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Retraining a Jumper for Hunter Derbies and Equitation

Submitted by member: Hannah

Do you have any suggestions on retraining a sensitive or forward jumper for the hunter derbies and equitation?

Answer by Geoff Teall

The best answer to a question like this is always time. The longer you have the better the result. I recommend a lot of flatwork as a starting point. Lots of forward, backward, left and right. It is important to be sure some of your flatwork is done at a speed similar to what you would use for jumping courses. It is also important to keep the workload light, and comfortable. Lot’s of walk breaks to allow your horse to relax will also help. I would try to be as creative as possible when it comes to how you work your horse as well as where you work your horse.

The next step would be rails and low jumps. Again, I would do a lot of different work over rails and low jumps; up to speed, adding strides, changing directions, turning left and right. You could also include stopping, backing and walking in your jumping work to help give your horse the idea of taking a breath. From here you could work up to higher jumps and faster speeds. If there is a question, take your time.

The whole idea here is to gradually and slowly introduce different speeds, jumps and environments in small pieces with plenty of breaks in between to help teach your horse how easy his new job is and how much he can relax and still be able to do the job.

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Geoff Teall

Geoff Teall is one of the leading Hunter and Hunt Seat Equitation trainers in the country. Horses and riders who have trained with Geoff have gone on to win championships, medals and ribbons at major events including Devon, the AHSA Medal Finals, the ASPCA Maclay Finals, the Capital Challenge, the Pennsylvania National, the Washington International, the USET Talent Search, and the National Horse Show. In addition to training, Geoff is an "R" judge for both Hunters and Hunt Seat Equitation. Visit his website: www.montoga.com

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