View Full Version : few jump sessions - building right muscles?

Aug. 8, 2011, 07:46 PM
Normally I'd have a weekly jump school with an eventer, but my current horse is older, a lovely jumper, and our footing isn't great on the old gams As a result I don't jump school him except in my monthly clinic lesson or at shows (1 or 2 times a month total, then)

I wonder if he's building enough muscle in the right places for jumping though? Would weekly cavaletti work give him the right muscle without the pounding, or not?

(He does hilly trails twice a week already and lunging in a chambon once a week.)

Aug. 8, 2011, 08:58 PM
You should be good with the hills, but doing cavellettis would never hurt. A lot of top class hunters and jumpers ONLY jump at shows, so you should be good. Take care of your horse and safe his legs for when it counts. :yes:

Aug. 8, 2011, 09:18 PM
There's a ton of work you can do with just poles to work on your eye and his canter (balance, impulsion, etc).

A few examples,

put poles out on a 5 stride line, ride it in 5 strides (easier than it sounds), now ride it in 4, 6, etc, back again to 5

set up the wheel of death with poles, canter the circle, or turn it into a clover leaf

set up 4 canter poles in a row, feel how it affects his canter

set up a single pole and try to learn where three strides out is, if you can do that, train your eye to see 4, 5, and 6 strides out from that pole

You end up with lots of canter work (good cardio for him), which is balanced with the correct impulsion, and you work on training your eye.

Aug. 8, 2011, 09:26 PM
Yes - I do a bit of pole work! :yes:

I'm really concerned with building the muscle for lifting his legs up high and jumping over things. I just wonder if doing diagonal pairs (cavaletti) builds the same muscle?

I guess it probably does - I'm overthinking it and worrying about my old man!

Aug. 8, 2011, 09:52 PM
I'm overthinking it and worrying about my old man!
Yep, you are ;):D Really, if he's strong and fit and you are lessoning or competing once or twice a month, you are fine. Again, a lot of Grand Prix riders very rarely jump their horses except at shows...those horses seem to have strong enough muscles for the job! You ARE doing the right thing by not jumping him on bad footing and aging legs, I promise!

Aug. 8, 2011, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence: he's a fantastic old guy and I want him to keep going forever! :sadsmile:

Carol Ames
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:40 PM
The raised cavalletti definitely help:yes:, especially with an older horse;:cool: you are working the circle of muscles raising his belly,training his eye and proprioception :cool: