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Is this normal to happen after a period of not jumping?

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  • Is this normal to happen after a period of not jumping?

    After a pretty wet winter, where we jumped hardly at all, the ground has started to not be so slippery, so I've started jumping again. However, he keeps missing distances, chipping, and actually kinda being dangerous! The previous season, he was perfect, would hardly ever chip or anything. Do you think it's just because of the break he's had? If I just bring jumping back gradually do you think he'll get back to being normal again?
    What can I do?

  • #2
    Work more on your canter and do some ground poles and grids.

    He's just a little rusty. He may not be the only one either. If you did not jump all winter, your eye is probably as rusty as his. The canter work, poles and grids ought to help you both get ready for your summer in....where are you? Aussie? Kiwi? South Africa?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • Original Poster

      Very true... I haven't really been jumping much either.
      Thanks for the advice, and we're from NZ


      • #4
        oh that makes sense from new zealand! i was wondering why in sept you were posting about not jumping all winter and now in sept you can start jumping! i know in the northeast it has been just about raining every day, but really i have been able to ride outside all summer!


        • #5
          I think both of you are rusty, it's up to the rider to make the distances work.
          I have the same problem when I don't jump for awhile.
          Poles and gymnastics are a good place to start.


          • #6
            Focus on dressage, balance, in between the hand and leg, some cavalettis and you'll be back to your old selves in 4 weeks.

            i rarely jump my horse (mainly because my jumping saddle needs some flocking adjustments) ...and funny you should post this now... I jumped him today, and the last time we jumped was 4 months ago, bareback. he didnt miss a spot today... BUT we work on all the mentioned above so we are always prepared for a jumping day
            chaque pas est fait ensemble


            • #7
              I disagree that it is fully "up to the rider to make the distance". Horses are very capable of seeing a distance too and when allowed to self adjust when the rider srews up is important for all of us riders who are not perfect. I personally have no depth perception and all of my horses (up to 1.3m jumpers) have been excellent at finding a distance with out me. It's my job to make the canter and balance and the horse finds the spot to the jump from. I personally find horses can learn to see a distance much faster than a new jumper rider.

              Back on topic though: I have students work on long lines over ground poles counting down from 8 strides out (when you think you are 8 strides out start counting 8...7...6...) It's not directly the exercise of trying to guess how far 8 strides is that makes a rider see their distance (and you'll find it is not as difficult as it sounds), but that it makes the rider think about the distance in a consistent and logical way so the brain can more quickly process what the body is practicing. Ground poles work just as well as jumps, so no reason to jump your horse's leg off.

              Best of luck and the rustiness will be gone in no time (don't forget to DW-40 next winter )