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Moving up

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  • Moving up

    How long did it take you to move up height wise in jumps? And how much did you go up incrementally in inches as you went up?

    I am an adult rider who has not moved up much b/c I was nervous about cantering jumps. I felt better about trotting them but that's not how it works. My last horse was not very athletic and this didn't help my confidence. A year ago I bought a mare who is smoother to ride and I've started cantering jumps over her.

    I feel like I want to try moving up a bit but I don't want to rush it b/c I'm still not the most aggressive rider over fences. And right now I'm probably at 2 ft. I may broach the subject w/ my trainer on Saturday. I completely trust her but as I've said I'm timid and I don't want to jump the gun.

    I know everyone progresses at their own rate but I just wanted some average numbers. Thanks for any replies.

  • #2
    Being totally comfortable at a height at the canter, doing lines, etc. Then the challenge of adding 3 inches. If you are working with a good coach, they will hopefully know when it is time for you to move on. Sometimes a rider needs to be pushed to challenge themselves less they get stuck where they are.


    • #3
      It took me about 2 years to go from crossrails to 2'6"-3". I'm still working in that 2'6"-3' range, depending on what we're trying to accomplish for the day, and I probably will be for awhile, which is fine by me. I would say at the beginning though, I went up to 2'3"-2'6" pretty quickly because I was on a saint of a horse, and didn't have any real fear/confidence issues so would pretty much jump anything my trainer told me to (as would the horse) I now own a more complicated horse that we basically took back down to crossrails (so *I* could learn to ride her) and have been working our way back up ever since.

      What my trainer does that helps me get over the "OMG that fence is high"-itis is she'll just slip in one or two slightly higher fences during our course work. It makes it so you barely even notice. Maybe you can ask your trainer to do something like that. And then as you get more comfortable, more and more fences can be raised.

      Its also helpful putting a larger jump as the out of a grid or line. I know when we have a grid, my horse will jump it, all I have to do is keep her straight with leg on. Its a nice way to introduce height without you having to do much.

      Oh, and I am an adult rider too (didn't start until my 20's) so you are in good company. Our problem tends to be we ride too much in our heads, plus the weight of our obligations makes being brave a little harder. But, it sounds like you have a very understanding trainer who won't push you unless you're ready, so don't be afraid to ask. Usually that's all they're waiting for!


      • #4
        Confidence in what you're doing is key before you move up. I moved from showing short stirrup (so cross rails) to jumping 2'3-2'6 in a year, but then I chilled at 2'6 for 4 years of showing. I took a bad fall the end of the 3rd year at 2'6 and blew my confidence, took 6 months to get back to being comfortable at W/T/C, and a total of a year and a half to get back to where I was when I fell. Up til that point I had never had a horse who was sound to jump 3' (I went through leasing a series of old schoolmasters who would pack anyone around at 2'6, and then a green horse who wasn't ready for bigger fences.) This past summer, I finally had a horse who could stay sound at 3', and since I was totally confident at 2'6, my trainer just started putting the fences up. I did a lot of work to make sure my position was totally solid (she had me jumping around smaller courses without stirrups before the fence heights went up), and it really paid off. I went from 2'6 courses to full courses at 3' in 2 months, because I was completely confident in my position and my horse.

        So the moral of the small novel is make sure you're ready and confident. Make sure your horse can handle the height, and that you have the body control to deal with a bigger push and more impact on landing. I also second the suggestion of putting the bigger fences as the second jump of a line or grid, because if you know how many strides the line is you can kind of sit back and let your horse find the distance and not worry about turns or anything except staying solid. Good luck!
        Different flavors of crazy, but totally NUTS. You know its true. - GreyHunterHorse



        • #5
          I think a good rule of thumb is to spend about a year at each height (xrails, 2', 2'6, 3', etc.) Of course how fast you progress has A LOT to do with other factors such as your horse's capabilities, your confidence level, etc. On some horses 2' and 2'6 or 2'6 and 3' might be not much different... on some horses it will be a HUGE difference.