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Importance of Basics?

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  • Importance of Basics?

    I am a very frusterated rider right now. I have been riding horses for years on the flat, and have had lots of dressage experience. I began to ride at a new barn, with a new trainer because i really want to get into hunter/jumpers!! I have always been with trainers who stressed the basics to the nth degree!! and i have always appreciated that. Even though it takes longer to progress this way I feel like learning and doing something thoroughly is the best way. My dressage trainer was such a stickler. We never competed above training, but I could ride a training level test way better than a lot of the girls I showed against who were competing at first level and beyond.
    I am not familiar with how most people teach jumping, but I feel like the way i am being taught is very all over the place. I would like to point out that i have never felt unsafe and have saints of lesson horses who I have rode who could easily get me out of any fix. But after my first ride where I basically exhibited that I am capable of staying on we jumped right in. Within maybe one or two lessons I was jumping 2"6 or so. It wasn't until i started reading this board that I realized this was probably not how most people are taught. Am i right in thinking that you would start out most riders going over poles, then cross rails, then gradually build the height?? Again I have never been scared or anything, but I want to learn to do it right, and have solid basics. I am a little bit of a perfectionist. In your experience how have your trainers gone about teaching (not beginner riders), but beginning jump riders.

    Just curious about your experience.

  • #2
    Many roads lead to Rome. Without more info, video or pics, it's hard to say...

    My first ever jumping lesson was on a good schoolie. The trainer didn't know that I had never jumped and I got thrown into the circle to death/doom/whatever-you-want-to-call-it at 2'3 and 2'6. It wasn't until the lesson was done that I confessed I'd never jumped. He was surprised. I can only assume the surprise was because I wasn't horrible at it.

    Granted, I had spent a good nine months or so just doing flatwork. But I had never even gone over a pole before this jumping lesson.

    Generally speaking, yes you'd want to learn to ride related distances over poles and small fences before moving up. But if you have a solid position, and good feel that allows you to keep a horse straight and on a good rhythm, you might be a bit more ahead of the game than you think.

    Comment


    • #3
      Just like I would expect a well-trained dressage horse to pick up jumping easily -- given even a modicum of natural talent -- I would expect a well schooled dressage rider to pick up jumping easily, as well.

      Plus, one issue I see with dressage riders who switch to H/J is that they want to manage ever.single.stride.all.the.time. And that's not really how it's done.

      So as long as you don't feel unsafe, I'd relax a little bit and enjoy the change of pace. Let your horse do its job and take a deep breath.
      Originally posted by tidy rabbit
      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ExJumper View Post
        Just like I would expect a well-trained dressage horse to pick up jumping easily -- given even a modicum of natural talent -- I would expect a well schooled dressage rider to pick up jumping easily, as well.

        Plus, one issue I see with dressage riders who switch to H/J is that they want to manage ever.single.stride.all.the.time. And that's not really how it's done.

        So as long as you don't feel unsafe, I'd relax a little bit and enjoy the change of pace. Let your horse do its job and take a deep breath.
        ^^^This.

        Obviously you can ride if he's having you jump already. If I had someone come to me that I could see handle a horse w/t/c well, I would start them on a cross rails and go from there. In one lesson, I could have someone jumping 2'3 (assuming they could flat properly and did crossrails perfectly fine).

        Its done differently for beg.inn.ers and green horses. If you haven't sat on a horse, sometimes trainers (when your trotting) will introduce trot poles for something to do. Works on steering, staying in the center, keeping pace and eyes up. It gets boring trotting circles for an hour....

        ETA: Basics are important. The dead basics in jumping is FLATWORK.

        Comment


        • #5
          I personally would start you over ground poles, x's and then progress. probably progressing much faster than I would a rider with less basics in flatwork however. I won't say it's "right" or "wrong" but you may want to express your concersn to your instructor and let jher know if you would feel more comfortable moving a bit slower.
          www.shawneeacres.net

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          • #6
            Jumping is flatwork with an interuption. If you had a solid seat it is not suprising that you went straight to jumping. I think a lot of work over crossrails and poles is to build strength in your two point.

            Once you get timing down (which is more about mileage than anything) then the basics of jumping are to ride up to and away from the jump correctly- using good half halts, supporting leg and hand, maintaining a solid pace, making good turns, staying straight.

            If you are solid, on a solid horse it might be easier to learn timing and position over a larger jump then a step over crossrail.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am friends with an ex dressage rider who started jumping probably about a year ago? She is now doing 3'7-3'9" and doing WELL at shows. Spent many years riding dressage so with jumping all she had to do was develop her eye and timing.

              So no, I don't think where you are right now is unreasonable if you are a competent rider on the flat. I did start out where you think you should be starting out (crossrails, ground poles, etc) but I was a rank beginner. Never really "rode" until about 4 years ago.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by horsecrazyme View Post
                I am a very frusterated rider right now. I have been riding horses for years on the flat, and have had lots of dressage experience. I began to ride at a new barn, with a new trainer because i really want to get into hunter/jumpers!! I have always been with trainers who stressed the basics to the nth degree!! and i have always appreciated that. Even though it takes longer to progress this way I feel like learning and doing something thoroughly is the best way. My dressage trainer was such a stickler. We never competed above training, but I could ride a training level test way better than a lot of the girls I showed against who were competing at first level and beyond.
                I am not familiar with how most people teach jumping, but I feel like the way i am being taught is very all over the place. I would like to point out that i have never felt unsafe and have saints of lesson horses who I have rode who could easily get me out of any fix. But after my first ride where I basically exhibited that I am capable of staying on we jumped right in. Within maybe one or two lessons I was jumping 2"6 or so. It wasn't until i started reading this board that I realized this was probably not how most people are taught. Am i right in thinking that you would start out most riders going over poles, then cross rails, then gradually build the height?? Again I have never been scared or anything, but I want to learn to do it right, and have solid basics. I am a little bit of a perfectionist. In your experience how have your trainers gone about teaching (not beginner riders), but beginning jump riders.

                Just curious about your experience.
                Actually, IME, the biggest challenge dressage riders tend to have in learning to jump is to create the correct canter out of the corner, and then to simply *allow* that canter all the way down to the jump, staying softly in balance with the horse (and not, as someone else noted, "micro managing" every stride.)

                That is often easier and more efficient to practice when there is a small jump (2'3" or 2'6") for the horse to make a little effort over rather than a pole on the ground, unless the rider is scared, which you say you are not.

                Sounds to me like your instructor is proceeding in a reasonable manner, but definitely voice your concerns to her if you feel at all over-faced.
                **********
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                -PaulaEdwina

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think your instructor's approach is unreasonable, as those are not enormous jumps.

                  Perhaps ask her to put you through some gymnastics at that height so you can accustom your body to the sensation/position, before moving on to singles and lines, which are harder to ride.
                  Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had been riding for about 5 years when I had my first jumping lesson. I found it much more difficult to trot a 12 inch verticle than to canter a 2 foot jump. There's something awkward about trotting low "fences". I could never tell what my body was supposed to be doing and I couldn't feel whether the horse is going to "jump" or "hop" or trot with the front legs and hop the back legs over the rail. Other than working on straightness and pace, which can just as easily be done with a flat ground pole, I've never been certain of what exactly is the benefit of trotting anything higher than a cavaletti but lower than 2 feet for someone who doesn't know how to jump but is a pretty safe/sold rider otherwise.

                    OP, Perhaps your trainer feels the same way. I'd be interested to know if he/she has a reason. I was never comfortable asking my trainer because I didn't want to seem like I was complaining about putting in the time doing the little stuff.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys! I guess I am just over thinking things as usually It totally makes sense now! Trotting over ground poles isn't going to help me strengthen my leg, because it won't even move me, but going over the bigger stuff will. Also going over little stuff isn't going to help me with seeing distances. Man is seeing distances a difficult thing for me. Thank goodness my lesson buddy is such a packer It makes total sense that a rider with some experience would be started a totally different way than a beginner beginner.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If seeing distances is a hard thing for you I recommend that you quit looking! I frequently remind myself to ride the horse, not the jump. If you focus on your canter, maintaing a steady pace, keeping the horse straight and riding the correct line to the jump a distance should present itself (A distance, not the PERFECT distance). A well schooled lesson horse should respond readily to your leg and rein aids if you need to make slight adjustments a few strides out.

                        However, if you are having a terribly difficult time finding a safe distance because you aren't sure what a good distance is, it is advisable to work over poles. Pole work allows you to train your eye without wasting your horse's jumps.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If seeing distances is a hard thing for you I recommend that you quit looking!


                          Especially at 2'6"...I only really understood what seeing a spot really meant when I worked my butt off all summer and started to school lines at 3'3" and 3'6" on a horse that needed help finding the distances. Got to ride another horse that pretty well found them himself at that height.

                          You can't learn to jump with flatwork. You also probably shouldn't try to jump WITHOUT the flatwork, mind. You have to go over jumps. If you already have a secure seat and leg, you're, ummm, there.

                          One of the jumping barns I have taken lessons at didn't have a horse under 16hh on the property. They didn't screw around with cross-rails and 18" verticals...because they used cavaletti that high. The horses only started jumping around 2'6"-2'9". The horses were well-schooled by high level riders at that height (and much higher.) Lower jumps made the horses confused, sloppy and more difficult for the green riders. Some trainers get way too hung up on keeping you at a certain height. The truth of the matter is that if you want to learn to JUMP, you need to present something to the horse that he will actually jump clean (not canter, not deer jump, not pop.) Some school horses are brilliant from ground poles on up in 6" increments. Lots aren't.

                          My horse won't jump a rail set under 2'. He just won't. If it's in the middle of a COURSE, he might get the idea, but you can't just canter him at an obstacle that hits him about mid-cannon and expect anything other than a choppy stride over it. You want a real, predictable, nice jump? Just set the fence a tick higher.
                          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ExJumper View Post
                            Just like I would expect a well-trained dressage horse to pick up jumping easily -- given even a modicum of natural talent -- I would expect a well schooled dressage rider to pick up jumping easily, as well.

                            Plus, one issue I see with dressage riders who switch to H/J is that they want to manage ever.single.stride.all.the.time. And that's not really how it's done.

                            So as long as you don't feel unsafe, I'd relax a little bit and enjoy the change of pace. Let your horse do its job and take a deep breath.
                            This ^ again.....

                            When I was a kid learning I don't think I ever jumped a ground pole.... I jump more ground poles as an adult than I ever did when I was younger.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How about instead of making it about you, make it about the horse.

                              instead of being frustrated,
                              think about what the horse can teach you.

                              Let us eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                ^^ That's a good point.

                                Like the horse I'm riding in lessons right now who really cracks his back over the jumps. I really have to make sure that certain things are in place (eyes up, heels down, etc.) otherwise I'm going to get popped out of the tack. On other horses I've ridden recently they've jumped flatter which makes it easier to stay with the motion - little errors here and there don't get magnified liek they do on the other horse.

                                So I figure that by riding this one for now it will force me to be more careful about my position

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