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Getting Started Again (Jumpers)

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  • Getting Started Again (Jumpers)

    I have a 12 year old OTTB that used to do jumpers, and a little bit of hunters. He has been off for about 6 months since I got seriously hurt, and then had college to worry about, and I'm looking to show him again in the jumpers (probably about 3' to 3'9 hopefully this summer/fall). Before I got hurt he was jumping 3' after recovering well from an SI injury the year prior.

    Does anyone has advice on getting a horse in shape for jumpers after basically standing for several months? I want to be able to do this safely and slowly, as to not bother his SI injury. I am planning on doing a lot of hill work with him, but am looking for other ways of getting him into shape safely.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone--the horse already knows.

    Proud Penn Stater...WE ARE!

  • #2
    I am in your same position, sort of. I have been off for 8 years due to numerous back surgeries, but my mare has been kept in fairly constant work, and has been leased out and shown for probably 5 of the 8 years. She has been doing smaller stuff lately (2'3" - 2'6").

    Now that I am able to ride again (started about 2 months ago), we are back in training with our goal to show in the jumpers in a few months (probably 3' stuff). To get her back in show-fit shape, we are doing quite a bit of flat work - upward and downward transitions, moving off of the leg, lots of spirals in-and-out, etc. Also a lot of work over ground poles / cavallettis. There are very few hills in my area, but we try to hack out at least two days a week in the field, which has a bit of slightly rolling terrain.

    She doesn't have any problem with the fences, so we don't drill her over jumps. Maybe once a week we will work through a grid and add in some square oxers, just to get her sharp again. We practice our tight turns/rollbacks on the flat to save her legs for the jumps that count. I'm sure others will have some better suggestions, so I am interested in the responses as well.
    Last edited by 3DogNight; Apr. 27, 2010, 04:23 PM. Reason: spelling
    ~*Friend of bar.ka*~


    • #3
      3DogNight has it down pretty well. Transitions, poles, and general flatwork. Depending on the horse's condition, I would add in some stamina/endurance exercises as well, which are also great for the rider that has been out of serious work for awhile. Long trot sessions are great, especially if you can encourage the horse to drop down and be soft the whole time. We're starting a lot of long canter sessions with a TB we're trying to get fit right now too. After they've warmed up at all gates, get a nice medium canter going. After a few laps of that, open the taps up a bit and let em stretch out, then collect and soften the stride, all without losing your canter or taking a break. When you get good at that, do it in reverse too and back again. Good for strength and endurance.