Ditches -How do you introduce them?

DollyDolls

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Stan, who is fast becoming a XC machine can jump like a stag, but as he's only done SJ before he's very unsure of ditches.

I have done one out hunting, but he ballooned it & really prefers to avoid them if possible when hacking. -He gets up to the end then puts brakes on & gets all worried.

We've almost cracked banks & sunken roads, but anything with a ditch has no chance. I tried getting a lead over a trakehner, but he saw the ditch on take off & just dug his heels in.

He's very honest & loves his jumping so I dont want to beat him up to get over. Any ideas??
 

only_me

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Lunging over them if possible

Or find a really well built shallow ditch and walk him over the ditch till he is very bored
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if possible follow another horse.

And jump every ditch you come across!
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Sol

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I'm doing a hunter trials in 1 week (eep! first on new horse, 2nd ever xD) and he's not a fan of ditches... can't get to a XC course though beforehand, but there's a course built through the paddocks at the yard and there IS a ditch. Cant ride over it, but spent half an hour the other night leading him over in hand - starting with the tiny little ditch and when he was calm, move to the next one which was a bit bigger. Tried it the next day and he didn't bat an eyelid!
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Also going to make myself a 'water tray' type thing using some blue plastic & poles to get him used to just jumping something flat and weird looking if I can xD Don't know if that type of thing would help your guy seeing as he's done showjumping, might not bother so much about that?
 

connie1288

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We built a tiny coffin ditch at home, all natural ditches round here (Norfolk) are enormous. I take them to it on their own having worked them as normal before, so they are a little tired. Just trot/jog with a firm supporting leg and a hand in a neck strap, usually they say no way, i let them walk round and round and then try again, it takes time and patience and they usually go, if not i will get an older horse to keep going back and forth while i keep walking round. Once you are happily popping it in both directions you can then pop a fence either over it or either side of it!
 

SunSmile

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Take him down the field to where those huge gaping ditches are (
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) you know just up from where the Trakhener is and walk him in and out of the ditch next to the proper ditches!

And if that doesnt make any sense, just ask me tomoro!!
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DollyDolls

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There are a couple of ditches I can attempt to practise over, I will try tomorrow with the view that "we have all night" to walk over.
He has no fear of water trays, but ditches are just his green-side coming through. I know he behaved like this with banks and sunken roads, but can do those almost every time now.
I was hoping for a quick fix! Entering him for SJ derby this weekend & there is a devils dyke there, so I ought to buckle down.
 

alwaysbroke

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We have purchased some black pond liner, its heavy and doesnt blow up in the wind, you can also fold it to any size you want, move it from school to field and put it underneath poles.
Had a horse who was very ditchy, just practised with the pond liner at home time and time again, now he jumps any ditch first time.
It was very haep too!
 

star

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i fixed my ditchy horse with one horrid hunt - after depositing me in the first drainage ditch he went on to jump 20 more and he'll jump any ditch now first time.

first time we did them was at Coombelands last yr and he was v unsure, but just kept at him and he jumped eventually and was a bit better by the end, but it was definitely the hunt that fixed him. He doesn't look at any now.
 

Mike007

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[ QUOTE ]
i fixed my ditchy horse with one horrid hunt - after depositing me in the first drainage ditch he went on to jump 20 more and he'll jump any ditch now first time.

No more leaning forward and looking down into the ditch then star
 

star

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
i fixed my ditchy horse with one horrid hunt - after depositing me in the first drainage ditch he went on to jump 20 more and he'll jump any ditch now first time.

No more leaning forward and looking down into the ditch then star

[/ QUOTE ]

do i do that? hmmm, yes, probably still do! good thing he's good enough to jump them now. did 3 yucky looking ones on sunday and he didn't even hesitate
grin.gif
 

Tnavas

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I usually start them off by lunging over two poles with a black tarpaulin under them.

Generally I find ditches are a rider fence - rider thinking "OMG what if he doesn't see it and puts his feet in it"

Ride in with head AND eyes up, don't look into the ditch and think positive thoughts.
 
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