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New to Jumping

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  • New to Jumping

    I have just started jumping and I have a 1/2 Arab/NSH that has just starting jumping as well. We both started in June. I have been riding Saddle Seat for over 20 years and my horse has been doing Hunt (flat work) for 5 years. He is 9 now. We are having a timing issue. He wants to jump everything (which is nice) but he jumps too early and too big sometimes and pulls me out of the saddle. I have fallen once and got a concussion. One trainer tells me to tighten up and half halt him to keep him under control right to the fence and then release him to jump the other tells me to leave him on a loose rein and let him figure out on his own where to take off at. He is usually good on the first jump but wants to jump big on the second one sometimes. When we canter he seems fine but don't think I should skip this control step for the future if we start jumping bigger jumps. What do you guys suggest?

  • #2
    I don't know if it's possible in your situation, but seeing as you are BOTH green to jumping, I would recommend finding a nice schoolie that knows the ropes so that you can learn YOUR timing on a safe horse, and then you'll be in a better position to teach your horse and set him up for the proper striding.

    Also, I would discuss with your trainers their conflicting messages. Why are you training with 2 different trainers in the same discipline? Both of their approaches are valid in certain situations, but I would think it would be very confusing to both you and your horse to have a different strategy each time you jump.


    • #3
      Aside from what was posted above, if you're looking directly for "training" techniques, my answer would be:


      oh and also


      They are gods gift to greenies. ^^ Enjoy your new found fun with jumping!

      (Don't get me wrong, I don't think you should DRILL gymnastics, ****but, for both rider and horse, after the basic, i can get over one jump, but need help focusing on timing,**** gymnastics are the Awesome!)

      **Edited to clarify**

      A gymnastic doesnt necessarily mean five jumps in a row. You can put a small X, with a placing pole on either side and its a gymnastic. Also, a one or two stride is a gymnastic, you don't need to have two, three, four, five jumps to have a gymnastic. You can set a gymnastic up to teach the horse and rider to learn where they need to take off. A properly set gymnastic will teach both horse and rider rhythym and balance and help develop scope (Obviously, you cant teach scope, a horse is either scopey or not and in varying stages, BUT, you can help develop within reason what god gave him!)
      Last edited by HunterJumperLuv; Sep. 4, 2009, 09:45 PM.


      • Original Poster

        I was training with 2 different trainers because the first one hurt herself and she is having surgery. I have ridden lesson horses but they seem to be easy because they don't require much guiding and they just don't jump like my horse. I was watching my video tonigt and it looks like both times I felt unbalanced he was taking off way early. Part of my problem is I don't think he will be able to get over the jump if I ride him right to it and then release him but I can see from my video that it isn't the up jump it's the long jump that gets me everytime.

        If you are trotting ground pole do you allow them to jump them or make them only trot over them? Do you ever walk over a low cross rail? One trainer says that's it ok to walk over the other says not to let him walk over anything I eventually want him to jump.


        • #5
          Trot poles before the jump should be trotted, not jumped. They encourage the horse to get to the base of the jump and take off from a proper spot.

          Walking a jump is sometimes done, but not walking in the sense that the horse just steps over the jump. A properly executed walk jump needs to be ridden with impulsion so that the horse walks to the base and then jumps the jump, landing in a canter.

          From the information you've given, I second the suggestion for gymnastic lines. You want the distances to be set up a little short to encourage the horse to really rock back and jump from the base of each jump.

          Do you jump on your own at all, or just with a trainer? At this point, it sounds like you should only be jumping with supervision because of the difficulties you are having.

          And finally, being half arab may mean that your horse will always jump a little more awkward as they tend to jump inverted. Bounces/gymnastics may help the horse learn to get out of a tight spot a little better, but nothing will correct improper jumping conformation.

          All of my statements are pretty much general statements about what i know about jumping- I am not sure which apply to you without actually seeing a video/knowing the horse.


          • #6
            I would not send a new-to-jumping rider through gymnastics. Especially not on a new-to-jumping horse. Too much too soon too fast. If the horse gets tense over one jump, what's he going to do when faced with 3 or 4 one right after another?

            Nope. I would suggest keeping the jumps teeny tiny, little x's and really nothing over 18" until he relaxes. I'd do lots and lots of trotting in to single jumps, then progressing to trotting in a nice long line, 5 or 6 strides, but coming back to the trot in between, and only letting him canter to the 2nd fence when he's nice and relaxed. If he rushes and takes a long spot to the 2nd jump, go back to trotting.

            Keeping a tight rein and/or giving a strong half halt on a horse who is already nervous about rushing will make him more tense about jumping. That doesn't mean you let him blow thru it. Just make the jumps tiny and non-scary; and there's nothing wrong with ditching the x's completely and turning the jumps into groundpoles. Walk and trot over them.

            A placing pole is your best friend with a horse who likes to take the long spot. You do want him to figure it out on his own, but you need to give him all the help he needs to do that. A groundpole anywhere from 7-9 ft.' out from the base of the jump should allow him to trot in over the pole and show him the perfect spot to jump from. Adjust the pole closer or farther away if needed. And don't forget groundpoles at the base of the jump so it's easier for him to judge the height of the jump. For little x's I like groundpoles right up against the base of the jump, and for 18"-2' jumps I like to roll them out about a foot.

            ETA: And there is nothing wrong with walking over a jump. I assume you are talking about truly walking over a small x, one step at a time, and not walking a jump like you would see in an eq test, which means walking with impulsion and actually jumping the jump.

            Occasionally I have a horse who is so nervous about jumping that they think the jump is going to bite them and they really overjump it. Sometimes that horse won't trot over a pole on the ground, they leap every time. So I will spend lots of time walking (one foot at a time) over a pole to show them they can just step over it and they won't die. That helps them understand they can trot over a pole without jumping it, too.

            With a greenie, I keep the jumps low enough so that I have the option of walking over them if needed. It's beneficial to the horse that thinks the jump is going to attack them, and it's beneficial to the horse who wants to stop. A stopper is never allowed to stop with me. Even if I have to walk the horse over the jump, he's going over it.


            • #7
              Good point Seven-Up! Not being a trainer myself, I've only ever dealt with green horses, not green riders, and didn't even think of the possible difficulties that could arise from a greener rider trying to ride a greener horse through a gymnastic line.

              I think your suggestions are much more appropriate.


              • Original Poster

                I mainly jump with a trainer around or with my husband who has been to all my lessons with me. I have done some gymnastic's with my horse in one lesson and he did fine. When I first started jumping we were cantering and doing fine but then when I had to change trainers she wanted me to back up and start with trotting everything first and that is where this all started with him jumping big. He doesn't seem scared just and over achiever. My trainer was not impressed when I told her I bought a 1/2 Arab/Saddlebred but after working with him she says he looks and moves like a warmblood and she really likes him and when I do get to the bigger jumps he is going to be awesome. I ride with another girl that has a TB and she never has any problems but my trainer said her horse jumps flat and the way my horse jumps is much nicer I just have to learn to get into sink with him and hold him back to the base of the jump. I have laid a ground pole 9ft in front and back of the jump and that does seem to help us both. He does not jump it just trys to jump ground poles sometimes when they are in a line in the middle of the arena.


                • #9
                  It's nice to see someone going against the grain. Aside from the good excercises given above, I would practice, practice, practice, practice your 2-point on the flat. with and without stirrups. Teach yourself to grab the mane and make it your safe place.

                  If your horse wants to jump "big", which I read as round, you need to be strong enough to hold yourself above his bascule and follow his mouth. After many years of riding saddleseat, you are used to riding off your thigh. You will have to continue to get comfortable with using your calf for suppot and folding at your hip.