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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > Jumping > naughty horse refusing

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Jun 10

Posts: 20

kellylou1992 says:

naughty horse refusing

my horse used to be a showjumper and I have had him since august 2009 and he has been back in consistiant work since january 2010. He used to get away with alot when I first started jumping him as I am not the most confident jumper after many nasty accidents. He sometimes refuses out of lack off confidence but 70% of the time he rufuses out  of naughtyness or I am not confident. How do I overcome this? I have been told to beat him when he refuses but I  believe this is the worst thing to do as I think it would teach my horse that he is going to get a nasty slap everytime he does go near a jump.

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Feb 09

Posts: 675

lrobson says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

its when you hit him thats important you approach a fence hes likely to stop you smack him he still doesnt go so stops. at that point when he is still facing the fence not when you have turned. then turn him and get arsy you will however have to be 100% sure it is him.

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Mar 09

Posts: 233

RyfRaf says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

I am going through this problem myself and I would say it is 50% my confidence and 50% my horse has issues.  My instructor came to the field to watch my horse as she is fine in the school and we have discovered that there are several things that are bothering my horse.  Firstly, she is hormonal, so is now on a additive to sort this out.  Secondly the ground is so hard she is not comfortable on the surface and finally as I anticipate what is going to happen I slightly throw my reins, and hence we stop.


Check that your horse is happy within itself first, the ground and environment and check back, teeth and tack fitting as there may be issues there.  If all ok then you need to work on your confidence.


My instructor has set small cross pole jumps in the field that I can go over off a circle so that I can ensure we have the correct rythm and balance before we jump.  Also, if she does hesitate or stop the jump is small enough for her to just walk or trot over.  What this means is that either way she does not refuse or get turned away and has to go over.  There is no force of a whip used at all and after practising this for 2 weeks now a couple of times a week we are now only refusing when we first start and not at every jump.  With a bit more practice we can hopefully eliminate the refusing and start raising the fences and our new found confidence.

Have a go you have nothing to loose.

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Oct 07

Posts: 557

Fenris says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

When he refuses turn him back tight to the fence and drive him forward again. Keep your leg on and a good firm contact. You could give him a tap on the shoulder to tell him you mean business. And a quick slap on the rump when he is cheeky and refuses will not do him any harm. I don't mean flog him senseless, but sometimes they need a quick slap to remind them who is in charge!

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Oct 08

Posts: 2370

*duskyteddy* says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

 Don't hit him!!!! 

What would be the point in that- smack= jump, that doesn't work, because each time, he'll associate a jump with a smack and it'll just drain the fun out of it. I don't think he's being naughty, if you are unconfident, he's probably doing you a favour- he senses your nervous and doesn't jump it- because he's probably just as nervous- he may be wondering why you think it's scary, it is. It's like if you're an adult and you start panicking around a child- chances are the child is going to as well. Or when you're on the ground and start shouting or something and worry the horse, don't panic him, just try and relax. Spend some time perhaps lunging him over jumps, or perhaps ask someone more confident ( who will nto smack him) to take him over a couple of jumps. 


I think what you need to do is do lots of groundwork and flatwork- build up a mutual trust and develop your confidence. It's not a race and there is most certainly no rush, rushing will shatter your confidence and your horses. 

Our lives begin to end; the day we become silent about the things that matter.

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Feb 11

Posts: 4

MyFellAndMe says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

I'm going through the same sort of thing right now. I know the pony can jump its my confidence so I'm just keeping the jumps small until we're both happy and make sure I do one bigger one to finish so I'm always pushing myself a bit without losing more confidence.

Once you are confident the jumping is alot easier best tip I've been told is to look up it's really helped me.

As for hitting if he refuses give him one smack on the bum while facing the jump for refusing but don't get mad or upset becasue there has to be a consequesnce for the refusal but flogging like you say won't help. Next time you put him at the jump think of it as a new slate stay positive and look up :)

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Feb 11

Posts: 18

CW1996 says:

Re: naughty horse refusing

just keep your leg on his sides close and tight. Talk to him near the approach of this jump tell him that hes a good boy, i found clicking with your tounge helps (wierd i no) but if it works for me try it and see if it works for you. DONT beat him (that isn't the answer to ANY problems what so ever)  just give him a little tap on his shoulder or give him a little tap behind your leg! i hope this works!

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May 09

Posts: 159

bcraig1984 says:

Re: naughty horse refusing


That teaches him nothing.  If im being completly honest I'd say stop jumping just now.  Work on your confidence.   Take it back to basics.....

Start with a few canter poles then slowly build it up to grid work (In trot first) and even the fences keep them small enough for him to trot over and you feel comfortable - once your confidence is regained then I would start again.


Heres some examples;





I = pole

X = small fence

I honestly think this will do you wonders as it will become fun for you and your horse and get him thinking forward again


Good Luck



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