Horse people - advice?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Dogs6, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    I'm doing my first 2 phase (show jumping and cross country) next week. Ive show jumped the horse before always at 90cm to 1m and I've jumped him higher at home. I've never tried cross country before but the horse is a hunter and has been hunted before. So without even thinking about it I put him in the 90cm to 1m. Last night I wa talking to some people that are doing it as well who seemed shocked that I was jumping that height and basically told me I should be jumping 70-80cm instead. Since theyre (much) older and more experienced I was planning on calling tomorrow and having myself moved into the other class. Then the owner of the horse texted me and the basics of that conversation was don't bother listening to them listen to yourself and your horse. I was feeling confident that I could do it before them talking to me. I'm sure the horse could do it without an issue but we've never had a clear round showjumping. He knows when the jumps are solid and when they're not and isn't afraid to destroy show jumps. I AM going to be taking him to a friends arena sometime this week and jumping him there and I have a jumping lesson with Eric Pele the night before the 2 phase (on another horse though).

    Help? Tips? Advice?
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Trust yourself and trust your horse. :)
     
  3. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    I would think that a horse who has hunted would have no problems with a cross country course, regardless of whether it's 70-80cm or 90c to 1m. If you've been jumping the higher height at home with no problems (balking, running out), I don't think you'll have a problem (as long as you don't dither about it and make your horse nervous). My old Morgan always did better on the cross country course; he would jump anything from 76cm up to 1m. He never liked the show jumps, though, no matter what the height. They were too bright for his taste. Lol!

    You'll get to walk the cross country course before you ride it, won't you?
     
  4. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    You know your horse better than the people giving you the advice, as well as your abilities. If you can do it, and you know your horse can do it, go for it! :)

    ETA: You might also want to try jumping him over things like flower boxes and such so that he's used to jumping over random things, if you haven't already. That's been part of my horse's training lately as he's still relatively new to jumping (6 years old) and it's going to be a huge help when we start showing hunters this year.
     
  5. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    I trust Captain. Myself not so much.

    Oh he can and will run out if thinks he can get away with it. He's really improved my riding because I have to be quite firm with him. Now he understands I won't let him get away with it we're doing brilliantly. I have a few gorse bushes I can practise over and I spent about a week forcing him to jump one of them because he kept jumping out to the side where it was lower. Yesterday he did it perfectly every time.

    Show jumping poles don't hurt Captain enough is the problem. I LOVE the brightly coloured ones with weird fillers because it makes him stand off and he **** well makes sure he clears it. Apparently he jumps better the higher the jumps go so we'll see how heigh my confidence can go this summer lol.

    I'll definitely be walking the course!! The problem is because it's a pre entry thing I'm worried about not being able to change classes if I leave it until the day of the show.



    Unfortunately that's not true. His owner has owned him for 4-5 years and has jumped him herself and one of the people giving me advice has jumped him before as well. Both of the people that gave me the advice are also jumping the lower height.

    I would be jumping him over random things if I could. I don't have any proper jumps available to me. I jump him over gorse bushes and that's it. I'm trying to get a loan of my friends arena to jump him in but even then the jumps will be quite plain.

    I should probably throw this in as well but he's only an 8 year old ( 9 soon) and he only recently came back into proper work on the 25th of June after a 2 month break where he was only ridden at weekends.
     
  6. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    Some horses don't have any respect for low jumps, and it sounds like Captain is one of them. I would go with your initial plan (higher jumps) and don't let those other folks scare you off. If he's doing well for you, it doesn't matter what he did for the other person - not all horses get along with all riders. (My first horse actually resented other people trying to ride him and would scare the daylights out of them. A friend just rode him at a walk for five minutes - with me riding her horse alongside - before getting off and said she felt she was sitting on a volcano getting ready to blow.)

    You can dress up plain jumps with brightly colored tablecloths (the cheap plastic kind) draped over the poles, balloons, kids' playballs, flowerpots, etc. Or maybe hang plastic water buckets from the poles.

    I always wanted to get those stupid little wind-up monkeys that crashed cymbals together and line them up on a jump, just to see if Rocket would freak out, but I never did... sigh. That could have been fun.
     
  7. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I am going to sing to a different tune and say go for the lower course. If you do not have much cross country experience and your horse has a history of knocking down fences i personally would not risk it. Cross country courses are not the most forgiving and i wouldn't want to rattle my confidence or a horse's. I'd always do something somewhat smaller than what I school at home.

    But that's just me. You can always just go with it, walk the course, get going over it and if all else fails you can always stop and tap out if the course is not going well. There is no shame in calling it quits if truly needed. If not rock the socks off it. Cross country was always my favorite event.
     
  8. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I'll admit, I'm with Paige. Train a level above what you are competing, especially with a newer horse.

    My other concern is that the horse probably isn't as fit as ideal, if he's only been back in work for a month. Taking it a little easy is probably not bad for him either.

    I'd say go for the lower level, and if it all goes well, you and the horse had a great experience and you move up next time. I'd rather see that than put the horse in a situation where he may not be successful.
     
  9. joce

    joce Active Member

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    I have ridden for years and only ever accidentally jumped(no no walk over it!) so no advice! Just want to say good luck!
     
  10. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Go lower. You can always go higher in your next one if you have no issues. Also has it been a while since he hunted?

    When he hunted was he a first field horse? Hunting is very different from going cross (having done both myself) cross asks different questions of the horse. Its not just the height to worry about, but the difficulty of the questions is much higher.. the jumps at that level are not only bigger and wider but they are often designed to 'fool' the horse. The lower jumps will be easier all round.

    For your, and your horse's safety I would go lower and see how it goes.
     
  11. Maliraptor

    Maliraptor Bite me.

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    My thought would be to pick what is most likely to make the horse feel good and successful. Yourself as well.

    My other concern was already voiced, and that is the condition of the horse. It might be better to go smaller while you're getting him back in shape, before asking for larger jumps.
     
  12. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    I'm in the "go lower" group.
     
  13. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    Thanks everyone. I think what I'm going to do is call the organiser and have a chat with her. She would know if the course would be too difficult for us but what I am most likely to do is jump the lower class and then once I know what the course is like next time I'll go back and jump the higher fences.

    That's it exactly. He's a lazy horse who tries to avoid work and won't jump properly unless the fences demand his respect.

    My boss was telling me the other day how ,when she was eventing, there was a picnic table jump with a table cloth. she went to jump it and in the last second a gust of wind blew up and apparently there's a picture of her horse clearing the table cloth by a good foot!!

    I'd LOVE to do something like that with Captain. I'm almost certain he would jump it and I don't think he'd be trailing his feet through those.

    See I was told that he doesn't care about show jumps but that he is a beast doing cross country. Although I am definitely lacking in experience given that the last time I competed cross country was on a 13:2hh pony 6 years ago.


    I think that's what I'll probably end up doing. I'm so used to us not training at home and only actually jumping at shows that I tend to forget he needs to get accustomed to it. We have 2 jumping lessons soon as well.

    Thank you!

    AKAIK he wasn't hunted last sea on but he was the season before. Since it was him with his owner riding him I would say that he was lol. Thank you for putting it in perspective for me. My boss said there shouldn't be any real challenges for us but I think she forgets that I've only been riding him since January and only seriously riding him for 2. Plus before him I hadn't ridden in 5 years.


    We already are doing quite large jumps (the only jumps I have access to are 2 quite large gorse bushes in a nearby field) but I agree that that is a lot different from taking him onto a cross country course.
     

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