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Re: RC: Jumping out of the arena

Lynette Helgeson wrote:
> I approach logs and trees at a trot. It seems easier for my horse and
> me. 

It is easier for them, as long as they stay under 2'.  After that, they
need to coordinate their rear feet for the take off.  That seems to be
harder for them at the trot than at the canter, but they can learn to do

Have some fun - make some cavallettis like X----X  Depending on which
way the sit, mine can be flat, medium (~6") or high (~ 14").  Lay them
out so that each one is a different height, spaced appropriately for the
horse's stride.  Just <watch> the expression on the horse's face as he
HAS to pay attention.  Samm's biggest problem was that he'd get bored
with jumping or cavallettis and do stupid things like chipping in on the
jump, stumbling over the cavallettis, dangling his front legs, etc.

The BEST trick we ever pulled on him was with a single jump.  We had
been going over it from both directions at 2'9", just schooling.  As I
rode down the field after one jump, my husband put the pole up to 4'
when Samm couldn't see.  On the way back to that jump, you could tell
when Samm finally recognized that he was going to have to stretch
himself after all!  I didn't think he was going to catch it and was
ready for a crash.  (Of course, my husband is yelling "DRIVE - don't
stop driving him!  DON'T chicken out!"  Easy for him to say.)

On the trail, I only allow my horses to jump if I can see the footing on
the other side.  I don't want to land in a bog, a rock field, or impale
us on a tree branch.  I've found that some "optional" jumping of
obstacles perks us both up and speeds things along.  The last thing I
want to do is be part of the congo line winding thru the woods to avoid
a tree when I can get over it safely.  (Not to mention that most areas
where we ride (Nat'l Parks, State & Nat'l Forests) really frown on
traveling off of established trails.)

Linda Flemmer

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