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# of Classes per Show for Big Jumpers?

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  • # of Classes per Show for Big Jumpers?

    I'm sllllooowly moving up the jumper levels and am interested to know how many classes per show week is normal for 1.30 meter jumpers and above.

    I used to do 2 classes Thursday & Friday then 1 Saturday & Sunday. But last week, I felt my horse was really fading by Sunday for the classic which is really when I need her at her sharpest. At the same time, I hate spending all the money to go to a show and only getting in the ring a few times. I only show maybe 6-8 times per year.

    Is 6 classes/week too much at that level?
    Does my horse just need to be in better shape?

  • #2
    Last year I did the 1.40m classes and only did 3-4 classes a week. I'd usually do a 1.30m on Wednesday to warm up, 1.40m Thursday and Friday, and then the classic on Sunday. I'll just hack on Saturday.

    I personally do think that 6 classes is too much when you're jumping bigger jumps and requiring that much more effort from your horse, but that is just my opinion. I'm sure it's different for each horse.
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    • #3
      Most of the Jr/Am Jumpers I know do one class Friday and one class Sunday. GP horses really depend on the rider and the horse. Some only do the GPs, some do like a L3 on Wed, then GP Thurs & GP Sunday.

      IMO, 6 classes is a lot for a bigger jumper, but it really just depends on the horse and how much you're showing. Every week for a 6 week circuit? Yes, 6 classes a week would be a lot. Once every other month? Maybe not so much.

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      • #4
        In the barn where I worked, A/O jumpers go 3/week (Th, F, Sun) while you are moving up. Established A/O horses usually go twice (Fri and Sun). the GP horses either go twice (Fri and Sun) or just Sunday, depending on the horse and which way helps it peak for Sunday.

        6 classes seems like too many. Our lower level jumpers only go 3 or so times a week, one class per day.

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        • #5
          Two classes is pretty average. Most skip the division speed unless they need practice or prize money. Many just do the classic. We used to have to walk through the timers in a class to qualify for the classic some places, but it's been so long since I had a jumper that I'm not sure if that's still necessary at certain shows.

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          • #6
            Now that my daughter has moved both her horses up to the MoJams she does 1 per day on each horse - Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun or Fri/Sat/Sun so either 3 or 4 and sometimes her horses get warmed up in a 1.10 class. 6 classes at 1.30 is quite a lot and your horse will be worn out by Sunday.
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            • #7
              You can go look this up on Shownet.

              You won't see too much variation in the pattern that the higher the horses go, the fewer classes they will show in.

              What will be interesting is to look at the winning horses in the big classes, and see how much they show.

              The point for the horses who are winning is not to get in the ring often, but to deliver their peak performance in the big class. Most of the riders showing at that level have plenty of horses to ride, and do not need to do additional classes only for the sake of getting the rider in the ring.

              I do not think you will see too many GPx horses in the L3 classes (3-6"); perhaps you are thinking of 1.30m, in which a few started at WEF.
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              • #8
                I prefer the less is more approach. Especially if you are showing in the higher level jumpers it should be assumed that your horse doesn't need the extra schooling. I would cut it down to 3 or 4 classes total and see if that helps. Six classes is a pretty big workload at that height in my opinion.

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                • #9
                  Totally depends on the horse. A few of our horses need as much ring time as possible to get in the swing of things and do 2 classes/day. I generally try to "save up" the experienced horse's energy for classes that matter on Saturday or Sunday.

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                  • #10
                    My SBNT has me do 3- 4 and do adult jumpers

                    Usually in FL I will do Tues warm up Lv 3 then qualify for Sunday Classic and if it was pure garbage do another before Sunday. I definetly think it would to much for a horse a that level.

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                    • #11
                      Depends on the horse and the week, but where I work it's an average of 3 a week. Sometimes just 2. Occasionally 4, but that would be something like a week where an ammy does a schooling class during the week, or the trainers do a class on a jr/am's horse during the week, not a regular thing. 6 would be a lot of pounding.

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                      • #12
                        When I was showing my gelding 1.30 meters my general rule was 1 class per day or 3 - 4 classes max per show with few exceptions.

                        If I felt like I needed to get him in the ring at a lower height first I would sometimes do 2 classes on my 1st day of showing. If there was a speed class and a classic round on the same day, we'd do both (my little horse kicked butt in the speed rounds ) If I was at a bigger show and had the availability, I would often show 1 class Thursday and Friday, light hack/trail ride (easy work) on Saturday, then we'd be fresh for the classic Sunday

                        I think 6 classes would have zapped the energy and pizzazz right out of my guy.

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                        • #13
                          3 classes max for my horses. The young ones will generally do a schooling class early in the week and then two of my division classes. Sometimes I'll skip the schooling class and do all three of my division classes.

                          I've done as many as 4-5 classes/week a handful of times but I bumped that horse down a whole level or two because he was being so naughty. He learned that stopping in the ring = less work after a bad lease so we needed to uninstall that habit.

                          My top horses jump 2x/week. I don't bother with the speed class since I prefer to save their jumps for classic day.

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                          • #14
                            From my experience, I would say 3-4 is average for a low or medium jr/am horse. One of those may be a lower level warm-up.

                            For a High Jr/Am, I'd say 1-3 is average, with some people just doing the classic, some doing 3 division classes, and some doing a lower warm-up early in the week then 2 division classes.

                            I've only known a few GP horses well enough to know their schedules, but those were: 1 did 1 L5/6 early in the week, Thursday or Friday speed, Sunday GP (so 3 classes, 2 at height), and the others only did the Sunday GP (no warmups or speed).

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                            • #15
                              IMHO -- At that height, I'd stick to one/day. When you consider all the warming up, etc. It's a lot. And, we want Miss S to be around for a LOOOOOONG time.

                              Seb
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                              • #16
                                Lots of different factors to consider ("staying power" of horse, experience level of horse, spookiness of horse, etc.).

                                When we're doing 1.30m, I show my mare in two classes a day every week day and then do one class Sat and one class Sun (usually the money class on Sat and the AO Jumper Classic on Sun). That totals 8 classes at the show. I keep her at an insanely high fitness level and I don't find that she fades much from day 1 to day 5. Probably worth mentioning that I don't usually do anything on schooling day (other than hacking her in the ring if I can). And my warmup consists of a total of MAYBE 4-5 jumps (1 oxer at 3'6", 1 at 3'9", 1 at 4'3", and sometimes a vertical at 4'6") each day before we go in the ring. I've found that my mare does better when she goes into the ring twice, but she's definitely not the type to get careless and drag a toe just because she's tired.

                                When we're in 4'6" classes I tend to do 2 classes on the first day or two (usually one at 1.30m and one at 1.40m) and then go to a 1-class-a-day schedule after that.

                                My gelding goes on a similar schedule, though I expect next year to be a little different since he won't be quite as green. I don't think he'll need 2 classes a day earlier in the week, so I'll likely have him do 1 big class a day (so 5-6 classes a week). But this year I moved him up a level at every show we did, so he'd go in, for example, one 1.20m class and one 1.30m class each day. He did 9-10 classes at each show this year, and pulled off some big wins for such a green boy, so obviously the schedule didn't impact him in any negative way.

                                My old high AO/Grand Prix horse back when I was a teenager went in two classes a day at 4'6"+ every day of every show. So 9-10 classes a week. Never had any problems with him not being sharp when he needed to be (through the big grand prixes too, not just the Jr/AOs). But then he was the type of horse who *wanted* to win, and tended to get into the killer mindset when we walked into the ring.

                                I think people tend to "save" their big jumpers a lot more than they used to. I spend too much money (and valuable time-away-from-work) on the shows to go to a week long show and only ride 3 days. Though lots of people seem to not mind doing that at all. And I suppose if I had a horse that needed a lighter schedule I would ride less. Fortunately neither of mine do, so I keep them fit enough to do those 2 courses a day.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                                  Lots of different factors to consider ("staying power" of horse, experience level of horse, spookiness of horse, etc.).

                                  When we're doing 1.30m, I show my mare in two classes a day every week day and then do one class Sat and one class Sun (usually the money class on Sat and the AO Jumper Classic on Sun). That totals 8 classes at the show. I keep her at an insanely high fitness level and I don't find that she fades much from day 1 to day 5. Probably worth mentioning that I don't usually do anything on schooling day (other than hacking her in the ring if I can). And my warmup consists of a total of MAYBE 4-5 jumps (1 oxer at 3'6", 1 at 3'9", 1 at 4'3", and sometimes a vertical at 4'6") each day before we go in the ring. I've found that my mare does better when she goes into the ring twice, but she's definitely not the type to get careless and drag a toe just because she's tired.

                                  When we're in 4'6" classes I tend to do 2 classes on the first day or two (usually one at 1.30m and one at 1.40m) and then go to a 1-class-a-day schedule after that.

                                  My gelding goes on a similar schedule, though I expect next year to be a little different since he won't be quite as green. I don't think he'll need 2 classes a day earlier in the week, so I'll likely have him do 1 big class a day (so 5-6 classes a week). But this year I moved him up a level at every show we did, so he'd go in, for example, one 1.20m class and one 1.30m class each day. He did 9-10 classes at each show this year, and pulled off some big wins for such a green boy, so obviously the schedule didn't impact him in any negative way.

                                  My old high AO/Grand Prix horse back when I was a teenager went in two classes a day at 4'6"+ every day of every show. So 9-10 classes a week. Never had any problems with him not being sharp when he needed to be (through the big grand prixes too, not just the Jr/AOs). But then he was the type of horse who *wanted* to win, and tended to get into the killer mindset when we walked into the ring.

                                  I think people tend to "save" their big jumpers a lot more than they used to. I spend too much money (and valuable time-away-from-work) on the shows to go to a week long show and only ride 3 days. Though lots of people seem to not mind doing that at all. And I suppose if I had a horse that needed a lighter schedule I would ride less. Fortunately neither of mine do, so I keep them fit enough to do those 2 courses a day.
                                  Wow that is a ton of jumping, especially at the 4'6" level. My high AO horse would be toast with that much pounding week after week. How often do you show?

                                  And what are your horses breeding lines? My guys would be crippled if I jumped them that much so often, especially my top horse who is getting a bit older. So far we haven't had to do much maintenance besides adequan/legend with an occasional hock injection on any of them but I want to keep it that way!

                                  I suppose now that I don't show as much as I did as a kid it wouldn't be as big a deal but back when I showed year round I think it would have been a problem for sure. But then I was also in school then and only flew down to the shows thurs-sun most of the time.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by WorthTheWait95 View Post
                                    Wow that is a ton of jumping, especially at the 4'6" level. My high AO horse would be toast with that much pounding week after week. How often do you show?.
                                    I don't show that often. I usually do one show a month.

                                    And two important things about my two: I keep them on a STRICT fitness schedule during the show season. And both horses are "sturdy" horses conformationally. My mare's been on that schedule for 6 years now and is sound as a horse can be (knock on wood). If she ever seemed sore or tired we wouldn't do what we're doing. My gelding has massive energy and uses next to no effort over the big(ger) courses, and could easily do more (not that I would ask that of him). I would actually prefer to back my mare off to only doing the big classes, but it's hard to decide to change something that's worked well for the last many years. And she's just not as sharp in random classes as she is over the course of a week of classes.

                                    Originally posted by WorthTheWait95 View Post
                                    And what are your horses breeding lines? My guys would be crippled if I jumped them that much so often, especially my top horse who is getting a bit older. So far we haven't had to do much maintenance besides adequan/legend with an occasional hock injection on any of them but I want to keep it that way!
                                    My mare is an Oldenburg from Mosquito lines. My TB is an OTTB: http://www.pedigreequery.com/billy+l
                                    I will say again that for mine I think it comes down largely to the fitness level of the horse, the shoeing, and the body work. Neither of mine get regular injections or anything else along the "real" vet work line of things. Neither are on Adequan or Legend either. I have done Polyglycan for my mare before shows on occasion, but nothing regular....and I haven't noticed much of a difference for her on or off.

                                    And it's worth mentioning that in watching other Jr/AOs prepare for classes, they often do as many fences in the warmup as I do in both of my classes. So I don't feel that it's as many fences as it seems on the surface. Same goes for schooling at home. I go for the few-fences-regularly rather than jumping a whole bunch in a lesson format. It's one of the nice things of getting to put together my own program at home

                                    Originally posted by WorthTheWait95 View Post
                                    I suppose now that I don't show as much as I did as a kid it wouldn't be as big a deal but back when I showed year round I think it would have been a problem for sure. But then I was also in school then and only flew down to the shows thurs-sun most of the time.
                                    Honestly, if I could show every week (or 2-3 weeks at a time), I would change that schedule and do fewer classes. It's just a different way of going about things, I suppose. And I also have never shown all year round. My horses usually go March-September.

                                    As a quick side note, my old QH that I showed in the High Juniors (back when it was the only Juniors ) and grand prixes, went strong and sound through the day he passed away from colic complications in his 20s. He never had an injection or a lameness in his many years over the big courses.

                                    But hey, until I hit the point where I win the vast majority of my mini and grand prixes, I won't tell anyone else they should use my program
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