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Making the transition....from hunters to jumpers

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  • Making the transition....from hunters to jumpers

    I'm recently back to riding full-time after a long break for college, travel, getting married, etc. Rode hunters for 20 years and am now at an eventing barn, making the big switch to jumpers.

    Would love to hear from folks who've had a similar experience, especially those coming back to riding as a grown-up, instead of a fearless 14 year old on her pony
    recovering hunter rider turned eventer

  • #2
    I rode a majority of my life in the Hunter ring. I did have a time where I dabbled into Jumpers during college but went back to Hunters due to my horse. However my current horse is definitely a jumper and I made the big switch early this year, after trying him as a hunter. Forrest is capable to do both but I LOVE jumpers much better. I like the challenge of the time, being clear and the quick thinking on your feet you have to do in Jumpers. I have also found that there are less politics involved, but that probably does vary by location and show type. It wasn’t much of a change, but it was different having to literally think on your feet during the course on turns and angles and where to speed up and where to slow down to cut of those seconds.

    Don’t regret it one bit. I do still go to some local hunter shows, but Forrest is much MUCH happier in the Jumper ring.
    Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
    Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


    • #3
      I love the jumpers! Have fun


      • #4
        I had a similar experience, rode hunters as a kid and got an OTTB as a young adult who as it turned out could jump the moon. I LOVE the jumpers, so much more interesting to me, not to mention fun. Definitely less political and more of a level playing field. Have fun!


        • #5
          Learn to sit instead of the hunter half seat!

          I switched over recently too & it's a lot more fun!


          • #6
            I'll be a dissenter. I've always done hunters, but Jet is a jumper.
            I really miss hunters. I like the striving for perfection, the rhythm, trying to make everything pretty. I HATE trying to remember jumper courses. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I get so caught up on trying to remember the course, I forget how to ride.


            • #7
              ...but the jumps are numbered!


              • #8
                Originally posted by dmj View Post
                ...but the jumps are numbered!
                But you can only see the numbers if you are "somewhat lined up to them" already!


                • #9
                  Well, I was never a hunter gal. I have always loved the jumpers, so I've never had to transition from one to the other, but when I end up taking breaks (which seems to happen often lol), I just take things slow. Also, enter classes at a height that you are comfortable with so you don't overburden yourself and just have fun!


                  • Original Poster

                    You all are awesome, really appreciate the advice, stories and suppport!
                    recovering hunter rider turned eventer


                    • #11
                      I made the switch two years ago when horse came along that was perfect for me - except he was a jumper not a hunter. What I love - the challenge of "out thinking" my competitors, riding smart (not just fast) and pushing myself. While I have looked at hunters and thought it still looks fun, I really do enjoy the colored sticks!
                      A proud friend of bar.ka.


                      • Original Poster

                        One of my issues (after just two weeks) is sitting back, and not forward. Any tips to break myself of this habit??
                        recovering hunter rider turned eventer


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WIExpat View Post
                          One of my issues (after just two weeks) is sitting back, and not forward. Any tips to break myself of this habit??
                          I have that habit still today and Ive been working on it a little over a year and a half now. My old saddle, just got rid of it, pitched me forward so I had to make a concious effort to lean back. I knew I was doing it right when I felt like I was leaning back, literally. Apparnetly I wasnt, but it did place me in the right posititon. I recently changed my saddle to a deeper seat and it made a world of difference in how I sit back.

                          One thing that helped me were looking above where I was going. That automatically lifts your head back and shoulders back.

                          Also a did a lot of sit trot work wihtout stirrups and rode more like a dressage rider so I could feel the difference.

                          Good Luck!
                          Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
                          Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
                          Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
                          Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook