View Full Version : Jumping Oxers - are square ones more difficult?
17th Jun 2004, 09:16 AM
Did some more grid work last night without placing poles. Started off with 3 x poles then 1 cross 1 upright and 1 oxer which was 2 holes lower at the front (all 1 stride distance). All these went fine but then I turned the oxer into a square one and suddenly he starts napping at the start of the grid and rushing so I put a placing pole down at the beginning of the grid and jumped it again which was better but you could tell he still wasnt happy with it. BTW - the oxer was 2ft 9. When I lowered the front bar again he went back to being happy.
Why was that then and should I have persisted with the square one or did I do the right thing by letting him go back to his comfort zone?
I then went to cross oxer vertical (not square) which was also fine and finished by taking the last vertical up as a couple. Didnt realise it until I came to put them away but I'd put it up to 1 meter! Hey my first ever meter jump!
All in all another good session just not sure if I did the right thing with the square oxer.
17th Jun 2004, 10:11 AM
square oxers are harder because the horse can't see as well how wide it is - if front and back poles are the same height it's very different from their point of view to look at.
since he'd been doing it before as a normal oxer, i imagine he thought 'oh hell, is it still wide? is it now a vertical? help!' and being anxious about it was putting him off the rest of the grid.
17th Jun 2004, 10:19 AM
cheers Es I thought there must have been a reason why he suddenly took a dislike to the whole lot. At one point I was just stood in the middle of the arean looking at it trying to work out what was going wrong.
Did I do the right thing by putting it back tho? Do you get square oxers in local shows?
17th Jun 2004, 10:50 AM
well, it's what i would have done! i doubt you'd find a square oxer at local shows - although i could be wrong, as i haven't done any competitive jumping for donkeys' years. they're a pretty technical fence.
17th Jun 2004, 11:29 AM
At local level square oxers are less common - although at pony club or riding club organised shows you would usually see one albeit not full height in a course.
In my tiny affiliated SJ experience, BSJA you see more, but at British Novice level, they are less common.
Eventing, they are obsessed. The course seems to be mainly square oxers, with two uprights and one ascending :eek:
I think Es is right, with the harder for the horse to judge comment. Could you start with a small ascending spread, and gradually move the front pole up until it is almost square and see how he copes with the gradual change?
Anyway, sounds like grids are still going well :D
17th Jun 2004, 11:47 AM
When I did the ascending spread I had the first pole 2 holes lower than the back pole and he coped fine with this but when I put them both at the same height he couldnt cope. Whilst he cleared it every time he had to put in an elaborate jump and obviously needing to do this made him more nervous. I've tried looking back over my jumping photos to see what oxers have been in previous competitions and its hard to tell but i think they've been just 1 hole down at the front.
I think we'll continue with ascending for now.;)
It was really interesting to see the different way each type of jump actually jumped. With the oxers he seemed to be jumping close and high but having read the book again that is correct - apparently they need to jump higher in order to clear both poles and its not that he is coming in closer just that its higher than the previous vertical. Its given me the assurance that this type of jumping is normal and acceptable. Whenever he's done it before I've through 'oh god what was that' and its thrown my confidence somewhat.
17th Jun 2004, 11:56 AM
Yes, with the square oxers they do tend to jump much higher.. Ferdie certainly seemed to jump me out of the saddle when I first started doing them. I think someone told me that they are meant to be good for encouraging sharp leg action when jumping, but I'm not sure..
17th Jun 2004, 12:05 PM
Yes I think they do. Ascending ones encourage them to snap the front legs up and descending ones encourage them to snap their back legs up. Speaking of which - how easy are descending ones to ride? I'd have thought that it would be difficult for the horse to judge the spread even more than a square one?
17th Jun 2004, 12:47 PM
yes - descending oxers are very hard to ride properly and i think they're a bit of a mean trick to play on a horse. personally, i think there are less risky ways of teaching a horse to snap the legs up - bounce grids, steep cross poles come to mind. if a horse misjudges the width of a square or descending oxer they can really get tangled up in the poles and do a lot of damage to legs and confidence.
17th Jun 2004, 12:59 PM
Oooh Es!! I'm glad I asked that I could have got into a right pickle!! Think you have just helped avoid a potentially dangerous situation, thank you!
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