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Teaching 10 year old child to jump (need exercises)

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  • Teaching 10 year old child to jump (need exercises)

    Hi - I need some advice. My 10 year old who has been riding for a number of years now. She's very confident on the flat - rides without stirrups frequently - canters confidently - has done poles and raised poles no problem. She has a great solid leg, position, hands - 2 point etc. We also do a ton of work on the lunge line - no hands etc. She's starting to jump - teeny teeny tiny cross rails. Over every jump she gets left behind her back rounds and she's jostled loose. What am I missing? I've never taught a child to jump before - any advice - exercises or words I should use to explain how to stay with the horse etc? TIA!

  • #2
    Start with trotting into an x, with trot poles before it, then about 7 feet to the x. Have her get in 2 point well before the trot poles, grab mane, and exaggerate looking up beyond the x.
    ​​​​​​ . Once she does that comfortably you can do a bounce, so she can learn to relax, and stay with the horse. Then do an x to a tiny vertical in an easy 4 stride.
    Teach her to ride straight after the jump and go to end of ring. Many youngsters want to let the horse turn in right after the jump.
    It might be helpful to let a trainer that is good starting them over fences work with her for a few months. How advanced are you? Understand setting distances? Counting strides?


    • Original Poster

      She's takes lesson 2x a week with a great A circus trainer. From what I'm understanding from discussion with the trainer it's just the progression of just learning to jump. I was hoping to get some exercises I can help her with on her free ride days (aka me teaching her). I can set courses and striding etc - been riding a very loonnngg time (aka I'm getting up there in years). I'm hesitant setting up a bounce or a line as she just doesn't seem to have body control on the landing - her body gets pulled forward - her back rounds and she's almost bounced out of the tack. This happens on both a pony and horse. I tell her eye's up, heels down sit still....let the horse jump up to is not working....


      • #4
        If she's able to canter without stirrups she should be strong enough to hold her position over a small X. Without video it's hard to tell, but it sounds like she isn't getting the timing right and is likely just standing in her stirrups instead of using her legs. Is she able to two-point without stirrups?
        I agree with having her trot in and getting into two-point quite a ways out and tell her to hold it for half the arena after it, plus grabbing mane, or put a neck strap on for her to grab, until she gets used to the feel of staying in two-point long enough.
        Custom tack racks!


        • #5
          Assuming she can post the trot without stirrups? And has built up a bit of stamina, aka a few laps around the arena? And can canter a few laps in two-point?

          If all of that is truly good, I'd have her work on stability by riding transitions in jumping position - walk to trot, trot to canter, canter to trot, etc. I'd also have her work on mobility (i.e. core stability) by changing the posting rhythm. Up 2, down 1, repeat. Down 2, up 1, repeat. Repeat in the canter. Then replace the posting with that many strides of jumping position.


          • Original Poster

            She can post all day without stirrups and 2 point no stirrups no problem. She canters with no stirrups but not at 2 point yet - just full seat. She's a super strong kid with a solid position - great leg - which is why I'm so surprised she's having such difficulty with jumping.
            I LOVE the idea of doing transitions at the 2 point - GREAT GREAT idea! I will also start doing more no stirrups 2 point at the canter. Super helpful thanks you so much - I've just run out of ideas! I'll try to get a video to post.


            • #7
              I don't know if teaching to grab mane is still a thing, but that's how a lot of us learned back in the day. 2 point into a crest release at one stride out so we didn't interfere with the horse jumping. (Grabbing mane at first) It's hard to get left behind with your hands 1/2 way up their neck.


              • #8
                Originally posted by horse_crazyi View Post
                She's takes lesson 2x a week with a great A circus trainer. From what I'm understanding from discussion with the trainer it's just the progression of just learning to jump. I was hoping to get some exercises I can help her with on her free ride days (aka me teaching her). I can set courses and striding etc - been riding a very loonnngg time (aka I'm getting up there in years). I'm hesitant setting up a bounce or a line as she just doesn't seem to have body control on the landing - her body gets pulled forward - her back rounds and she's almost bounced out of the tack. This happens on both a pony and horse. I tell her eye's up, heels down sit still....let the horse jump up to is not working....
                Our barn is always circus, as well. Especially when the kids start jumping
                Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                • #9
                  I suspect she is busy trying to hold "position" which is causing her to stiffen.

                  Try teaching her to bend at the waist while staying close to the saddle, rather than get up in her irons.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    She needs to fold at the waist rather than stand. Also, is the pony she riding jumping that cross-rail big? It can be hard to teach a beginner on a pony with a big jump. They need an easier jump to start with.


                    • #11
                      Just a heads up, but many trainers would not want the mom's having their kid jump outside of lessons.
                      . Doing transitions while staying in 2 point, ie, w/c/t/c/w/t. And not using neck, reins, or mane to balance will help immensely. Cantering over ground poles in a line, as a bounce, etc while in 2 pt with and w/o stirrups will help.