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Jumping in an indoor

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  • Jumping in an indoor

    Help! I'm sick of jumping in circles, but I feel too cramped in my dressage-sized indoor for much else.

    I realized the extent of my problem when I tried to replicate the recent Practical Horseman exercises on adjusting strides and found that any stride longer than about 10 feet had me about running into the wall after the fences, since a 5-6 stride in between two jumps only gave me 1.5-2 strides to stay straight before and after and put me uncomfortably deep in the corners.

    Any tips, types of jumping questions you prefer, or models out there for designing mini-courses and working intelligently in small spaces?

  • #2
    Don't use lines! Use combinations, twisty tracks, rollbacks. If you buy a book that has jumping exercises it should give you some ideas.


    • Original Poster

      What books would you recommend? I've seen the 101 Jumping Exercises by Linda Allen, and I use many of the exercises -- but am really looking for something from a course perspective, since I can't seem to wrap my head around how to set up more than 2 or 3 jumps in a spatial way that works or that's not just playing with circles, rollbacks, and diagonals/angles. Or maybe I'm overthinking it -- I suppose that those do cover many of the jumping questions in the real world!


      • #4
        Is your arena full court size (66 x 198) or half court size (66 x 132)? It seems a full court gives you plenty of room. I used to ride in a full court in the winter and don't recall having an issue.


        • #5
          The 198 is fine, it's the 66 that will kill you (says she who is stuck working around those confines these days). You will end up like you are motoring around on a speedway to carry a 12 step on that narrow of a space.

          My standby is a ground rail w/60' to a jump and then 60' to another ground rail. Ride that in a 5 to a 5 and you will learn to keep that feel for a 12 step as well as learning to adjust the horse back into a 12 step after the fence. It is a deceptively hard exercise, but very workable in tight spaces.

          Other than that, I just set up a 5 line on an outside track, and a single on the diagonals and that above exercise on the other outside line. That way I can ride a single to line or a line to a line and so on. Boring, but it works.
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


          • Original Poster

            Our arena is half court or less -- two 20m circles meet in the middle.

            DMK, thanks for the ground rail exercise and info on how you lay things out. I suspect I'm so fearful of the speedway corner feeling that I am contributing to weenie canter strides in my own rhythm and timing, because when I tried two ground poles I could not for the life of me GET five strides in 60' inside -- six was comfortable, and five was strung out completely. That was without a jump in between, though, so I think your exercise will help with the forward drive. I think you're right that the ground rails to and from a fence will help us know what we NEED to achieve in pace and feel, and stop worrying so much about getting around the corners that we lose our concentration for the jump.

            I also prefer to set my "outside" lines a couple feet in from the wall, so I have the full outside track to play with without always having a fence in the way.

            I am a bit confused by our difficulty getting a good 5 strides in 60' (either ground poles or jump to jump), since with a 15.2 TB I would not expect such a short stride. Might the small height of my jump (just 2' for us) be contributing to the striding issue? Perhaps I am just riding in low gear (or neutral!) and need to step it up several notches in a bouncy and balanced way as we do in our dressage. My horse feels plenty forward, but perhaps not as engaged from the hind as he could be. I'm so happy when he actually relaxes and stops worrying himself that perhaps I'm being too passive!


            • #7
              You might consider shortening your lines a couple of feet. You don't really want to school your horse to run like a mad man and it isn't hard to open up your stride a little in a bigger arena at a show.


              • #8
                A five on one outside and two single diagonals will give you course options... outside line, broken line diagonal back to rail fence, broken line other diagonal to other rail fence, broken line diagonal to diagonal, back up the outside line.

                That is also enough room to set my favorite gymnastic... x-rail-vertical bounce about 10m up the center line. Then set one diagonal about 30m up each quarter line, angled out. That way you can jump the bounce, then choose straight (no fence), left over the diagonal or right over the diagonal.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                  A five on one outside and two single diagonals will give you course options... outside line, broken line diagonal back to rail fence, broken line other diagonal to other rail fence, broken line diagonal to diagonal, back up the outside line.
                  That was our go-to in the long/narrow arena we used to ride in.
                  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                  Phoenix Animal Rescue


                  • #10
                    This book could probably give you some ideas:

                    101 Jumping Exercises for Horse and Rider by Linda Allen

                    Professional hunter princess


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PortPonies View Post
                      I am a bit confused by our difficulty getting a good 5 strides in 60' (either ground poles or jump to jump), since with a 15.2 TB I would not expect such a short stride. Might the small height of my jump (just 2' for us) be contributing to the striding issue? Perhaps I am just riding in low gear (or neutral!) and need to step it up several notches in a bouncy and balanced way as we do in our dressage.
                      All of the above?

                      A couple weeks ago I was at a show, where my 15'3 TB (4 years old) pretty much ate the 84' lines even though the jumps were only 2'0. That's an embarrassment of step, even my old adult/ammy horse had to hustle to make the 12 step on the itty bitty fences and he once walked 102' line @ 3'6 (7 strides on the 12'9 step), so step wasn't his problem.

                      So you shouldn't necessarily expect to eat up the distance if you have itty bitty fences. But you shouldn't NOT be sucked into the plinkety plink canter either.

                      Now let me tell you about the months before this show where we had all this step. I spent all winter riding my baby and working on some gymnastics, cantering singles and just some easy trot in canter out lines set at what I had walked off as 72'. Then I decided to take him to a Greg Best clinic for a 2'0 uber greenie speshul session (where I learned the 60 to 60 exercise) and I thought "DMK, you might want to a) jump a 2'0 fence and b) canter a line. Oh yes and maybe you should measure that line while you are at it.

                      Hah! my walk off skilz are MIA - it was a freakin' 69'! I tried to get down the newly 72' line in 5 and thought I was going to kill the us. Found out he has a sense of humor though, good to know. And then I realized I had taught my horse to plinkety plink along happily in a 10 foot stride. Oops. Sad blue face.

                      I spent the next couple of weeks feeling like I was riding a motorcycle, complete with zooming ground hugging turns because NOW I had to teach him to open up and carry himself in a 12 foot relaxed step and of course he wasn't balanced for that, what with not ever doing it before. I did lay off jumping lines except for a few times up the 60/60 line because he could barely get around a turn in balance, throwing a jump in the equation would have not served a good purpose. But when the balance started to come, I added back the lines, and then started raising the jumps. But 2'0 to 2'6, it all works fairly easy now that we know where the pace is supposed to be.

                      So he's the sort of relaxed kind of dude that I never have to ask him to slow down at home. I get to the show and apparently he's the relaxed kind of dude who know has about 3" added to his stride only he doesn't have a CLUE what I am asking when I finally start sitting up and holding down the lines! So we ate them. No lie, I did a 5 stride in an 84 going away from the in gate... UPHILL. It was our first time on thatline and I thought, "oooh we better hustle!" Hah! Someone asked how long was it, and I said, not as long as you would think! The next time he forgot his lead change going into the corner before that line (well he forgot the back half of the change) and we more or less fell over the in during our cross canter so I figure I'll just sit here and the 6 will be right there. Nope ate it again.

                      So you too can have step in a small ring, you just have to work at it. Also the counterintuitive thing about riding a pole to a fence is that if you ride a fence to fence. and you get there big, you know you have to wait down the line... BUT if you get big to a pole, that just means you land closer to the backside of the pole and have more of the line to make up. The opposite is true when your last step is close to the pole, you have less of the 60' to make up. So if you try to ride a pole like a fence and make the consistent 5, you will be a bit frustrated. You have to think differently and that thinking makes you very aware of your horse's stride!
                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                      • Original Poster

                        Joie de Vie - Just what I was looking for! I have already been playing around with a two-stride and roll-backs, but I see how the diagonals with a five-stride would be loads of fun (especially that serpentine line down the diagonals!).

                        While soliciting input from Facebook horsey friends, I had a good suggestion too: don't be afraid to take it down to trot for balance and sanity. Hopefully with calm schooling and creative questions, we can fix some of my problems contributing to balance issues and then move forward (literally and figuratively) to work on the pace and lengthening his stride in balance.

                        DMZ, I am with you on the "plinkety plink, oops" phenomenon! It all seems that much less scary when it goes by more slowly, but my head needs to get the message to my hands and heart that smaller strides will just get us in trouble when we get out on a real course.