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Jumping outside of lessons - spinoff from H/J thread

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  • Jumping outside of lessons - spinoff from H/J thread

    I was just reading that thread on the H/J forum with great interest. It seems (based on the number of posts) that quite a few hunter barns do NOT allow jumping outside of a lesson situation. I have never, ever been to a barn that has these kinds of restrictions, and I've boarded at some pretty darn nice places, too. One of them was even a strictly H/J place (many moons ago) and we were all encouraged to practice jumping outside of our lessons. We all helped each other out, too.

    Now, I can see why you wouldn't want to jump without another body available to call 911, but surely if it were a safety issue it wouldn't matter if you were in a lesson or not.

    Without hunter bashing (please!), I'm curious - do YOU board at a barn that discourages jumping outside of a lesson situation? Is it really because of an insurance situation (which I'm finding hard to buy since eventers tend to have solid, xc jumps that we practice over on a regular basis - surely that would be more in insurance than just poles in an arena?)?

    For the record, I have boarded at numerous barns, all different in quality/atmosphere, all different TYPES of barns (H/J, western, eventing, mix) and I have never been told that I cannot jump outside of a lesson. I will also confess to jumping without anybody else present, but if I limited my riding to only those times someone else was around, i'd never ride.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

  • #2
    I ONLY jump when there is someone around to check on me if I fall... but other than that I jump whenever I feel like it. And if I were at a barn that implemented a rule where I could not jump unless in a lesson, I would be prompted to leave. There are a couple reasons for that...

    1. I don't have the money to lesson enough to accomplish goals without jumping on my own.
    2. flatwork gets boring! and even if I just did dressage for 30 mins sometimes it's irresistible to pop over a few tiny fences in my dressage saddle.

    All that being said... I've been riding for 15 years, am confident about my abilities, and I know my limitations.
    Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...


    • #3
      The barn I'm moving to tomorrow will be the first place I've ever boarded with that restriction.

      The only reason I'm moving is because a) my mare is lame and can't jump anyway! and b) they have a field with a shed where she can live outside 24/7 and c) it's going to be a short term, couple month thing until I move.

      However, I would be very hard pressed to ever move to a barn with a no jumping out side of lesson rule if I was actually riding.

      Edit to Add- it's worth noting that we're moving to a mostly h/j barn, though there are some people there of various disciplines.
      Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


      • #4
        I'm at a barn where all the boarders lesson regularly (1 flat and 1 jumping lesson per week). We can jump outside of a lesson and do so when the trainer is away BUT the belief that the trainer (therefor students ) adhere to is that there are a limited number of jumps in a horse's career so any jumping effort better be worth it hence there is rarely any jumping outside of lessons.

        I used to board at a barn where the norm was one lesson a week rotating between flat and jumping. You were expected to jump school outside of lessons.

        I could go either way but I prefer to jump during lessons than on my own (someone to set the fences )


        • #5
          I don't know if I would want to board somewhere that tells me how, when and where to ride.

          After 8 years of riding just Dressage I now ride at a barn geared to Eventing. I ride a free lease (for which I am very greatful) and I am having a blast. I had not Jumped a horse in almost 25 years and this mare has opened up a whole new world for me.

          We are allowed to jump anytime we please. Of course I only do it when there are others around to pick up the pieces (me) if I blow it. The only rule we have to obey is the use of the x-c jumps: never go up there alone and vest and helmet have to be worn.

          I can't wait for spring so I can get up into those fields again. I tried a few of the smaller fences last fall and really had a great time. I'm supposed to be old enough to know better but I would love to try a mini horse-trial / event.


          • #6
            That rule exists at the barn where I take lessons. I'm OK with it. The older I get, the less I want to jump by myself anyhow.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              We do not have any rules or restrictions about jumping outside of lessons and we don't discourage it. We do actually encourage people to play over things. And that's what most of our people do when I see them jumping outside their lessons...playing over Xs and smaller fences to break up the monotony of dressage or to work on their rhythm or just because it's fun. Most serious schooling is done in lessons, though.

              We did have a client for awhile who was just NOT smart about jumping and would often jump her horses the very first ride back after not riding for a week or two and would often blast through a full gymnastic without any prep or warm up (no matter how many times we told her neither thing was good for her horses' brains or bodies). Her horses were saints and she was lucky. All of our current clients know better than to do those kind of things.


              • #8
                I board at a barn that allows different trainers, and allows jumping outside lessons. I've had a trainer suggest I jump only in lessons, but I feel that I need to jump more often than I can afford to do lessons. Also, if you never jump outside lessons, how will you learn to think your way around a course. That said, I never jump without another person around for safety, and I tend to jump lower and easier stuff outside lessons.


                • #9
                  Jumping rules are important...

                  Well I do have jumping rules at my barn. There is NO jumping without someone else on the farm, myself included (barn owner, trainer). Also, there is NO jumping if you are under 18 outside of a lesson, unless your own personal parent is there to supervise. Another kids parent is not acceptable, etc.

                  I've had some kids do some stupid things... like jumping a 13.2hh pony over 4 foot fence bareback with no bridle... they survived but I was NOT happy! Course, kid did it again with parent setting fences, but at least the parent was taking the responsiblity at that point.

                  Point of fact is that the owner is allowed to make choices about their own animal, but at some point I have to have some input because the horse is in my custody and control, therefore ultimately it is my liability, so my rules on my farm.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Guyot View Post
                    Well I do have jumping rules at my barn. There is NO jumping without someone else on the farm, myself included (barn owner, trainer). Also, there is NO jumping if you are under 18 outside of a lesson, unless your own personal parent is there to supervise. Another kids parent is not acceptable, etc.
                    I wish more barns had the rule about under 18. I've boarded at several facilities where the kids were running around on their unschooled horses jumping over fences way beyond their experience level. I think it's a good idea to have some sort of structure in the barn about jumping outside of lessons. However, I've never boarded anywhere that forbade it outside of lessons...and I don't think I would.


                    • #11
                      I was raised on several different farms throughout the US (Mom's job made us move) that there was no jumping unless in a lesson if under 18-21. Last barn I was at was all adult amateurs and professionals, I was the only kid. That barn had no jumping rules, just use common sense.

                      I started teaching pony club lessons at a different barn this summer and found that ANY adult (18 year old nanny driver counted) could stand in to watch a rider jump. I just don't understand this from a parental prospective. (I'm 21, no kids fyi) I'm talking about 8-16 year olds jumping on their own. I taught these 8-16 year olds and in their lessons they would tell me they were afraid to jump, etc, etc, and we would conquer their fears in the lessons. Happy kids. Then, I would walk in to the barn, and their mom/dad/grandparent is setting fences. The next lesson they are terrified again because they've fallen off, the horse stopped, lots of crying, don't want to ride xyz horse etc etc, and the lesson hasn't even started.

                      Other things are lost as well, like that they used to canter or did a jumping course in a lesson with me, but since they were able to do it on their own with people who don't know ADMITTEDLY don't know anything about jumping, or horses for that matter, these kids didn't go back to square one, they were in negative squares, but no one saw this as a result of being ale to jump whatever/whomever/whenever/where ever they wanted. Am I the only one who remembers these are 1000 pound (or so) animals that have a mind of their own?!

                      This is my biggest pet peeve. (Hello, obvious danger factor!!) I tried to talk to the barn owners, but "you [me] are taking away all of the fun from the children and riding". Mind you, this is a self-proclaimed PONY CLUB barn.


                      • #12
                        I grew up riding H/J and most barns did not allow jumping outside of lessons. I always assumed that it was because I was under 18. I recall the "adults" being allowed to jump outside of lessons. Also, when I was a h/j rider I was very dependent on my trainer. To my knowledge, very few h/j's would go to a show or even warm up without their trainer. I never would have dreamed of it (and I know how alien that is to most eventers!)

                        BUT the most restrictive jumping policy I have ever heard of was at a BN EVENTER's barn (multiple international titles & medals) who said that anyone in his program was not allowed to jump outside of lessons because he didn't want them to "undo" the work that they did with him in lessons. A bit controlling, perhaps, but he did get results!
                        "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HeyJealousy View Post
                          I wish more barns had the rule about under 18. I've boarded at several facilities where the kids were running around on their unschooled horses jumping over fences way beyond their experience level.
                          The barn I rode at in HS had that rule - but there were multiple adults that could barely stay on jumping their unschooled horses. It's not just kids that are an issue! Whereas I, very competent, on the most dead broke horse to ever be dead broke (he was a former open jumper who was laaaazy and the most bombproof thing I've ever sat on), was not allowed to jump a crossrail. Drove me nuts! And then a year after I turned 18, it changed to 21. The rule was because of insurance, but it seemed silly because there were people that shouldn't be jumping period doing it when I was far more capable but couldn't.

                          My current barn doesn't have any limitations - they prefer you don't go out and jump xc without a groundsperson, but it's not a set rule. We're all pretty well behaved, though.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                            The older I get, the less I want to jump by myself anyhow.
                            Me too. I've been at barns with that rule and barns w/o. The benefit of a barn w/that rule is that kids aren't careening around out of control over endless jumps - though sometimes the result is that there are A LOT of lessons with students careening around out of control anyway, lol.


                            • #15
                              A long time ago I boarded at a barn that would only let riders jump on Thursdays. They were also closed on the 1st and 15th of each month.

                              What is it with crazy barn owners?

                              I think it's quite common in the hunter world for riders to not jump unless they are in a lesson. I've not heard of any eventing barns that have that rule.


                              • #16
                                I know of many barns (h/j) in our area that don't allow jumping outside of lessons. I allow and encourage it with my students. My philosophy is, I don't want your first time thinking for yourself to be out on cross country at a competition, so you need to practice. I do set parameters and suggest things to work on between lessons, and my students are very respectful of that.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                  That rule exists at the barn where I take lessons. I'm OK with it. The older I get, the less I want to jump by myself anyhow.
                                  Agreed !! I'm over 50 but really prefer to jump anything sizeable with adult supervision during my lessons -- try hard for once a week. I do like to set some sort of small gymastic type exercise one other day a week so that rule would make me unhappy and bored.


                                  • #18
                                    When I was growing up, the barn I first started riding at was hunter/eq and western pleasure/trail. There were no rules about when you could jump, but the trainer was pretty much there at any time any child would likely be riding. Even if the rider was not in a lesson, she had no problems yelling at someone doing something they were not supposed to be doing.

                                    We also had the philosophy that 'each horse has only so many jumps' and generally did not jump more than twice a week. Once in a lesson, once outside. Sometimes just once in a lesson. This excluded anything under 2ft. Mostly crossrails that were popped over just to have a bit of fun while flatting.

                                    Since I moved, there have also not been any rules about when you were allowed to jump, but I was really the only one jumping. Where I am now, I am the only boarder that rides on a regular basis - the only one at the farm that rides on a regular basis. I would prefer to jump when someone was within site, but if I restricted my work to that, then I would never get anything done.

                                    The jumps where I am now do not go higher than 3ft and that's only two. The other ones do not go higher than 2'6". That was because the owner was afraid her daughter and friends would try to do to much and injure themselves or their horses. That was many years ago when they used to ride all the time.


                                    • #19
                                      I have about 8-9 jumps at home that I set up every spring, and I rarely use them. Once in a while my farrier comes over and I give him a lesson or something, and I'll do grids by myself, but I just never feel as safe jumping by myself. I don't really need a "trainer" all the time, but I do like to have a ground person, at least.
                                      Click here before you buy.


                                      • #20
                                        a paradox i've noticed

                                        I usually ride alone and have to jump outside of lessons as I can't take as many lessons as I'd like/need to. I usually practice over smaller versions of the exercises we've been doing in lessons, and save the bigger jumps for when I have company.

                                        Interestingly, I've been wondering whether too much time spent on teeny tiny jumps is making the more "normal" sized jumps look huge by comparison whereas if I just focussed on my flat work I might be more out of practice but less impressed by the stuff we jump in lessons!!