If you’ve ruled out painful feet or joints as the reason your horse doesn’t want to jump, then it’s more than likely he is afraid of jumping – or he’s sick of it and just plain doesn’t want to do it.
When Pat Parelli is approached by someone asking for “help jumping my horse” he understands they’re often looking for quick-fix horse jumping tips, but if a horse is refusing jumps or resists jumping, quick fixes aren’t the answer. They’re not the Parelli Natural Horsemanship way. Parelli horse training always starts from the basis of understanding your horse.
The two major reasons that a horse resists jumping are fearand defiance. Each of these reasons for problems jumping your horse manifests in different ways.
Fearful horses that are afraid to jump exhibit panic reactions. If your horse has a tendency to brace and rush at the jumps, or run off afterwards, he is most likely afraid of jumping or feels unconfident about jumping.
If you have a defiant horse that just doesn’t want to go forward or tends to buck going into the canter, he’s probably lazy, stubborn and/or unmotivated and resists jumping for those reasons.
In either case, smacking a horse that refuses jumps is not going to help. Yeah, you might scare them into taking the leap a few times, but it won’t take long until you have much greater problems on your hands. Your horse will begin to associate the jumps with you smacking him, and that will absolutely impede further progress.
How to Jump a Horse the Natural Horse Training Way
If you have a horse that refuses to jump or resists jumping, here are some Parelli horse jumping tips using a natural horsemanship approach:
To learn more about how to work with your own horse’s personality in relation to how to jump a horse, we suggest the Parelli Horsenality™ DVD, which will teach you how to read your horse like a book and give you useful strategies. To learn what motivates your horse, take a look at our Calm Ride DVD.
And remember, the more you understand your horse; his personality, feelings, fears and motivations, the more success you’ll have with all your horse training, including horse jumping.
Visit Parelli Connect for more educational articles and videos designed to inspire, empower and educate horse owners of all levels.
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