View Full Version : First time ever jumping 3'6"!

Nov. 22, 2011, 11:55 PM
I am BEYOND ecstatic. I'm so stoked. I NEVER thought my little horse would be able to jump 3'6". I would never have even asked him to. I just can't believe it, I have to share my enthusiasm somewhere and let it out.

But tonight a really good friend of mine came out, who has been training horses/retraining racehorses on her own for years and has had some really great successes (this girl makes more sense when she teaches me than any trainer I've ever had, and I don't even have to pay her), and we set up a line... She asked if he had a short ish stride, and set it as a two stride, and we jumped it as a long one stride... So it got adjusted to a nice one stride. Apparently if I ask my horse to actually go FORWARD and be in front of my leg his stride is not so short. :lol: Even if his little body is short and his strides are bouncy.

So today, I wanted to push him. And me. He's fitter than he's ever been, and if I was going to do it, it had to be NOW, because I'm leaving him up here for a month (christmas break, can't afford to take him back home, costs more than paying board for a month) and he'll be a big fat muscleless marshmallow after a month with no exercise, and it'll take me til spring rolls around and I have to take him home where I have no jumps and no arena for the summer to get him back in this kind of shape. Come to think of it,I'm fitter now that I've ever been too.

And by push, I meant slightly outside of my comfort zone. Which is... 2'6"-2'9" ish. I was thinking maybe 3 foot. Ok, my optimistic side said "As high as he'll go." My weenie side said "uh... let's play it safe..."

Well, luckily my friend is not a weenie. And hey, jumping higher than 3ft had to happen at some point, didn't it? She just set it one hole higher ever time (after we had warmed up) and would not let me stop and count the holes on the standards to see how high they were.

And considering our standards only go up to 4ft, 3'6" looks REALLY huge. One of my big issues is looking at the jumps. I felt like I had to stare at the sky to not look straight at it, it was as big as my little horse! :lol:



I am so proud. Of him, not myself. My equitation at 3'6" leaves a lot to be desired, obviously. It is the functional sort of "get out of his way and let him jump" equitation. Actually, if there is one thing this horse has taught me to do it's stay out of his way - if I touch his mouth or get left behind at all he'll buck when he lands.

But, this week will be one year since his owners offered him to me (we have a free lease until I graduate from college, at which point I'll buy him officially, going on), and back then he was fat, unmuscled, unbalanced, and couldn't tell one canter lead from the other. OH, and he had this nasty little bucking habit that he had developed from people trying him out to possibly buy him.

We've mostly cured said nasty bucking habit, and somehow, on my own (no one else has ridden him since I've had him, I've never taken an actual riding lesson on him so no professional has ever even looked at him) I've made him a nice 2'9" jumper with a great, balanced simple lead change (working on flying, may never happen...), with some basic dressage down, and now we've jumped 3'6"! which just goes to show how willing he is. I still can't believe I did it all on my own.

Please please please if you critique don't be too harsh. I haven't had an actual riding lesson since I graduated high school pretty much, and that was a few years ago now. If I had a trailer believe me, I'd be taking lessons on him. If you have anything constructive to say, any tips and tricks, by all means go ahead! Please be nice. That's all I beg of you.

Part of me can't wait to do it again. Part of me wants to trail ride for the rest of my life and never look at a jump again. I'm pretty sure the part that enjoys jumping will win out but schooling over 3ft will probably still be a rare occasion, especially since I'll be leaving him to loaf and be lazy over christmas break.

He didn't even feel like he was maxed out at 3'6"... His jump didn't even feel different from popping over a 2ft jump until we got over 3ft. But me, I looked at 3'9" on a 4ft standard and my brain went in to over drive and I couldn't get him over it because in my head I was NOT JUMPING THAT THING. I ended up getting her to drop it down a couple holes and we had one last solid jump before being done for the night.

Nov. 23, 2011, 12:03 AM
Congrats! I had a big height milestone on one of my boys a couple weeks ago and I was ecstatic too, so I can definitely relate :)

Nov. 23, 2011, 12:05 AM
Excellent! Good for you, I bow to your courage! :)

Nov. 23, 2011, 12:13 AM
Thanks guys!

He's the ultimate project horse... every time I think he's given all he's got to give he goes and proves me wrong and shows how much heart he has. Sometimes it's doing something dumb and my barn owner just shakes her head and tells me "You're lucky that horse loves you..."

I'm still kind of sitting here in shock. I keep watching the video going "Did I really jump that? I really jumped that."

He's really the best horse for a dumb college kid because he just goes along with whatever I ask.

Hunter Mom
Nov. 23, 2011, 01:00 AM
Sweet! And, FWIW, I think your eq looks great.

Nov. 23, 2011, 01:02 AM
Congrats! I am glad you had a great experience!

Nov. 23, 2011, 02:08 AM
Sweet! And, FWIW, I think your eq looks great.

Thanks! I feel like my leg is probably too far back but not bad for a first try.

If I ever do this again... we're working up to it slowly, lol. My head has been in lalaland ever since I jumped it.

Nov. 23, 2011, 02:44 AM
Congrats! I think you guys look great ;). Dont be so hard on yourself, you accomplished something really wonderful and you should be proud.

Nov. 23, 2011, 09:09 AM
Very cool! Here is a horse that we had never tried more than 3'3" with, he is a very good jumper, so last night, before my assistant left :( we decided to try and little bit more, and took him from 3'1", to 3'7" to 3'9" to 4' !! A few "boo-boos" but he definitely has the scope! My assistant tho had to move back to Michigan, and I don't jump that high!


Nov. 23, 2011, 09:19 AM
Shawnee- LOVE that bay horse. I think you could keep putting the jumps up and he wouldn't care. :)

Nov. 23, 2011, 09:20 AM
EnglishRider, I really enjoyed reading your post! Keep up the good work! I can tell you're on a "high" that will last for quite awhile!

Good luck with the flying lead changes. If he is doing a nice balanced canter in each direction and moves nicely from your leg, he is probably ready to learn them. Good luck--sounds as if you've had a wonderful time and accomplished a lot with your buddy.

Nov. 23, 2011, 10:08 AM
Very cool! Here is a horse that we had never tried more than 3'3" with, he is a very good jumper, so last night, before my assistant left :( we decided to try and little bit more, and took him from 3'1", to 3'7" to 3'9" to 4' !! A few "boo-boos" but he definitely has the scope! My assistant tho had to move back to Michigan, and I don't jump that high!


He looks awesome! Any idea what makes him tip his nose up after each jump? My TB (a looong time ago!) used to do that, but we never could figure out why. It almost looks like he is getting a good look at the next jump in advance - almost like someone that tips up their head to look down through their reading classes. His facial expression is incredibly cute when he does it!

Nov. 23, 2011, 10:59 AM
Woo-HOOO! Congrats!! You and your horse look great. I'm envious of your bravery. (It was all I could do to make myself enter my sweet saintly old (23 year old) horse in a W-T-C schooling show a couple of weeks ago, and I've been strutting around, quite impressed with myself and wearing my Crown of Courage ever since. LOL)
You deserve a Crown, or wait! Better yet:

.... *\*/*
___... *((O))*
.. ~~.....~~..... ~~ (a COTH ribbon, borrowed from the talented Stick Horsey Art people on the Stick Horsey Art thread) (rats, it's supposed to be in tri-color. Don't know why it's not in color, but imagine it's blue, red, and yellow!) (Can a talented Computer-Savvy person help here and present her with a color ribbon?)

Nov. 23, 2011, 11:06 AM
Congrats! I have a very vivid memory of the first time I jumped 3'6. It's like reaching a whole new level of riding!

The last time I played the "Let's see how high she'll go" game, it was with a 13.1 pony who topped out at 3'6 with my 5'8 butt. 3'6 on a 13.1 pony is a pretty crazy feeling! Of course, the only pic I can find of her is with me looking like a helmetless redneck and us only jumping 2'6.

Nov. 23, 2011, 11:24 AM
It does feel like reaching a whole new level, especially with a project type horse. You deserve to feel like you're on cloud nine for at least another week, you both looked great :)

Shawnee, what a cute horse! He looks like a blast to ride!

Nov. 23, 2011, 11:35 AM
Congrats! Good job, and you both look great! :)

Nov. 23, 2011, 04:58 PM
Erider- he looks great!

Shawnee- is yours going in a hackamore?

Nov. 23, 2011, 06:28 PM
Erider- he looks great!

Shawnee- is yours going in a hackamore?

No not a hackamore, a combination bit that has a Noseband that comes around and then a chin strap, so it has some gag/curb type action and also on the nose. This horse prefers that, altho we school him on flat in a snaffle. Here is a close up of him in the bit:


Nov. 23, 2011, 06:58 PM
Overo, that pony is freaking ADORABLE. Look at it tuck its knees so nicely!

Nov. 23, 2011, 11:19 PM
Haha, I got told like 3 times today that he would have jumped 3'9 if I had wanted to enough... Well of course... I didn't want to. No way. It was like looking at a solid wall, lol.

I'm still so proud of him! I'm at home for thanksgiving break which means I'm just going to watch the video over and over again until I go back to school.

Nov. 24, 2011, 01:37 AM
Huge congrats to you! Reaching a new level always feels amazing.

Formal Affairs
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:54 PM
Congrats! Your eq looks pretty good from where I'm sitting.

Nov. 24, 2011, 10:19 PM
Thanks! I'm more excited than ever before about jumping. Not even necessarily that high just in general.

Rio's Diamond
Nov. 25, 2011, 02:31 PM
That's great. I moved off of ponies last year and I have had my horse for a year now, we played around in a lot of divisions at first. End of year she was in the jumpers 3.6 no problem (hope to do more derbies). It's so much more fun jumping big isnt it?


Nov. 26, 2011, 12:21 AM
Yes, it is!

I've never shown, always just taken lessons, I've always just ridden whatever I got for lessons. Which at my eventing barn was the thoroughbred that was a dirty stopper and bucked, and at the hunter barn I rode at was a mare who would take the bit between her teeth and run, even while jumping. So finally having my own horse has been really exciting even with no trainer and no lessons. And I guess although I never expect him to stop sometimes I am still surprised at the crazy stuff he jumps because I said to. Last week it was a pole set on bright orange traffic cones. He didn't even look at it.

Hopefully some day I can afford to show him a little (you know, like 10 years from now when he's 18 and I'm 30 and we're doing 2ft hunters at a local show because that's all his joints will be able to handle :lol:) but I don't really care whether we ever show (not saying I don't ever want to show, just that that was never my goal with this horse, and I don't have any money to show). I'm now 20 and have 3 itty bitty local shows under my belt :lol:, two of them with him, and that's about as exciting as my life gets when I get a little ribbon (not even a rosette, they don't have those at the local shows I go to).

I feel like we've done really well considering we had never had an arena to ride in (just sloped, rocky pastures) until this september. Although he's such a cool guy, I got a friend to trailer him to a local show in an indoor arena last spring and I actually showed him and he was a little looky at stuff but didn't once spook and jumped 3 courses having never seen a "real" jump in his life. He balked at it a little in warmup but made it over and jumped everything just fine even though they were freshly painted white poles of death for some horses.

I'm just so excited for the last 3 weeks of school now... it's going to be REALLY hard to focus on finals when all I want is to ride. :lol: (forget finals... I still have an organic chemistry exam next friday... ugh... no riding for me).

Crown Royal
Nov. 26, 2011, 01:18 AM
Congratulations! You and your cute little horse looked great- you should be very proud! I totally know the feeling- all I've had is project horses to learn on and so we are always accomplishing new things together. I remember how proud I was the first time my little 12.2 chunky pony and I did a 2'9" oxer, and how super excited I was when my half blind large pony (who was formerly abused and used for barrel racing) and I did a 3'3" jump, and even a couple months ago when my TB and I did a 3' jump. And yes, I reviewed the videos and stills over and over and over again. :lol:

Even if you don't show until you're 30 and you're horse is 18 you shouldn't have to limit yourself! Your horse seems plenty athletic and if you continue to take good care of him, he may just end up perfectly sound and healthy into his 20's. There have been horses 18 years old still doing Grand Prix's- it gives me hope that I'll be able to show at least once in the 3'6" jumpers on my 15yo TB within the next 5 years. :)

Shawnee- that horse is adorable- love his gaits, jump, and expression! I bet he's a ton of fun.