My Horse Refuses To Jump

Kay Rice
by Kay Rice
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QuestionMy horse is an eventer, as am i, and just learning how to jump. The only problem is, he is sometimes afraid and refuses to jump. What do you think the problem is? (Shannon C. - Georgia)


A horse will often refuse to jump because his confidence has not been established. Check that you are not advancing too fast for him. If you are, go back one level and reduce the difficulty. When you are positive that he is jumping positively, gradually increase the difficulty. Many horses take a long time to build their confidence so be patient.?If your horse is still refusing to jump, try having another horse jump on front of him. Horse often learn faster from each other than from humans. Be warned that hitting him with a whip or using spurs too much will probably make the situation worse.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Added on Dec 27th, 2008
as a fellow eventer, I can only say one thing: if the horse is afraid to jump, then making him is only going to make it worse. If its a green horse thing, that's different. But if he really doesn't like it, i would say do what's best for him and move on