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SPINOFF: Days per week Jumping...

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  • SPINOFF: Days per week Jumping...

    Didn't want to hijack the other thread with the poll and results. I'll be totally honest, I am astonished by how many people jump their horses multiple times per week. The poll results aren't too out of line with what I'd expect, but in the comments so many people are jumping multiple days.

    Is that really the norm? I ride youngsters (3-5yo) all the way up to my 1.40m horse and none of them jump more than once a week unless it is at a show. I can't fathom jumping the same horse every single day. It is unfortunate that there is not more emphasis on flatwork, hacking, conditioning, and poles in people's programs. And I am not trying to pick on or fault anyone in particular. It is a problem with our system and trainers, IMHO, that riders today are growing up thinking horses need to jump 3-5x a week!

    Anyone else find this concerning or am I the only one?
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan


  • #2
    Some seemed a little high to me, but I firmly believe that each horse is an individual and should have a training scheduled tailored to their personal needs.

    I would also expect the young/green ones to school a little more, albeit potentially less fences. Our seasoned horses usually school jumps once a week, and when they get it right, they stop. I don't remember who said it, but I've heard "horses only have so many jumps in them" and I think it's important to keep this in mind.

    I think you will find this type of thing varies greatly across the board.


    • #3
      I don't think in a lot of cases it's the horses that need that much practice, it's the people! We jump so much at my barn because the majority of the clients are still learning, though most of the horses are made at this point. We try to limit horses to 2-3 o/f sessions a week though.

      Monday is off for all horses, Tuesday is flat only, Wednesday-Friday are gymnastics/combination days, Saturday is courses, and Sunday is (mostly) beginner/intermediate lessons (so flat, poles, cavalettis, and occasionally crossrails). Most of the horses then get 2-3 days of flatwork a week (with poles and cavalettis thrown in) and 2-3 of fences, plus 1 or 2 off, but an o/f session generally consists of 30 minutes of flatwork and 20-30 of fences with breaks (exercise gets done 2 or 3 times, unless it's gone terribly wrong). I don't think that's excessive, but maybe that's just because it's normal at my barn. We have a lot of older show horses (at least 3 over 20) and they're all still going strong with no real lameness issues, so where's the harm?


      • #4
        Some people jump their horses over 6-8 jumps everyday (incorporated into their flatwork) rather than jumping them 30 jumps a couple times a week. I try to stick to 2 jump lessons a week (only jump in lessons), but during some issues I was having with my horse last year where he was getting to excited about jumping (long story to deal with that but won't go into it) and so we did the 6 jumps a day nearly every day for a few weeks to make jumping a bit more 'boring' for him.


        • #5
          I jump multi days for my benefit as I'm new to jumping. My horse already knows what he's doing (15yrs old) and at an avg of 18" I'm not worried. I also only jump like 3 courses worth (6-8 jumps).


          • #6
            I think it truly depends on your mount. young greenie's you would hope to see more flat work with poles, working on elasticity, use of the topline, etc.

            For me, I brought my 11 yo broodmare back into work after foaling last April. She had originally been a dressage horse and we are turning her into a hunter. Which means she is super broke on the flat, but very green over fences. We typically are jumping 2'-0 to 2'-6" 3x week, but never 30+ jumps in a single go. we incorporate trot jumps into our flat work, and slowly start cantering some, focusing on her using her hind end and bascule properly. We probably do not jump more than 15 jumps a ride, including the trot jumps. In my case, she needs the schooling over fences, and the only way to get that is repetition-so inherently we jump more than most I would assume. Sure we do canter pole exercises as well, but when you have to focus on getting their form right, the only way to do it is to jump them.


            • #7
              Originally posted by buschkn View Post
              It is unfortunate that there is not more emphasis on flatwork, hacking, conditioning, and poles in people's programs.
              This is a classic failure of logic. How can you posit that there is not the same/less/more emphasis on flatwork, hacking, conditioning and poles just because one more element (jumping) is added?

              You may not have seen such a program, but that does not mean it doesn't exist or that there is a lack of education/knowledge.

              For instance, a daily ride could consist of hacking on a loose rein to warm up (all 3 gaits) for about 15 minutes, working on average hunter contact for about 10-15 minutes, including jumping an X in both directions and then a small line 3 times, focusing on doing the add/the numbers/the add, and then transitioning to contact/lateral work for 10-15 minutes, and finally hacking out around the farm on to the road on a loose rein to finish off the ride.

              Because that is a 40-60 minute ride that incorporates:

              conditioning (I may vary the amount of trot v. canter depending on what my goals are)

              flatwork (I could spend a lot of time working on haunches in of lifting the right shoulder)

              jumping (in this case I might be reminding the horse that he needs to be prepared to come back in front of my leg the last 2 strides before the fence if he gets a bit strung out)

              hacking (leaving the ring, facing different terrain, I could add some hill work in my hack if I haven't worked very hard)

              I grant you, I didn't add poles to that work but an X and a pole are pretty much the same thing to an experienced horse, and I would rather focus on flower box sized jumps than poles personally.

              Sure there are PLENTY of trainers out there with a pretty limited depth of knowledge, you will get zero argument from me on that point, but just because you hear/see written that someone jumps more than 1xweek does not equal a lack of knowledge. It assumes facts not in evidence.
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


              • #8
                Off topic, but DMK I love your signature!


                • #9
                  True, DMK. It is not how often you are jumping, but how you are jumping that causes problems. Consistent poor jumping, in my experience, is problematic.

                  But, in a program that involves good flatwork and adding in a few jumps here and there as an extension of your flatwork, jumping more than once or twice a week is not problematic.

                  In the other thread, PNWJumper said she jumps good-sized jumps frequently. From what I have seen of her, she has a pretty accurate eye and the jumps are not practice for her. I would bet those few jumps a day that she does are a lot less stress on her horses than if I were to go jump my horse everyday at 3'-3'3" (our max height at this point). My eye is not that accurate and I need the practice. If I were to jump a few 2'6" and under jumps every day, I think my horse and I would be fine. But if I was consistently burying him, chipping and putting, leaving long, or just practicing bad technique even at that height, it would be detrimental not only to him physically, but also to his training.

                  Typically, I take one lesson a week at height. The rest of the week, the amount of jumping I do depends on what my horse and I need to work on. Some weeks, we only jump in our lesson. Other weeks, I might do a decent school (half the number of jumps of a lesson at 2'6" or less) once a week, and sometimes, I might throw a few jumps into my flatwork as a test to see if my flatwork is paying off or as a reward to my horse.

                  I don't think there is a set formula to determine how many jumps a horse has in them. Among other factors, fitness, scope and rider skill play a significant role in a horse's longevity.


                  • #10
                    Thank you, DMK!

                    I only ride twice a week (period), so I jump both days I'm able to ride (anywhere from 2'6"-3'3", depending on the day). That doesn't mean I don't spend a significant time of that ride doing flat work: counter canter, haunches in, shoulder in, leg yields, etc. You name it.

                    It's really unfair, buschkn, to say "Well, I do this and it's right, and the rest of you are doing it wrong," without knowing ANYTHING about anyone else's program.


                    • #11
                      Typically I do 2x a week with a younger one. 1 day is working on an issue (whether it be pace, rounding, whatever) and that's usually some sort of grid work at low levels. Then the 2nd day is course work. Now that is usually a good 6" to 1' lower than we'd show with 1 or 2 at show height, until we are ready to think about moving up.


                      • #12
                        I need more o/f work than my horse does I typically only jump once a week. When he's in a program (i.e. it's not the dead of winter), he gets worked 5-6 days a week. The other days are all flat work - dressage, sometimes we hack out. That being said, it's not unprecedented for us to hop over a log a few times on a Non-jumping day as a reward.


                        • #13
                          This subject could get touchy. It REALLY has a million and one factors that need to be considered to get an 'ideal' answer and it differs for all rider/horse combo's.
                          That being said I prefer two jumping days tops per week for well conditioned horse/riders.
                          It saddens me when I see riders/trainers in my area jumping their horses 3' and higher 4-5 times a week. I am in my 20's and my knees are sore after a day of jumping and the impact to riders is minimal compared to the horse.

                          For me- I have a coming 5y/o mare and I typically ride three times a week.
                          Of that I generally have one full flat day.

                          One day that consists of a gymnastic that assists in correcting issues I might be having as of late. Typically going through the exercise 3-4 times each direction.

                          The final day I will use poles or cavaletti's, which are usually set in a way to work on turning, bending, rhythm, my eye and feel for distance etc.

                          I feel the number of jumps in any given day or number of days you jump should be geared to the horse/rider.

                          I chose the above schedule because my mare doesn't need to do an activity more than a few times to start understanding what is expected and when I have chosen, in the past, to repeat the same activity more than the above mentioned, she begins to get sloppy and bored.

                          I tend to finish when I achieve the goal I set for the day which is generally always the same, I ask myself;
                          Did we have good rhythm? Pace? Listening to aids? How were our spots?
                          I personally don't sweat rubs at this age, as long as we answered the rest of my questions.


                          • #14
                            Thank you, DMK! Exactly what she said.

                            As I said above I jump my two boys a few times a week and believe me, my flatwork is about as serious as one can get without being a DQ. I hardly think four times over a little vertical with an oxer or two thrown in qualifies as pounding. However, at the multi-barn facility where I ride I do see other people jumping endlessly without much thought (seemingly) to anything but running at and getting over each fence. I also see people doing about 15 minutes worth of flatting before jumping- all the time- and yes, that seems unproductive, too.

                            Quantity IS important, but so is quality, and unless you know how a person rides, and at what level, it seems silly to assume all of the people you consider to be jumping too much are not flatting their horses properly and/or pounding on them.
                            You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


                            • #15
                              I have an 18-year-old ISH campaigner. He's jumped a lot of jumps in his lifetime. I am currently bringing him back after he tweaked an old suspensory injury (original injury probably from over-compensating for a brewing SI problem.) With two thumbs-up from my vet he returns to his normal weekly jumping schedule: he canters a couple of crossrails or flower boxes almost every day he does ring work. Tip hates to flat, and as he's gotten older, he's thought it less and less necessary in his life. It is difficult for him to do quality flatwork and he doesn't enjoy it. He will quickly sour if all he does is flat in the ring. But if I build in a couple of crossrails to his flatwork, he does his shoulder-in, or whatever, and then he does something fun. That minimizes expressions of Irish temperament and resistance behaviors, which means, on the whole, I do less with him than I would otherwise. In summer, he's out flatting in the back field (less horrible than in the ring, if you ask him) or trotting hills more frequently than he's in the ring, so he doesn't do the terrible awful no good very bad flatting in the ring as much. I think cantering a little crossrail ends up being less impact on his legs, not to mention his back and muscles, than 20 minutes of resistant flatwork!

                              He may have a jump school once or rarely twice a week, but at his age, he knows how to jump and any added height (compared to crossrails) is more for building/maintaining strength than anything else. Depending on what his legs tell me, when he's fit to do anything beyond crossrails, I can't imagine I'll actually jump him "at height" (for him now, 2'6"- can go higher, but why bother?) very often.
                              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                              • #16
                                I say, to each his own and there are FAR too many factors to make a judgement call on anyone's program based on the information in that thread. You know what they say about assumptions.....

                                What I can tell you about my horses is that they jump around well at the heights they show at and don't end up exhausted and sore at the end of the week. My TB goes in 1-2 classes a day without "the day off" (that so many barns seem to do with the 1.40m horses now) and feels as good on day 4 as he does on day 1. And this is under FEI rules (no bute).

                                Count the number of jumps you do in a lesson. I've watched a lot of lessons and taken a lot of lessons over the years that put a horse over >100 jumps. When you add up the warm up jumps, the redo jumps every time the rider misses, and then the courses....those jumps add up quickly. But for argument's sake, let's say you only jump 50 jumps in a lesson and you do that twice a week, you're sitting at ~100 jumps each week.

                                I have at least a couple of days where my horses jump 3 jumps and jump them so well that I quit after that (sometimes it's after the first fence). I probably jump a maximum of 50 jumps a week with my jumping-every-day plan (and more often 20-30 jumps total). Not that many jumps in the grand scheme of things. And I'll reiterate that I quit the minute the horse does something really well. With my youngsters in particular, this might mean they jump the first jump brilliantly and then we quit.

                                And on the flip side of jumping a bunch, my TB goes to horseshows and doesn't get jumped prior to walking into the ring for his 1.40m classes. We flat for 30-45 minutes (mostly walking with a lot of transitions to trot and canter thrown in) and then walk into the ring. My point there is that it's about the individual needs of the horse, not some idea that every horse needs the same program.

                                I've done a lot of experimenting with the horses I have over the years. I've found that MY horses (the particular ones I have right now, which is all I can speak for) hold up better over the course of a show with that schedule than they do with more intensive once or twice a week jumping. I also don't dwell on little jumps. My TB might jump a 3'6" jump or two and then jump around a couple of 4'6" jumps and then we're done. When I stopped being able to warm up at shows (he can't transition from the eurofelt footing in the schooling ring to the grass in the GP field at the venue we show at most often) I realized that the warm-up is largely for the rider. So my horse gets "warmed up" through flat work consisting of a lot of connection/lateral work/transitions, etc. And I've transitioned that to shows for the other horses too. My 5yo gets a good flat session and then jumped over 4-5 warm-up jumps at most and then straight into the ring.

                                So rather than looking at number of fences, my plan is always to ride my horses the way that best supports overall condition (for THEM, as individuals), longevity, and a happy brain that enjoys doing what we're doing (hence the quitting as soon as the horse does something great).

                                And to your point about flatwork. Where the heck did you make the leap from people jumping a lot to not doing flatwork? My primary focus is flatwork far above and beyond the jumping. The only lessons I take regularly are dressage lessons, and I incorporate that work into every single ride with every single horse. There's never a day where I say "this is a jumping day, we'll just do a quick warmup and get to the jumps." This goes for shows too. I never skimp on a warm-up because we're at a show. I want my horses ready to walk into the show ring based on the flat work alone.

                                Regarding Pryme-tyme's point about getting sore after jumping her mare. My goal with my horses is that none of us EVER get sore. I want a training program that conditions my horses to jump around jumps and NEVER over-do it or jump so much that they walk away from that day body sore and exhausted. I also want my horses able to walk away from a day at a horseshow not feeling exhausted and sore. I can't control many of the factors (the horses not sleeping well in a show environment, for example), but I can control how fit and ready they are to handle the physical stresses of the actual competition.
                                Flying F Sport Horses
                                Horses in the NW


                                • #17
                                  I jump my 17 y/o warmblood 2x a week 4'+. Typically we do one warm up jump about 3 times and go right into courses. I normally only jump 2 or 3 courses of less than 10 jumps... Sometimes less if we both are on our game.

                                  He's sound as a board..


                                  • #18
                                    I think a better question would be "how many jumps per week" rather than how many days jumping per week?

                                    I do a lot of flat when I ride, and jump 3-4 times per week. Most of the time its small 2' fences and I will jump over a line once or twice. I rarely schooledl the height I showed (3'6) but found jumping small amounts frequently was better for my horse than large amounts once or twice weekly.

                                    During lessons, we would flat for 1/2 hour or so, then jump a few singles and a course. Horse is very well schooled so doesnt need much, its more for me


                                    • #19
                                      Interesting conversation.

                                      At our barn we are only allowed to jump in lessons. I typically take about one lesson a week, plus the additional lesson/clinic/cross country school as life permits.

                                      Lessons are 2 to 3 people, about an hour. We event so we have a "full" flatwork portion that takes about 20 min to 30 min before we transition to jumping. Jumping depends on what is set up in the arena. We tend to go through a rotation of courses - if we have a hunter schooling show coming up, we get a hunter course; if there is a jumper schooling show coming up, we get a jumper course. There are gymanastic lines and cavaletti set up as required.

                                      Yesterday's lesson was one I would call a cavaletti lesson (the circle of death exercise over 12 inch jumps), followed by a diagonal oxer to hunter outside line on the right (we've been having problems with landing and keeping our right lead). I probably jumped the circle of death to a total of about 32 jumps (if you call the 12" a jump which for the 17.2 fella - really, its more of a canter stride). The 'hunter' portion of the course was probably another 12 jumps, this time at about 2'9" to 3'0". So I would guesstimate that we did less than 50 jumps in that lesson.

                                      The only time I've been granted "special permission" to jump everyday is when one of them mistook something for too much of a big deal and we had to tone down the enthusiasm by several notches. We have a couple ditches on the property and for the first part of last summer both of my horses were about them. My BF and I were told by our coach to jump either/both every day for about 2 weeks. We did this until both did not care - at all - about the stupid things and barely looked.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                                        I think a better question would be "how many jumps per week" rather than how many days jumping per week?
                                        This. I've jumped my horse 4x a week. But if that is me popping over a cross-rail or two when I hack because my trainer is away and I'm not taking a lesson, I'm still jumping less than someone who jumps once a week and runs a course twice.