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Favorite jumping exercises to do in a smaller indoor?

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  • Favorite jumping exercises to do in a smaller indoor?

    I board at a really nice barn that's consists primarily of dressage riders. I'm one of two people there who jump. As such, we don't have jumps left up in either the indoor or outdoor arenas. Whatever I or the other person uses are jumps we set up an take down after each session. These are the stacking block jumps so it's not as much of a pain as it might be if they were standards, etc.

    With little daylight left in the evenings, most of my jumping for the next few months will be in the indoor unless I can get off work early enough to ride outside or if I take lessons on the weekends.

    What are some easy to set up, but fun and challenging exercises that I could do in the indoor ? So far I've tried:

    1) circle of death
    2) figure 8 of death - - - (do serpentines over the three jumps)
    3) two jumps set up at 90 degrees: ride towards the point and sit up and back as the horse jumps over. let the reins slide through your hands to simulate a drop jump. (lucinda green uses this one in her clinics)

    Any other ideas?

  • #2
    I know they aren't really jumps however cavaletti poles (either raised or flat on the ground) are a great challenge and asset to riding jumps. =) if you can squeeze them in, bounce jumps are also a lot of fun to do!
    Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.

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    • #3
      My horse is boarded at a western pleasure barn where last winter, I was the only person who jumped (I brought in my own homemade jumps to the barn). So I also had to deal with taking them down every time due to lack of space in a very small indoor.

      I did some of the exercises you mentioned, but I second the suggestion of using cavaletti instead of jumps. They are easy to move, safer for a smaller space, and the other riders don't necessarily resent having to work around them because when set low to the ground, they are useful for dressage and western riders (they all used them at one time or another).

      To be honest I didn't actually jump that much outside of that. I used cavaletti and poles almost all the time, but spent most of last winter working on my flatwork. It definitely paid off this spring.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am in a small indoor this year too! I feel your pain! We will mostly be doing small courses. Set up jumps down the long sides. Set up maybe a 4 stride on one side and a 3 stride on the other. Practice having your horse do them in different strides. This will help your horse with adjustability. So do a 3 in 4 strides or a 4 in 5.

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        • #5
          In my lesson this weekend, we had a line of bounces, with five fences. They don't have to be big, and that size would probably fit into most indoors, so long as it's not too small. It was really good for getting the horse to think about where it was going and what it was doing, and for making me both let go and let the horse figure it out, and sit UP!
          A Year In the Saddle

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          • #6
            From Denny, one of my all-time favs because it requires very little space or equipment and works great to get a horse to get to the base and really use itself over a fence:

            Ingredients: 4 sets of standards/blocks; 7 rails
            Set up:
            Build a medium-size crossrail, measure 18 feet to the front rail of a Swedish oxer (put one, false groundrail directly under the center of the oxer), then 18 feet from the back rail of the oxer to another crossrail the same size as the first, like so:
            X -(18')- I I -(18')- X
            Exercise should be worked from both directions, and can be set up along a diagonal if you don't have enough room down the long side.

            Approach at a soft but energetic canter, wait with your body and let your pony figure it out. The combination of the distance to the Swedish and the false groundline underneath it will bring the horse to the base of the second fence and get him to jump up and around it, using its back. The second crossrail just kind of happens on the way out ... it's more there so that you can turn around and come back the other way.
            The crossrails shouldn't be big efforts for your horse -- they are just there to set him up -- but the Swedish can build progressively into a fairly large fence without changing the distances and the exercise just keeps working better and better.
            I evented just for the Halibut.

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            • #7
              Nevertime, I was eager to try that until you said it was to be ridden at a canter. Approach at a trot - sounds great, think I can do it, but approach at a canter to 18' to 18' grid, that sounds terrifying ... and i guess that means it would be a good exercise for me.

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              • #8
                Lots of ground pole and cavaletti exercises like gymnastics, grids, bending lines, etc. Thats what we've been doing lately in our indoor (which is about the size of a dressage arena, so there is room for standards but its tight) and its been great for both me and my horse.

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                • #9
                  One of the handy ones I use is like a "zig zag" of jumps set up down the center of the arena. Kind of like this: VVV (only much more open angles). Set up the fences so all of them can be jumped from both directions (ground poles on each side. If you build an oxer, make it a square oxer).

                  The nice thing about this set up in an indoor is that nothing is next to, or on the rail (if others are trying to ride). For the exercise, you have many options. You can ride one fence, circle around and come from the other side of the zig zag and jump another fence, and so on. Or, to make it harder, you jump the fence at the end of the line, then make a hard bending turn to another fence on the same side as your first fence.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for posting this, sounds like a great excercise!
                    Originally posted by NeverTime View Post
                    From Denny, one of my all-time favs because it requires very little space or equipment and works great to get a horse to get to the base and really use itself over a fence:

                    Ingredients: 4 sets of standards/blocks; 7 rails
                    Set up:
                    Build a medium-size crossrail, measure 18 feet to the front rail of a Swedish oxer (put one, false groundrail directly under the center of the oxer), then 18 feet from the back rail of the oxer to another crossrail the same size as the first, like so:
                    X -(18')- I I -(18')- X
                    Exercise should be worked from both directions, and can be set up along a diagonal if you don't have enough room down the long side.

                    Approach at a soft but energetic canter, wait with your body and let your pony figure it out. The combination of the distance to the Swedish and the false groundline underneath it will bring the horse to the base of the second fence and get him to jump up and around it, using its back. The second crossrail just kind of happens on the way out ... it's more there so that you can turn around and come back the other way.
                    The crossrails shouldn't be big efforts for your horse -- they are just there to set him up -- but the Swedish can build progressively into a fairly large fence without changing the distances and the exercise just keeps working better and better.
                    Blacktree Farm
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JenJ View Post
                      Nevertime, I was eager to try that until you said it was to be ridden at a canter. Approach at a trot - sounds great, think I can do it, but approach at a canter to 18' to 18' grid, that sounds terrifying ... and i guess that means it would be a good exercise for me.
                      You come in with a canter that is QUIET/collected but not dead -- you're just about to ask your horse to use his engine to get over that middle fence.
                      If it seems scary, remember how small you can start this -- maybe 2' crossrails and a 2'6" Swedish, or whatever heights are appropriate introductory heights for you and your horse. However, I think we've worked that middle fence up around 4' or more without changing the distances. At that height, they do, however, almost trip over the last crossrail squeezing it in, but it's tiny and that shouldn't bother them (or you).
                      I evented just for the Halibut.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        NT, I read that exercise with surprise too, but because I've never seen anyone recommend a false ground line before. Do you know the theory behind that? Am I just out of it these days?

                        I have two favorite arena jumping exercises (in addition to anything in Wofford's gymnastics book). I love a point set up on the centerline, so you can jump into or out of the point and over the arms on the diagonal. Covers a multitude of goals. Also, if you have the rectangular blocks, scatter them around randomly on their sides, maybe in pairs if your horse isn't confirmed with skinnies, and just jump them. I've also been known to jump the mounting block.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This ring is basically a dressage arena. Shorter than a full size, but longer than the small size.
                          You can see how it was set to re-use the same jump for the diagonal and outside lines.


                          I did a Melanie Smith Taylor clinic this year and she set up a grid with 18' between everything. In the middle (ie, on centerline riding A-C) were

                          a narrow wall
                          18'
                          a crossrail (We will call this element X)
                          18'
                          a narrow wall


                          Each narrow wall had a jump winging off the side of it (elements 1,2,3 and 4, starting at top left and going around clockwise).

                          You could come in over a wall, jump X, and then turn right or left to elements 1 or 2.
                          You could come in over 1, jump X, and then turn right or left to 3 or 4.
                          You could go straight up the middle and jump out over the far wall.

                          It was all set with 18' gaps and could be ridden trotting in or cantering in.

                          The reason she used the narrow walls at the ends was so that the turns to the wing jumps wouldn't be too steep. Use a 6' wide jump for this, seriously. You can use regular 12' jumps for X and 1234. The standards for 123and4 will do double purpose at the ends of each wall.

                          Horses of all sizes with riders of all levels all seemed to do fine with the striding.
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                          • #14
                            Bump for this thread, any other ideas?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I also have a small indoor. At most you could have a three stride line. One little course we did had one jump on the centerline right at X, but oriented longways so you jumped it off the short turn and could change directions over it if you wanted, and you could jump it from both directions. Then we had a jump on the quarterline on each side. So you could go quarterline jump, around centerline jump, quarterline, go around other quarterline to centerline, change directions to other quarterline, etc etc. Actually worked fairly well because each jump could be approached from either direction.

                              Another thing we did was set up two jumps that were on the diagonal of a figure eight so you'd jump them toward or away from the corner. But the genius thing is that they were also set 24" apart so you could jump them together in one stride (taking each jump at an angle, but your line is straight). Old equitation exercise.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I like the 4 leaf clover exercise. 4 jumps in a + shape, with tight circles to each arm of the t+. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbnhbE8zeqw minus the falling off part.

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                                • #17
                                  My old barn had a pretty narrow arena, and we also had to tear down our jumps when we finished. What my coach liked for equitation lessons was have a 2 or 3 stride line on one long edge, and then two angled jumps on the other side, so kind of < = (with wider angles). With that setup we could practice lines, singles, rollbacks, and bending lines.
                                  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Saskatoonian View Post
                                    NT, I read that exercise with surprise too, but because I've never seen anyone recommend a false ground line before. Do you know the theory behind that? Am I just out of it these days?
                                    The false ground line, along with the distance helps bring the horse to the base so he has to jump up and around and use himself. False groundlines are not uncommon, but are more suitable for more experienced horses. I was introduced to this exercise with a horse who was making the move from training to prelim. With a green horse, I'd probably adjust the exercise to put regular groundlines on either side and let the distance alone bring the horse to the base.
                                    I evented just for the Halibut.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thought I would chime in.... I too struggle with a small indoor in the winter ... Ho Humm.

                                      I like ...
                                      (trot in to poles) I -4.5ft- I -4.5ft- I -9ft- X (steep) -18ft- II (oxer) -10ft- I (canter pole)
                                      Or similiar with a canter pole in the center.
                                      I - I - I -- X --10ft-- I (canter pole) --10ft--II - I
                                      http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Not to dredge up an old post but indoor season has arrived and course work has ended, hello gymnastics.... anyone come up with any new exercises lately?

                                        Our indoor arena is maybe 40 X 60, pretty small for jumping. I am a big fan of a jump just to the inside of the track in the middle of the corner just coming off the long side. This seems to allow for a nice flow and keeps the pace up. I practice about 16ft off the wall. Decent one stride.
                                        I usually set two of these... so one on each corner, and a steep X in the center for a modified figure eight.

                                        And...

                                        I have been a fan of canter poles with jumps thrown in.
                                        Say Pole-10ft-Pole-10ft -small vertical or wide but low oxer- 10ft-pole-10ft-pole
                                        This has helped me tremendously with keeping the balance in the canter for both me and horse. Really teaches the horses to be careful too.
                                        Last edited by pryme_thyme; Oct. 27, 2014, 03:11 PM. Reason: typo
                                        http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

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