after it.
The rider will need to be prepared in case the horse jumps big. If you are left behind, make sure you slip the reins.
If you need to balance, either grab hold of the neck strap, or a clump of mane.
The last thing you want is to “sock” the horse in the mouth, going over the fence.
If the horse is just learning to jump, keep him to small fences.
That way, he should be able to jump it, despite the lack of rhythm and impulsion on approach.
The only way to improve is to compete regularly.
The more shows you take him to, the more his confidence will grow.
You must always remain consistent and confident, every time you approach a fence.
If you have even a small amount of fear or doubt, I promise you, the horse will pick up on it and react accordingly.
You must instil confidence at all times, so the horse will trust you.
I know quite a few riders, who have problems jumping fences with fillers (and it is not, just children).
They walk the course and say, “Oh, I don’t like that fence.” You can guarantee that when the horse and rider approach the fence, it will stop.
If the rider is half hearted, the horse will instantly be aware of this, and not feel safe, ending with the horse refusing.
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