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Transistion from hunters and equitations to jumpers

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  • Transistion from hunters and equitations to jumpers

    I have done a lot of hunters and equitations and i think im gonna try jumpers at a small one day schooling show coming up. Any tips on riding jumpers vs hunters and equitations.
    i know the whole jumper thing. and the main point is to be clean and accurate and not run as fast as u can but ive never done then so yeah..
    and also i dont plan on showing jumpers alot just at this show and maybe some more next season if i like them

    Thanks guys

  • #2
    The main point is to be clean and accurate. Ride your course like it's an equitation course--neat and precise. Don't run like a bat out of hell, just keep a nice rhythm and ride forward. You'll do fine.
    "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.


    • #3
      Rules to remember!

      I am a hunter rider but I used to LOVE jumpers so I know lots about the course designs and what most course designers ask you.

      First off, you have to pay attention to the lay out of the course. Ask your self "where are the tight turns and tricky distances" and "where are the wide turns and easy distances". Most of the time even in International competitions the courses start out with wide turns and easy distances and they get tighter turns and harder distances as the course goes along. So you want to just gallop into the course starting with the first jump and then slow down the horse accordingly as the course progresses.

      Also to avoid pulling any rails you want your horse to be not too slow and not to fast. Too slow and they pull a rail, too fast and they pull a rail so find a good balance and stick with it. Unless you have a long distance between fences and you can gallop in between fences and then slow back down to the "good canter" a few strides before the jump.

      Good luck!

      You want to find that fast balance. It should be fast (or forward whatever you want to call it) but feel rhythmic like a hunter pace. When you get nonrhythmic you get unbalanced and that can cause you to pull a rail.

      Go as tight as your horse can without knocking down a rail. I always like to give myself one or two straight balanced strides before the fence. So I can make a tight turn but just make sure there is still room for one - two strides to get the balance and rhythm back.

      When that bell rings it means you have 30 seconds to start the course or your eliminated. Everyone uses it for different things but I prefer to use some of it to show my horse any "scary jumps" and then to get a good gallop going.
      Last edited by A168HJ; Jun. 27, 2009, 08:40 PM.


      • Original Poster

        yeah thats what i was thinking. i was wondering if i would carry a hunter pace or one a little more forward..not a longer sprawled step (my horse already has a big stride) but a forward one. and about the tighter turns how tight is too tight?


        • Original Poster

          i would also like to ask about the i think 30 sec thing wen u enter the ring. its like 30 secondes before u have to start or something. do most of u jumpers use it and walk around and get ur horse sue to the fenses or do u just beggin ur course? my horse wouldnt really need to look at the bright fences (hes done jumpers many times b4 and doesnt spook easily) so what would u use that time for?


          • #6
            Originally posted by EquitationRider View Post
            yeah thats what i was thinking. i was wondering if i would carry a hunter pace or one a little more forward..not a longer sprawled step (my horse already has a big stride) but a forward one. and about the tighter turns how tight is too tight?
            We dabble in jumpers at our local shows with our hunters. They're my favorite days- who cares if you have an occasional skip through change or a 10' stride? It does teach horses to be honest and riders to develop an eye and learn complex courses.

            What I've found... ride it as an eq course. However, I have a very forward horse, so it tends to be quite a forward eq course! Definitely look for the shorter turns and angles you can use to shave your times down. Remember, too, that many classes have an optimal time in the first round, so you don't' have to scream around the course - just go careful & clean. Save the speed racer round for jump-offs. Also, know where your time lines are. If you can, go straight across it even if you have to go between two jumps for a faster time at the end of your course.
            A proud friend of bar.ka.


            • Original Poster

              that helps alot! i have a very long horse! (long neck long body long legs ect) and doing tighter turns really packages him up and forces him into the bridle. we do a lot of equitation stuff at home (its my chosen dicipline!) and we both have been succesful in the EQ ring. hes a careful jumper if u set it up and has done well in jumpers with someone eles in the past.

              again with the question...What do u use the 30 secs or so before u have to start your course? im a bit confused about that!


              • #8
                Jumper classes are not Equitation classes, so forget about equitation in the modern sense, how you look, and think about your riding as being effective. As always with riding form follows function, and equitation is a noting more than function expressed.

                When I think about the transition to jumpers, or to jumpers of any substantial size, the biggest adjustment was the need to be constantly aware of the horses impulsion. Most of the horse I rode could jump around a 3'6" course without effort, but when the fences went up to 4'3" - 4'6" I had to really think about making sure that the horse had the proper impulsion to jump fences of these heights and handle the spreads and the distances asked.

                Another thing that seems to get a lot of riders starting in the jumpers is time allowed. It is important to have real pace in a jumper class. The time allowed is calculated on a specific pace which for a lot of hunter riders may seem like it is very fast. You may need to get used to the idea of galloping a little bit. I do not mean running your horse off their feet, but opening up a bit.

                Jump-offs are in my opinion the easy part, again time allowed and the calculated feet/meters for a given distance. My father always told me to ride with the same pace but to always track inside of the route the course designer would use to calculate the time, which basically meant riding inside of any given line, and to never check a horse, or as little as possible, and make balanced turns. He used to say the rider who rides good lines, and checks the least will always win, and he was 99% correct, as usual.

                This is pretty basic information, but it is also the basic starting point for moving up to the jumpers.

                If you need use the time to double check your route. I used to use the time to create the pace/impulsion/balance I needed for the course with a nice little gallop.
                Last edited by Hauwse; Jun. 27, 2009, 08:54 PM. Reason: addition


                • Original Poster

                  yeah thats a good point. i am very used to at home having more gallop on a schooling course than i would in the hunter or equitation ring.
                  and another reason besides expireience and to try it out is that im doing the jumpers is to help with my equitation courses and to help for medal finals this year.
                  and on the jump off as far as the inside track...i used to be an excellent corner cutter b4 i started doing more rated shows and such and i couldnt cut a corner and still get placed! lol.


                  • #10
                    If you do the equitation it is really pretty much the same ride, although in jumpers you don't have to worry about how you look if you happen to round your back over a jump or something. For me, switching back and forth between hunters/eq and jumpers is just different because I have to get used to riding with more pace in the jumpers.


                    • #11
                      Don't forget to wait for the buzzer! I think that's one of the biggest mistakes I see new jumper riders do! When you walk the course, look to see where the timers are. I have done courses where you have to take a weird path to go through the start timers. You walk in the ring, walk your horse around, show him the jumps if you want, the buzzer will go off some time, THEN you have 30 seconds to get through the timers, you can do whatever you want in this time, just don't go through the timers unless your headed to the first jump.

                      Keep a good pace, I wouldn't worry so much about the time, don't take all the time in the world to get around, but don't rush your horse. You want your first jumper to be a positive experience!

                      Also, try to watch a few riders go ahead of you. Watch their path, see where they make mistakes, and you can also watch their time.


                      • #12
                        No one has mentioned but learn your course and note what table the class will be held under so that when you walk the course you know where you are going and develop your plan. If it is power and speed for example you continue right into the jump off after the last fence in the first round. Plan a nice course for the first round and then know where the timers are when you start the jump off and plan your track accordingly. If it is time first round, you will walk your course a bit differently as you will be looking for places to shave your turns and angle some fences.

                        Since this is your first time, have fun. I loved the jumpers and making the turns as my jumper was a bit short strided but could turn on a dime. We excelled if the course was a bit trappy but had problems if the course was one where there were lots of space between fences and the horses with longer strides would beat us every time.

                        You asked about what you did with the 30 seconds, I would trot into the ring and around a few fences so my horse got a feel for the placement of the fences and I could look at some of the turns I had planned - often look a bit different when mounted. The buzzer would usually sound. I would halt my horse and then pick up a nice forward canter and go through the timers. My horse had gotten a feel for the placement of the jumps, I had seen them while mounted and we were good to go.

                        Have fun!


                        • #13
                          Actually I believe you have 45 seconds from when the buzzer sounds to cross through the start timers, which gives you even more time that you're not sure what to do with! I've seen people who use every last second and it scares me to death that they're not going to make it, but they always do because they have it timed out just that well! Don't panic when the buzzer goes because 45 seconds really is a long time.

                          My horse is crazy brave so I don't worry about showing her any jumps or anything during the 45 seconds, but I agree with norcalammie that the jump placement can look a little different when you're mounted so glance over your turns again.

                          Make sure when you walk the course you take note of where the times are. You don't want to cross them accidently before you're ready at the beginning of your course or miss them after your last fence. Usually they're place so it's hard to miss them, but I've seen it happen!

                          Good luck and have fun!! But be warned...jumpers are really addicting!


                          • Original Poster

                            those are excellent points!!
                            i dont know if we have the option of walking the course since its a small one day schooling show. but if we end up schooling the day before i mite be ablke to ge tin the jumper ring and hope over some fences and make some practice turns.
                            thanks for the part on remembering the timers!! i can totally seei myself not going through them!!

                            Keep the tips coming everyone!! i really apprieciate it!
                            Also any hints on memorizing courses??
                            theres no more "folow the flowers" in jumpers. i am normally good at remembering courses but i just want to know if u guys had hints for the jumper courses.
                            haha the only expireience ive had with jumper courses was an 11 jump jumper course for a medal final. (used hunter jumps not jumper jumps) buti it was a jumper course. i thought i was off course the whole time and placed 3rd =]


                            • #15
                              I don't have any good tips for remembering the course but the first time I did jumpers an experience friend asked me my course. I started to tell her and then paused for a couple seconds to remember what jump 4 was...BAD IDEA! She yelled at me and told me I didn't know my course well enough and I had to be able to rattle it right off to her because things were going to come up faster than I was used to. So I went back and studied some more.

                              If you have time to watch a couple other people do it before you have to go that always helps me. Don't panic though if the course seems confusing. Most times once you're on your horse and going around the course it seems more obvious than when you're standing on the side of the ring trying to remember.


                              • #16
                                Coming from Hunterland...Do you have to know two courses? First round clean and Then second round is a shorter course and timed?


                                • #17
                                  If there is a jump-off, yes, you need to know two courses; and depending on the class, you may not leave the ring between your first and second round/jump off. Sometimes you don't even have time in between the two, you just continue on if the first set of jumps were clean. Other times you finish your first course and return to the walk. You will hear whatever sound, bell/buzzer, and have 45 seconds to start the jump-off, which is actually a good amount of time. Many people use this to look around the course and go over the next sequence of jumps. You should already know them -- this is not the time to figure it out, just remind yourself. I usually go over it once, pick up the canter, and get on with things. Point is, know your tables and sections, because that determines what happens next!!

                                  For memorizing courses, I get to the point that I know the course well enough to repeat it to someone else a few times, and then I always picture what the trip will look like. I close my eyes and imagine "Now I'm coming off the red oxer... looking around to the rainbow jump...jumping the rainbow jump, around the gate jump to the skinny..." etc. Then when you're on course, it's more like you're reliving something that's already happened. Your mind knows that when you come off the red oxer you should be looking toward the rainbow jump. It creates a visual map in your mind. I also imagine what I'm doing between the jumps. For example, if I'm planning on collecting before the skinny, I'll imagine and say to myself "Rainbow jump, collect at the light pole, steady to the skinny."
                                  Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper

                                  Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace


                                  • Original Poster

                                    that helps alot!!
                                    i think since this is a very small show they will let me come out before the jump off.
                                    Keep advise coming guys.
                                    like major differences and things to look out for and other helpful hints!


                                    • #19
                                      The best advice I've ever heard is "Ride any jumper course like a very forward hunter round - period." I.E. straight to the jumps, in front of the leg, bend around your turns, stay supporting and steady, and stay out of the horse's way.
                                      Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars


                                      • #20
                                        I will use the 30 second rule after the bell goes to ensure the pace I have is correct...even if I have to circle once before going through the timers.

                                        I learn the pattern as well as the jumps incase I forget the fence like one would do in the Hunter ring.