Show jumping advice for stroppy 4 year old???

leo_04

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I took my 4 year old to his first show yesterday, I have hired this venue a few times and jumped him round and he has gone reasonably well each time, only had a few small problems that have been easily solved.

But just recently he has become slightly nappy when jumping (even at home), he really didn't want to know yesterday and was prancing on the spot when he went in the arena and wouldn't move forward, trying to get back to the gate which I obviously wouldn't let him. He eventually jumped round and I took him back in HC, he jumped round much better with no sillyness just a spook at a filler but finished really nicely.

My plan is to carry on and take him to a few more small shows and then turn him away for some of the winter to give him a break. Would you guys suggest the same? I am not sure what has caused this behaviour and wonder whether he is just going through his 'trying to test me phase'!

Well done to everyone who's got this far!
 

timmy1977

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sounds like he just needs rounds, id just keep taking him out to shows every week or every other week, take him to as many different places as you can. i wouldnt reccomend turning him away now, he needs to start learning now hes 4.
 

Jodies9154

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I don't think that turning away will stop the napping , I think try to nip the problem in the bud now. The horse that i have been eventing has a similar problem but it isn't quite napping, not quite sure what, ends up being naughtiness and he just keeps standing up on his back legs when he doesn't want to go the direction you want to. To prevent this from happening, as soon as he starts to feel as though he is going to start misbehaving I circle him, on a really small circle (to prevent rearing) your circle needn't be as small, once relaxed again go forwards. The most important thing is to make the horse think forwards. If he won't mind just back up with your leg with a tap behind your leg and just really try to make him go forwards. Try to keep everything a good experience with no backwards steps. So perhaps go to a few events and warm up etc let him relax but without the stress of going in to jump a round. Maybe over xmas keep him in work and do a few inside jumping rounds,

Sorry if this isn't helpful
 

help1

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Don't really post much advice here (but you have had no other wiser replies so.....). We have one who's line in running backwards and sitting on things, when stressed, is worthy of a gold medal and another who took some time to understand that any new fillers were not horse eating monsters ready to pounce! Aimed for them to be able to jump a course at a small show in a nice rhythm, shortening and lengthening as required before turning him out for a month. I would have an aim you want to achieve before you turn him away. Like the turning away for a month as it gives them time to have a relax, think and grow a little before trying the next stage.

The best of luck with yours let us know how you get on.
 

louisem

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It sounds like bit of exitement at being at a place where he has been but now there are lots of horses there.
I would do a few more small shows that aren't too busy and then turn him away for a while to THINK about it?
 

Springs

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We try and mix the training for our young one, with different venues, a mixture of SJ, XC not too much of the same thing and nothing too big (over 1.10m). We try to make it training but with some fun etc.

Each Horse will be different so you will need to find out what's best for yours, but try to make it fun for them.
 

leo_04

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Thanks for all your advice, it's good to know I'm not alone. I have another show in two weeks so hopefully there will be some improvement. JodieS that sounds like what my horse does, not quite napping but obviously I don't want it to get to that. I think that is a great idea help1 to aim for something before giving a month off.

Thanks
 
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