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Spinoff from H/J: Jumping alone?

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  • Spinoff from H/J: Jumping alone?

    I'm asking of this board because I'm curious to see if eventers have a different opinion. The general opinion in HJland is that jumping alone is a necessity for most people who cannot afford/don't have time for weekly lessons.

    That, for adults, is understandable. However, I still believe that you really ought to have a ground person if you plan on jumping anything bigger than crossbars or groundpoles. I also brought up the point of bad habits. Do you find it harder to become aware of and successfully break bad, engrained habits if you don't have a second party to inform and remind you?

    Then the discussion turned to children jumping without coaches or even without any adult being in the ring. I am not okay with that. At all. Children do not think like adults and cannot always decide what is and isn't a good idea. They do not have adult common sense or problem solving skills if there would be an emergency. Even the most talented young rider may be a loss as to what to do if they take a bad fence and their pony is suddenly standing on three legs.

    So what's the eventer take on this?
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.


    Better View.

  • #2
    I posted on the other thread and have no problem with my students jumping without an instructor present but I NEVER said children should jump "alone" without someone present! I do require that a responsible person be present when kids are jumping or even riding.
    www.shawneeacres.net

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Oh, I'm not referring to you specifically. I'm sorry, did you think that?
      Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
      Thank you for everything boy.


      Better View.

      Comment


      • #4
        It depends on the level of the rider. I jump alone all the time. Would I LOVE to have a ground person...sure. But that isn't typically possible. I'm training my horses as much as working on my on skills. So what I jump depends on what the horse needs. With my current two...I have jumped 3'6"-3'9" with them alone.

        But I'm an experienced rider and have good judgment. It is the judgement part that I think is needed when schooling alone.

        For kids...I'm ok with them jumping little stuff on their own outside of a lesson if they have limits set by an experienced trainer and are reliable to stick within those limits. So some kids it will be ok..and others it will not (same with adults).

        I do think kids need an adult around watching them..even if non-horsey...but experienced is even better. Even adults should have someone around if possible...but it isn't always possible. I ride early in the morning...and so someone is usually coming into the barn and would find me if necessary. If I was riding out--leaving the property--I'd leave a note as to where I was heading. When I rode at night and lived alone....it was more of a concern.
        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 23, 2011, 08:51 PM. Reason: typos
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

        Comment


        • #5
          Last year, I only had maybe half a dozen stadium jump lessons, with probably 3 cross country lessons. I do get four lessons a month when I'm competing, but most of those are used up on dressage, since that is where my horse and I need the constant insight. We used to compete in the low junior jumpers with 3 lessons a week when my parents were paying for them, so I feel very confident jump schooling even green horses unattended. Though it is nice to have a tune-up every now and then, so that is when I get a jump school.

          Usually, I only jump in the 3' to 3'3" range and school with a more correctional purpose, but I will jump up to 3'6"-3'9" the week before a show to tune him up a bit.
          Pacific Coast Eventing
          Standing Yeager GF

          Comment


          • #6
            If I didn't jump without a trainer or ground person I'd never jump! It would be REALLY nice to have a ground person - I wouldn't have to keep dismounting and mounting again to set jumps, lol. But it's really not possible.

            I can't say there are too many times I've ever been truly "alone" though. When I rode at a barn, the owner or some member of her family was usually up at the house, and the entire ring could be seen from her back windows, so if I'd fallen and been injured it wouldn't have taken them long to see me and call someone. Where Don is now, even if the lady isn't in her house usually her non-horsey husband or son is, and I'm sure if they saw me laying on the ground, they could call 911.

            Yeah, it's not ideal, but it's worked so far. We only jump about 2'6" anyway, and usually we just jump a crossrail because I'm too lazy to dismount and raise it up.
            RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't jump much with my current horse outside of lessons, but I also don't have regular access to a ring/ decent footing at home. I do trot through poles and pop over tiny logs pretty much every ride. And my horse is at the point now where he knows his job and only really NEEDS to jump every couple of weeks, so we don't do a real school without my trainer all that often.

              With a green horse, I will hop over some stuff almost every day at first, and then a couple of times a week. Obviously it would be lovely to have a ground person/ jump crew/ my trainer with me at all times, but that's not going to happen, and since she's usually way too busy to watch me at events, I need to be comfortable doing it by myself anyway.

              I have no problem with boarding barns having restrictions--they have to cover themselves with the insurance company, and don't have the luxury of deciding on a case by case basis. And honestly, I doubt anyone is advocating letting kids do whatever they want unsupervised, or supervised by a clueless parent. (I worked at H/J barn for a while and there was a mom who would drag her leadline kid's pony over crossrails when the trainer wasn't there. The kid was FOUR and weighed maybe 40 lbs. There was nothing holding her on but luck.) My parents had the rule about not jumping without an adult--of course, we broke it pretty regularly. We used to go out in the woods and jump all kinds of things when they weren't looking.

              Comment


              • #8
                Having broken my neck jump schooling at home, I feel VERY STRONGLY that having a ground person present whenever jumping is going on is a good idea. That doesn't mean only jumping during lessons (at home I only get a few lessons a summer and really enjoy my solo practices in between), but honestly it's not that difficult to corral someone with a cellphone and the ability to dial 911 to come out and watch you jump around. I'm literally thankful for my life because I had a ground-person there the day of my fall. Jumping is already risky - why up the gamble even more?
                http://greybrookeventing.blogspot.com/
                http://kerickso.tumblr.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KMErickson View Post
                  Having broken my neck jump schooling at home, I feel VERY STRONGLY that having a ground person present whenever jumping is going on is a good idea. That doesn't mean only jumping during lessons (at home I only get a few lessons a summer and really enjoy my solo practices in between), but honestly it's not that difficult to corral someone with a cellphone and the ability to dial 911 to come out and watch you jump around. I'm literally thankful for my life because I had a ground-person there the day of my fall. Jumping is already risky - why up the gamble even more?

                  I hear you...but depending on where/when someone rides...no, it isn't always possible. I have to be getting on my first horse at 5:30 am. There is no one that I know who will get up and be in the ring while I'm riding at that hour.

                  And honestly....there is a chance to break your neck every time you ride. All my major injuries were just riding on the flat...not even jumping.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We went to a jumper show this weekend. My girls had not been jumping much this winter so wanted to just do the puddle jumper division.
                    Anyway, my 11 year old ended up being the first to go in her division. We got to warm up in the indoor but the only place to warm up over fences was the outdoor. We hurried out there and there was a few kids jumping in the ring. She went around the perimeter of the fence and then came back and told me she could not jump her pony in that ring because the footing was frozen.
                    I agreed it was a bad idea and we did what we could to prepare for the round without jumping. Honestly it was just an 18 inch course anyway, and we were there just for schooling purposes. I was not too worried.
                    My point is that not all children are the same.
                    Believe it or not, some of them really do know how to take care of their mounts and do right by them.
                    It's wrong to lump all kids into the same mold. Just like it is wrong to lump any other cultural, religious, or ethnic people into a molds.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If I only jumped while in a lesson or with a ground person present, I'd only jump approx 2-3 times a year. Picking up bad habits would be my biggest worry, but I'm lucky to have been brought up with a VERY correct foundation and an instructor who trained me to identify what needed correcting on my own before she would even give her input. Other instructors find it annoying that I automatically spout off everything I need to do differently after I finish my rounds, haha :-X

                      TBH, I feel like I've learned a lot by jumping on my own and not depending on input from someone else (NOT saying that people who don't jump on their own are weaklings!). And when I get video taped or have pictures taken of me at shows, it doesn't look like my riding is lacking because of riding/jumping on my own. If I started looking at footage and going, "...oh god." I'd probably change my habits

                      If I were really close to an excellent instructor so that I could take weekly jumping lessons, I probably wouldn't jump as often on my own. But that isn't the case, and it's very expensive to haul out to lessons, so I get them rarely.
                      "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't jump alone anymore for the reasons KMErickson stated.
                        I just make sure someone is either in the barn or the house when I jump and that they keep an eye out for me.

                        When I school at home, I am usually jumping for a very short amount of time-the rest is flatwork. Yes, I could get injured doing flatwork but it seems that the laws of physics are working against you a bit more when you're jumping than flatting.

                        I'm not lucky enough to have a groundsperson, but at least someone to dial 911 is the minimum requirement.

                        My serious jumping schools are in lessons.
                        http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I was in high school, we jumped outside of our lessons, but since the trainer was there all day, she was there when we were jumping, or we were in a group, even if she was up at the house. We never jumped more than 20 jumps in a session and never higher than allowed by the trainer, on that horse.

                          When I was competing my mare, I jumped alone all the time. I would have a lesson (stadium or cross country) at least twice a month and then would work on what I was taught. As far as having a ground person - I always go to cross country schoolings with a group, however when I am jumping at home, I do not always have someone there. I am at a low key barn with only a few boarders so it is hard to find someone to come up to the ring and watch me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm in the "I'd never get to jump if I had to have someone else there" crowd. It's not that I wouldn't LIKE to have someone there - whether to provide instruction or just to call 911 - but I'm not at a big barn and I'm usually the only one there when I ride.

                            I ride in my helmet and vest and carry a cell phone at all times (though that would not, of course, help me if I were unconscious), and, riding a green horse, I try to take things slowly to minimize risk (and to give her positive experiences!).

                            I wouldn't school xc alone, though, because it's much easier to be far from help or anyone noticing on an xc course, plus, of course, the potential for injury is higher. At least in the ring, the area to look for me if someone notices a loose horse running around is much smaller!

                            I know my faults and bad habits, and what to do to work on them outside of lessons. I will also, once a month or so, prop my camera up on the rail and video my ride, so that I can watch it and see how we are doing and if any problems are developing that I haven't noticed. So far, watching the videos, I've been pretty much right on in how I felt the rides were going - for better or for worse!
                            Proud member of the EDRF

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm another one- if I didn't jump alone, I wouldn't jump at all. I do try to be safe- wear my body protector and my XC helmet.
                              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Sitting on a horse at a standstill, a rider's head is approximately 12 feet above the ground (on an average height horse). While jumping even a 2-ft. fence, the horse elevates the body 2-3 ft. (and greenies often overjump), making the brain of the rider up to, approximately, 14 to 16 feet above the ground? (Hey, lets all go jump out a second story window to see what it feels like to fall off jumping a four foot fence....)

                                The forces of motion on the body in a car crash at 40mph are nearly THREE TONS. 6,000 lbs. Granted, a body on a horse is not moving that fast (which is over racehorse speed), but somewhat less, perhaps 12 to 20 mph. OK, so that would mean only ONE and A HALF TONS OF FORCE applied to a head when it hits the ground.

                                So if you jump, you increase the risk of serious injury to the brain simply due to physics. It is scientifically more dangerous, therefore, to jump, rather than to ride on the flat, or sit on a horse at a standstill. These are the laws of physics that we know. I'm not a scientist and don't have a degree in physics, so this is somewhat generalized -- let's not get mired in minutae, you experts out there -- the point is, jumping puts your skull further from the hard ground and increases the possiblity of major damage to your brain.

                                I don't however have stats on the FREQUENCY of accident between flat riding and riding over jumps. You'd have to study what kind of numbers were generated in flat riding falls vs. jumping falls to be able to determine what FREQUENCY of accidents were related to each activity. (I.e., whether you were more likely to fall jumping, or on the flat). Don't know.

                                My point is this: jumping is more dangerous scientifically than riding on the flat. So it makes sense to have jumping a more supervised and carefully managed activity; no matter what size the jump, any time a horse hops upward and off the ground in forward motion increases that energy or force potential on the skull when it contacts an immobile object (the ground).
                                Just sayin' ...
                                Last edited by retreadeventer; Jan. 23, 2011, 08:11 AM. Reason: clarity
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I DO jump outside of lessons (heck I've gone years without lessons when I couldn't afford it!) but I don't like to jump unless there is someone around in the barn - not necessarily watching me. I would jump alone - but there is also a video camera in the indoor streaming, so chances are someone would find my body in a reasonable amount of time, not that I depend on that. DH often goes to the barn with me anyways so between him and my two bffs I ride with there are very few times I actually ride alone.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Personally, I think it's a very bad idea to jump alone. I'm very fortunate in tha both my wife and I do it together. Last time I tried to jump alone was in our small jump field. I, of course, fell off and my horse ran back to the barn where my wife was tacking up. Scared the bejeebers out of her, since she had no idea what happened. I was OK, but...I could have been laying out in that field turning blue.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I jump as often as I feel its needeed, usually not over 3' as I have a green horse, but I don't do it alone. When I ride alone, I always call someone - just too worried that I might fall & be alone for hours...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I don't however have stats on the FREQUENCY of accident between flat riding and riding over jumps. You'd have to study what kind of numbers were generated in flat riding falls vs. jumping falls to be able to determine what FREQUENCY of accidents were related to each activity. (I.e., whether you were more likely to fall jumping, or on the flat). Don't know.
                                        I do not know the recent statistics. But a few years ago there was a CDC study.

                                        The riding activity MOST LIKELY to put you in the emergency room was
                                        Walking on a loose rein.

                                        In general, their statistics showwed that jumping was NOT more dangerous than riding on the flat.
                                        Janet

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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