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especially when courses get bigger, if horses do not want to do it. They have to want to do it. You can’t achieve that by making them scared. They have to be happy to jump.” “I don’t think there is a horse out there with no stop. I


don’t think that exists. If you bring him into a situation where he just can’t do it, that doesn’t mean he’s a stopper. A stopper is one who slams on the brakes and doesn’t want to do it.” He might take a horse into lower classes, and give the horse the chance to stop. “You have to see what they do in order to be able to fix anything,” he explains. “You have to back off to make something out of it. If he stops, you don’t beat him with a stick. You tell him one side of the fence is bad, and the other side is better. You don’t let him go away from the jump. Keep him there as long as it takes until he wants to go to the other side. Once he goes over it, give him a reward and let him be.” Simply going to the stick, he adds, doesn’t work. “All you get is a scared and panicked horse.” With students who may have a stopper, he tells them rough- ness will not correct the disobedience. “You really have to try to understand what is going on. If you try do it rough, it doesn’t work. I’ve never seen a horse come back when someone’s rough.” The stopper may have a history of bad experiences in the


arena. The horse could have crashed through a fence, or tried too hard over a difficult course. “The rider might have missed distances too often. The horses get burned out because they show too much. Or the horse figures the rider out. Every one of those is a bad scenario, and it is very hard to fix, if it’s fixable,” he warns. He mentions that over the years, he had


PHOTOS BELOW:  Even top contenders at the FEI World Cup stop on course.  A runout can cause even a Grand Prix rider to slip out of the tack.  When her horse stopped, this rider managed to keep the horse between her and the ground.  At this oxer, the horse crashed into the front rail.  Cross- country, a stop like this can endanger horse and rider.


one horse he wasn’t able to turn around at his barn. With these problem horses, Peter spends time going back


to basics. He walks the horse to fences at different angles. “The jump is always in the capability of the horse. I do a lot of walking jumps—I try to make him make a mistake out of the walk first. Everything happens out of the quietness. There’s no rushing or no pressure.” He asks the horse to jump a three-foot vertical from the


walk. “After a couple of days, they usually walk a meter jump, or even a meter 20 again.” At the walk, he allows the horse to make the decision to


jump. He jumps with no contact. “You want him to do it on his own. You want him to look at the jump and want to go to the other side. You don’t want to put pressure on the horse to make him jump.” Peter says working with his top horse, Saint Quentin


(Quidam de Revel x Jasper), has taught him a great deal about how to work with other horses. “He is so careful. If you jumped too big too often, he would jump too far way and scare himself,” Peter explains. “I would feel it, and drop him down a show. He trained me a lot. He trained me that you cannot make a horse jump.”


● Charlie Carrel: Start Them Right Charlie starts young jumpers at Colts Unlimited, based in


Sheridan, Wyoming and authored the book Starting the Young Jumper. He trains prospects for clients including Wild Turkey Farm, Equine Trading Company and Hannah Selleck. Charlie introduces youngsters to jumping in a way


designed to make sure they don’t stop. “My strategy for start- ing young horses is to generate confidence in them outside the ring. We start the young ones in a Hitchcock (jumping) pen. In the pen, I work really hard so it becomes like a game for them. I bring them out of the stall a little bit fresh, and it’s a controlled turnout like recess.”


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28 September/October 2018


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