How to Prevent Refusals

You want to be careful with young horses. If they stop the first couple of times at something they’ve never seen, it’s not the worst thing in the world. That’s different than a horse that has the attitude of ‘I don’t want to and I’m going to be stubborn.’ If you have a super-careful horse that’s a bit spooky, introduce things slowly and keep jumps low. To me, a horse that stops dead in front of a fence and wants to take a look is better than one that runs out. Then it’s less about the jump and more about the rider, who is causing the horse to feel it wants to run away by over-facing it. If a horse has a history of dirty stops, you have to figure out why he is stopping, whether it’s a certain type of jump he doesn’t like or whether it’s the ride…

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