Monday, May 9, 2011

Your screws are loose

Since I am bringing the App to more xc schooling this weekend and not the TWH, I continued with my plan to school the TWH over jumps.  I really want to solidify the idea that refusal is never the best option and that I can test him and he just has to figure it out.  Thus, out came the jump standards and lunge line but this time I had a camera!  Apologies in advance for the pic quality, only so much one can do when I have to drive, drive, drive with the lunge whip to get him over big jumps plus manage the line plus manage the camera.  I can say the jumps in which I wasn't trying to take a picture did go better.

I set up an easy oxer, about 2 feet wide with "wings" on the inside so the lunge line will side over.  The wings make a smooth line over the standard so the line can't catch and bring fences or horses down.  Jump cups are their resting point with the poles being laid over the top of the standard itself.

I really wanted to push the TWH's limits today and see what his limits are.  I want to start jumping under saddle again and need to know where the gaps are over bigger fences. So instead of progressing slowly like normal with a crossrail I immediately put him over a 2' vertical and then oxer and we had no issues.

Easy peasy
I bumped it up to 2'6" and again we had no issues jumping though we started to have "other" issues.  Like the inability to "whoa" or "walk"?  We took a small break and worked on those issues and when I thought we were okay I started again.  Looking back I now realize "the package was breaking" at this point.

Two six is easy too.  Baby stuff!
3 foot came much easier than I expected, there wasn't any refusal or hard looking, he just jumped it like I had hoped and I was quite happy!

Burning calories here, 3' means we gotta really push. Notice lunge whip lash on left
Three foot isn't too bad anymore.

Hind feet can clear jumps!  They are about 3' 9" high here
At this point, however, I started to notice the package of screws really wasn't right.  The ability to calmly walk was suffering and if I picked up the lunge line he would immediately start trotting instead of waiting for a cue to move.  After some pretty firm convincing, the TWH remembered he could listen on a lunge...sometimes.  I really needed to finish the exercise however so I bumped the jump straight up to 3'6" and waited to see what happened.
Notice how high the hind feet are, over a foot above the jump standard,
front feet brought the poles down
The front feet are again bringing a rail down
 Yeah, that is what happened.  He clips the jumps with his front feet, almost never his back, and brings it down. The second time being presented to the jump he did refuse, he slowed down to a halt in front of it.  Not skidding, just a trot/pace then a walk and a stop.  Needless to say he got chased over the jump and that was again the only time there was a refusal.  We then started getting real jumps


Need to tuck just a little more and jump a little further back. Notice how vertical
he/his back is b/c he is jumping so close to the fence.
Nicely done

At this point his brain was pretty frazzled and he was pretty bug-eyed.  He couldn't listen or concentrate so I put the jump back down to 3', put him over it until it was clean 2x and then did some light groundwork to mend is broken mind.  Poor guy had his screws all over the place and not in that nice little package of a brain.  I am going to do a lunge line session with him tomorrow to reestablish the basics and hopefully unfrazzle his brain.

Overall I am happy with his progress and am very happy with some of his efforts.  He has learned he has to jump things even if he knows he will bring them down.  He has learned how to jump big things.  I will now bump him back down and work on some stretching over fences and getting him to jump them correctly, he really likes to put himself really deep/close to the jump which will be bad for me as a rider.  On the plus side, however, now hopefully he won't refuse just because he sees a jump and it is big.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if his habit of jumping too close is what led to the refusals. Have you ever used a ground pole with him to have him take off earlier? That's about the extent of my jumping knowledge so the only suggestion I have but good luck putting all the screws back in his brain lol! Oh and I love all of the pictures. :)