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Learning to jump

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  • Learning to jump

    Hi guys! I was recently told by my trainer that I will be starting to learn how to jump at the trot while I learn to perfect my canter. I was supper excited to hear this as I have always wanted to learn how to do showjumping. While I learn how to do that I will be showing in equitation classes walk/trot. basically I wanted to hear any tips on how to learn how to jump. I would also like to know of any good helmets that I could use for my jumping lessons.

    Any help will be much appreciated, thanks!

  • #2
    You can buy any new, certified, helmet at the local tack store that fits you. Some helmets fit oval heads, others fit round heads, so try some on to find one that is both comfortable and secure on your head. There are lots of good brands that are relatively inexpensive like Troxel. Be sure to replace it if you come off and fall on you head, and treat the helmet itself carefully.

    As far as learning how to jump, I would say that you need to listen to your instructor, follow what they tell you, and be a good student. At this early beginner stage of riding, the more hours you can get in the saddle the faster you progress, so if you are capable to ride independently outside of a lesson, see if you can do practice rides on a lesson horse in addition to your lessons. Right now your main task is developing the balance for an independent seat, and you might find some longe lessons with no stirrups are a big help too.

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    • #3
      That's exciting, and it's fabulous that you're a dedicated student. For now, I would recommend following your trainer's advice and instruction. It can be hard to evaluate the quality of advice from strangers on the internet when you're just learning a new skill.

      However, in the meantime, watching rounds from the Maclay finals on YouTube is a great way to start visualizing the end goal for proper and effective equitation.

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      • #4
        To supplement your jumping education from your instructor, I suggest getting some books. Go to a local book store and find a few instructional books on English riding that include jumping. The internet is great for watching videos and that is also a good supplement as well (and attending local horse shows as a spectator too). And when you see/hear/read something that you have questions on, ask your instructor for clarification.

        Good luck to you. Jumping can be so much fun!
        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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        • #5
          Also, enjoy riding as many school horses as you possibly can. Those horses are going to be your teachers. Don't rush out and get a horse. I have noticed you had quite a few inquiries on old ads in the Giveaways section here. Now is not the best time to get a horse. Wait till you have more experience, then buy a horse that fits your riding level. Enjoy.

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          • #6
            Don't buy a horse as a beginner. The horse that is safe for you now will have limits for what you want to do in 2 or 3 years. Ride lesson horses and then move up to a half lease on an appropriate horse when time, finances, and riding skills level permit. You especially do not want to get a giveaway horse, because except in exceptional circumstances, there is a reason such horses are free. They will have physical issues, medical issues, limits on what they can safely do. I have seen *so many* beginner or returning riders on budgets ending up with cheap/free horses that have issues that make it harder for the rider to learn to ride (behavior, training, physical).

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            • #7
              Congratulations on learning how to ride. But I'm concerned when you say that you are going to buy a helmet just for jumping. You must be wearing it every ride, every time. If you are attending a riding school where helmets are not required for all mounted activities, that is a signal that it may not be a good-quality riding school. There are many great places where you can learn how to ride, you should pick one that values safety above all else.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                Congratulations on learning how to ride. But I'm concerned when you say that you are going to buy a helmet just for jumping. You must be wearing it every ride, every time. If you are attending a riding school where helmets are not required for all mounted activities, that is a signal that it may not be a good-quality riding school. There are many great places where you can learn how to ride, you should pick one that values safety above all else.
                ^^^ THIS. I thought I had misread the question. You wear a helmet EVERY time you ride. If your coach does not insist on that (and practice it themselves), he or she is no proper coach.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                  Congratulations on learning how to ride. But I'm concerned when you say that you are going to buy a helmet just for jumping. You must be wearing it every ride, every time. If you are attending a riding school where helmets are not required for all mounted activities, that is a signal that it may not be a good-quality riding school. There are many great places where you can learn how to ride, you should pick one that values safety above all else.
                  Hoping they have been using a borrowed helmet and now feel they are ready for their own

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bluepece2 View Post

                    Hoping they have been using a borrowed helmet and now feel they are ready for their own
                    This is what I assumed too.
                    But HungarianHippo's advice is good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I assumed that as well, about the borrowed helmet, but I'm still a bit concerned someone has been riding for a fair amount of time and the trainer hasn't stressed the need to get a properly-fitting helmet for the OP. It's not enough to simply have a certified safety helmet on the head, it needs to be properly fitted. It doesn't need to be the most expensive on the market, but it needs to fit, and it's a necessary investment. For example, Troxels just don't fit my head, and the only make I've found thus far to suit me is Charles Owen. Other people I know love Troxels and it fits them well. Helmets also expire after five years or a hard fall. Plus, not to be gross, but there are hygiene issues with shared helmets. Sorry for the rant, I just always get a bit nervous when I see big boxes of very old, crusty "loner" helmets at riding schools.
                      Check out the latest Fortune's Fool novel, Courage to the Sticking Place!

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                      • #12
                        The helmet you buy should be the one that fits you best. Going to a tack shop and trying them on is a great way to find the best one for you. I really like the Ovation Deluxe Schooler. It's not anything fancy, but it's very reasonably priced and comfortable, and is a good fit for an oval shaped head. I rode in Troxels for years before that, but those are better for more round head shapes, so they didn't fit me as well. Definitely replace it if it takes a fall (why I like going for a cheaper helmet for schooling; they all have to meet the same standards so none are any less safe than the rest, and I've taken a fall in a helmet literally one or two days into owning it and had to replace it before). Helmets also expire generally every 5 or so years, as the materials inside disintegrate over time. Helmets have a date of manufacture on the inside that you should go by rather than purchase date, and I would try to make sure to get a newer one, as sometimes they sit in the tack shop for a year or so. Make sure never to leave it in extreme heat or cold, especially in a hot car, and try not to drop it.

                        As for learning to jump, I second the advice saying to listen to your instructor and try to get as much time in the saddle as possible! I've pretty much started from scratch after nearly a decade away from hunter/jumper and just following my trainer's advice and trying to ride as much as possible has helped a lot.

                        I definitely agree with the advice to stick with lesson horses for awhile, too, and then maybe move onto a lease before eventually buying. Your trainer should have some pretty good advice on when the appropriate time to lease or buy would be. Scribbler said it best, also about the free horses as well. Take this from someone who is pretty much stuck paying for a horse I inherited from a deceased loved one who is not trustworthy under saddle, is older, and is too high risk to sell without the likelihood of ending up somewhere bad (and I'd never forgive myself if I let that happen; I love the horse, but it's a very frustrating situation). It's expensive, can really be a headache, and sometimes it's not easy to get out of if it doesn't work out. I wish I could use that money for extra lessons or to do a partial or full lease on a schoolmaster!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for all the advice! To clarify : I have been wearing a helmet every single time that I have been near or on a horse. When I said that I wanted a helmet just for jumping I meant that I can use for jumping lessons and borrow a helmet from the barn during practice rides and other lessons. There is no way that I would ever ride without a helmet as I know that it can llitterally save my life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                            Thanks for all the advice! To clarify : I have been wearing a helmet every single time that I have been near or on a horse. When I said that I wanted a helmet just for jumping I meant that I can use for jumping lessons and borrow a helmet from the barn during practice rides and other lessons. There is no way that I would ever ride without a helmet as I know that it can llitterally save my life.
                            Once you have a helmet of your own, why would you still borrow one? There aren't specific helmets for jumping vs riding on the flat. As long as the helmet is certified, you can wear the same one for everything. Your own helmet is always best because you know how it has been cared for and that it hasn't been compromised by a fall, drop on a hard surface, being left in a hot car, etc. Plus it's not full of other people's old sweat!
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by furlong47 View Post

                              Once you have a helmet of your own, why would you still borrow one? There aren't specific helmets for jumping vs riding on the flat. As long as the helmet is certified, you can wear the same one for everything. Your own helmet is always best because you know how it has been cared for and that it hasn't been compromised by a fall, drop on a hard surface, being left in a hot car, etc. Plus it's not full of other people's old sweat!
                              Yes exactly. Get a helmet that fits so well you don't remember you are wearing it and wear every time you ride and take care of it. Why would you wear a borrowed helmet if you have your own?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I don't know. I guess I would just wear the helmet that fits me then.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                                  I don't know. I guess I would just wear the helmet that fits me then.
                                  Buy your own helmet as soon as you can.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Okay, I'll ask what nobody has yet:

                                    You say you will be trotting to jumps "until you perfect your canter".
                                    What problems are you having with canter?

                                    I hope you & your trainer both understand that a jump is really just a canter stride, and when you land from any height jump - even the teeniest X - your horse will want to continue in canter.

                                    Is the plan to trot to and halt immediately after the jump?
                                    Or continue in canter so you can "perfect"(?) that gait.

                                    Agree your first purchase should be a helmet of your own that fits you & is ASTM approved
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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      they are gonna have me trot to the jump, jump it, and then canter after the horse and I finish the jump.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                                        they are gonna have me trot to the jump, jump it, and then canter after the horse and I finish the jump.
                                        Yeah, this is pretty standard, both for beginner riders and for green horses. After a bit I expect the coach will add a second element to the sequence so that you trot into one crosspole, canter a set stride length to the second element, and jump that.

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