No confidence over jumps?

Thefatcob

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Nov 30, 2020
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Last winter my cob and I had a scare over a jump. We was cantering towards the jump and he coughed 3 strides out, I tired to pull him up because I knew was wasn’t going to make him but he just went for it. Obviously he didn’t see the jump till very last minute because of the cough. He flung himself at the jump, he landed on his knees, and I was flung off his back. I have a bad habit of dropping the reins when the horse is falling so I don’t pull on their mouths and obviously I let go of my reins and just hoped he would be okay.
After that we just called in quits, I walked him off, rang the vets and he was seen the next day. Thankfully he wasn’t injured but he did have a chest infection that none of us knew about. He was kept off work for 6 weeks and we didn’t try to jump again till summer. We can do ground poles perfectly fine. We can even manage a 4-6 inch straight. But anything higher? Can’t get over. I think it’s mainly my confidence holding him back but then I can also feel him backing off jumps as they get bigger like he’s afraid. We ended up stopping jumping again and just doing pole work with jump wings.

I can jump other horses without an issue! But other people have gotten on my cob and they can’t even get him over a pole on the ground. Is there chance he’ll get over this or is it just something we have to say “It’s time to quit.” I am okay with him not jumping, it just adds a bit of variety to his work load. So not doing it won’t bother me in the slightest.

Last summer we was flying over courses of 80-90cm and he was loving it. I’d like to get him to enjoying it if I can! How do I get my confidence back on him? And maybe even get his back?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Have you tried lunging him over the poles and slowly building up to small jumps. Have you tried free jumping him. I would start with the ground work and check that he is able to jump them without you on his back.
 
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domane

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Jul 31, 2005
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^ yup, that's what I'd suggest too ^

Leading him over, running and jumping alongside him?
 

Thefatcob

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Nov 30, 2020
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^ yup, that's what I'd suggest too ^

Leading him over, running and jumping alongside him?

I can personally get him over ground poles, I can lunge him and free jump him over but he does get hesitate at a certain height. I’ve just kept it low on the lunge now, to a height he is comfortable with. He won’t jump over them if I am leading but he never has done. It’s sort of a “why would should I?” it’s extremely hard to get him to go past a very lazy trot when leading.

He can 100% make it over them, he has popped 1M free jumping, jumping the field fence multiple times since the fall. He has also jumped when another horse bolted in the school and he gave chase, said horse went for a jump and he just followed. So he is capable of jumping a lot higher than I ever will have the guts to go!
 

chunky monkey

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In that case i would keep playing with jumping at the low heights, he is comfortable with. Only moving up a couple of centimetres. Eventually he should become relaxed enough not to notice.

The other important thing I would do is also get his back checked. My horse was refusing what i thought was silly heights to be refusing even though he was lunging over bigger.
Took him to a couple of lessons. He refused the jumps. It was embarrassing. I was jumping him at home in the field over slightly bigger. Okay the arena was new to him, so i could forgive him for that. The instructor said hes taking the micky.
Next lesson different instructor, he did the same. We lowered the jumps he sometimes went sometimes not. They said you need to be more positive and strict with him.
Somebody came up to us after the lesson who had been watching us and knew me and said theres got to be something wrong with your horse. He was running out always the same way. Well it wasnt strictly true. And i do think that i myself when i lost confidence because of him refusing always favoured pulling him out to the left, i still do years later on my other horse. However they were right there was something wrong. My horse was in pain with his back.
It took sometime before it was confirmed properly. I had three people who'd checked him over the years, who said he was a little tight. Little manipulation and he could return to work. Not one identified that there were more major things going on. Like he infact probably has a kissing spine.
 

Thefatcob

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Nov 30, 2020
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In that case i would keep playing with jumping at the low heights, he is comfortable with. Only moving up a couple of centimetres. Eventually he should become relaxed enough not to notice.

The other important thing I would do is also get his back checked. My horse was refusing what i thought was silly heights to be refusing even though he was lunging over bigger.
Took him to a couple of lessons. He refused the jumps. It was embarrassing. I was jumping him at home in the field over slightly bigger. Okay the arena was new to him, so i could forgive him for that. The instructor said hes taking the micky.
Next lesson different instructor, he did the same. We lowered the jumps he sometimes went sometimes not. They said you need to be more positive and strict with him.
Somebody came up to us after the lesson who had been watching us and knew me and said theres got to be something wrong with your horse. He was running out always the same way. Well it wasnt strictly true. And i do think that i myself when i lost confidence because of him refusing always favoured pulling him out to the left, i still do years later on my other horse. However they were right there was something wrong. My horse was in pain with his back.
It took sometime before it was confirmed properly. I had three people who'd checked him over the years, who said he was a little tight. Little manipulation and he could return to work. Not one identified that there were more major things going on. Like he infact probably has a kissing spine.

Ive had everything checked out. He’s had a full lameness test, back has been x rayed, and everything. I ruled out pain first before we started jumping again.

He doesn’t necessarily run out. He’s more of a, slam the breaks on kinda pony. He has run out but it’s rare and it’s never the same way, it’s just whatever way he think he can!
 

AmirPelavin01

Uphere Amirr
Oct 28, 2020
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Yeah, what they said. I mean, you should've started taking it slow in the first place. Oh well. Since the horse is possibly afraid now, might want to start leading him by rein before the bridle.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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If he’s ok with you doing ground poles I’d look at doing some cavaletti work for 6-8 weeks, it’s very good at building strength and elasticity and will give him time to get more confident over raised poles, then very slowly return to jumping small grids, again to build strength and confidence before you start raising them up more.
On the flip side, if you have had him checked every which way and he’s smart and a bit lazy as you describe he may just have figured out there is a way to avoid doing too much, or he may feel he’s looking after you if you are apprehensive of jumping him, really an RI there on the ground to see what’s happening would be the best thing to help you.
 
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Thefatcob

New Member
Nov 30, 2020
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Yeah, what they said. I mean, you should've started taking it slow in the first place. Oh well. Since the horse is possibly afraid now, might want to start leading him by rein before the bridle.
We did take it slow, I didn’t just throw a jump up and say “hey let’s go over this.” We spent weeks doing pole work. We spent the entire summer building his confidence up over poles on the ground till he was going forward and confidently over them before we ended decided to pop him over something small.
If he’s ok with you doing ground poles I’d look at doing some cavaletti work for 6-8 weeks, it’s very good at building strength and elasticity and will give him time to get more confident over raised poles, then very slowly return to jumping small grids, again to build strength and confidence before you start raising them up more.
On the flip side, if you have had him checked every which way and he’s smart and a bit lazy as you describe he may just have figured out there is a way to avoid doing too much, or he may feel he’s looking after you if you are apprehensive of jumping him, really an RI there on the ground to see what’s happening would be the best thing to help you.
He’s great at ground poles now. A tad lazy at the beginning but after a bit he goes over them great. We’ve done raised poles too! And he’s good at them (not as good as the ground poles but decent enough!) I’ll definitely keep going at the raised poles and see if doing them longer helps him out! I’ll talk to my RI again. Thank you!
 
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