Have a young or fresh horse your need to get going over fences? This videos focuses on exercises to get your spooky or green horse jumping. Whether your horse is green or is fresh and just hasn’t jumped in a while, Dom and Jimmie Schramm of Evention TV show us how to build our horse’s confidence and get them jumping.
Three Steps to Getting a Green Horse Jumping Nice and Relaxed
Dom advises practicing outside the confines of the arena. This allows the horse to get used to the show jumper setting where most courses are outside. So it’s good to let the horse deal with it now, and get accustomed to wide open spaces.
Step 1: To begin, Dom has dismantled the jump and has spread out the 6 poles about 3-4 feet apart. These trot poles help the horse think about where he’s putting his feet. The poles help pull the horse forward and through the jump, without cause for excitement or becoming nervous. This can be repeated until the horse is relaxed and settled down.
Step 2: Once the horse is going through the dismantled jump with confidence, Dom sets the jump at a low height using cross poles, at the end of the trot poles. Use the last two rails to create the jump, leaving about 7-8 feet between the last trot pole and the jump, and space out the remaining poles accordingly.
Now the horse is familiar with the poles and the location, and the trot poles are still there to encourage him through to the jump. Continue to work the horse through this combination of trot poles and low jump until the horse figures it all out and becomes relaxed and more confident with taking the jump. Then it is time to move on to the third step of jumping the green horse.
Step 3: Using the same 6 poles, and Dom has created a low vertical jump, with a landing pole and a take-off pole between 9-10 feet away from the base of the jump (about 3 human footsteps.) Put the remaining poles to the side, creating a little chute. This is a step up from the cross poles leading into the cross jump in step two. What we want now is to trot the horse in, and soon the horse will want to pick up the canter. By taking your time with the first two steps, getting a green horse jumping the vertical at the canter should be fairly straightforward.
This is just one way you can work with green and spooky horses to overcome nervousness or freshness, and become a relaxed and more confident jumper.