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  1. #1

    Default How do i make my pony more careful

    I have a rather green little pony, who I'm sure because of his little experience could be some of the reason, but he tends to knock poles a lot! I do grids, v poles, put different fillers and use wooden poles. He also has only just started knocking them a lot, whether they are high or low! Any tips on what i can do??

  2. #2
    Veteran
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    Jul 2013
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    Cornwall
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    1,118

    Default Re: How do i make my pony more careful

    Invest in an instructor...she will be able to see what is happening from the ground

  3. #3
    Schoolmaster
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    894

    Default Re: How do i make my pony more careful

    With a green, inexperienced horse i like to keep things as easy as possible for them so they build up confidence. Easy fences with a good ground line on the side your jumping from and make sure they are properly strided out and you as the rider are placing him correctly. Trappy fences will erode confidence.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2008
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    4,385

    Default Re: How do i make my pony more careful

    Echo both - a good instructor is a must. But also make this simple. Green horses don't want to knock poles. They don't yet know that knocking a pole isn't that bad. We teach them that knocking poles has no adverse consequences - either by booting them so they don't feel the impact or by overfacing them so they knock - or a combination of both.

    Take it right down to poles on the floor and very small jumps. Have a good ground line - no gappy fences. Set them up so he can succeed and gain confidence from it. If you boot to jump take them off - unless he brushes or similar and needs them for that.

    Please note - I am not saying that there should be an adverse consequence for knocking a pole. Don't use over weight poles, angular poles or any of the other things available which I won't list. That doesn't teach a horse to be careful - it teaches them to hate jumping.

  5. #5
    Foal
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    Apr 2017
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    Dorset
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    17

    Default Re: How do i make my pony more careful

    Quote Originally Posted by jess.hewlett View Post
    I have a rather green little pony, who I'm sure because of his little experience could be some of the reason, but he tends to knock poles a lot! I do grids, v poles, put different fillers and use wooden poles. He also has only just started knocking them a lot, whether they are high or low! Any tips on what i can do??
    I would make sure you are rewarding him for not knocking them! If the objective is to jump over the jump without knocking it over and he does that, then you make him jump it again, how does he know he was right to not knock it over? And if there is no difference when he keeps the jump up to when he knocks it over, then he isn't going to put more effort into keeping the jump up as there is no need to!

    I would do some jumps on the ground on a lunge line, when he keeps the jump up bring him over to you in the middle of the circle and give him a treat/scratch etc. If he knocks it then don't ask him in, carry on on the circle and ask him to jump it again (would help to have a friend putting the jumps back up with this!).

    When you are riding I would just do one jump or one grid at the end. Do the grid until he keeps them all up, then quit. If he keeps them up the first time then great! If it's the 5th time then that's ok too. Just make sure you quit when he does what you want (keeping the jumps up)

    Obviously this is just while he is learning - once he has established that the objective is to keep the jumps up then you can start doing more and you don't need to quit every time he does it right. But to start with you need to help him understand that the objective is to not knock the jumps over and reward him when he does this so he has incentive!

    Update us on how it goes!

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