True Beginners Jumping (WARNING rant included) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 08-31-2010, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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True Beginners Jumping (WARNING rant included)

There is this huge barn at my stables called Bridges and I promise after 3 riding lessons all the kids are jumping!!!! They have to have a person running next to them while trotting and they can barley post and have no control but then they jump! Like really I think this is VERY unsafe! The only reason this bugs me so much is because the they are a huge barn like 50 horses and 200 students! I know my barn is big ( 100 horses a lot of riders) But we are not a beginner barn at all we all can strongly w/t/c/hand gallop and jump but while i will be riding in the jumping arena the head trainer of that other barn will come up to us and make us move to the rail and halt so her kids can ride. And then when they jump ohhhh we just leave horses running every where kids falling off and the trainer is yelling at them! [RANT OVER]

I have been riding 2 years and I just started jumping courses and IT just bugs me a lot when i see kids that still need to work on the basics and they are jumping 2"6'.

Does any one else agree with me???

Apple core,Say no more,I'll be your friend,Until the end.
The smell of a horse is yet one of the sweetest smells
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post #2 of 47 Old 08-31-2010, 05:49 PM
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While I agree that it is unsafe, they are a beginner barn. 90% of those kids wont be riding in 5 years. The drop out rate on riding is as big as any other sport kids play when they are younger. They are just running a business. You give the people what they want and you get paid. I know at several of the barns in my area when inquiring about lessons for my son (almost 4) they said they would have him trotting in his first lesson. FIRST LESSON! Oh heck no! When I mentioned I didn't feel it was safe, they said they were just trying to keep the kids interested. Kids like to go hell bent and high. The faster and higher the better. Happy kids make for happy parents. Happy parents pay for more lessons. Its a sad thing because the basics arent being covered but thats just life.
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post #3 of 47 Old 08-31-2010, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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WOW trotting first lesson and hes 4! True about the 5 years they will not be riding!

Hmm the world is a strange place

Apple core,Say no more,I'll be your friend,Until the end.
The smell of a horse is yet one of the sweetest smells
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post #4 of 47 Old 08-31-2010, 06:42 PM
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We have couple barns like that too. They promise (on website!) beginners jumping within a month. And the sad part too many people truly believe it's indeed possible and want to skip all basics to go straight to "cool" stuff. It's just SO dangerous for the rider (and I'm not even talking about the poor horse with the sack of potato slamming its back).
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post #5 of 47 Old 09-01-2010, 12:53 AM
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I was trotting, in hand, after a month or so of lessons. And it was a while before I trotted on my own. I didn't canter for almost a year or more I'd say. Jumped after 1-2 years.

Some barns take horses as a joke, what can I say. I left a barn actually, because he pissed me off by letting small children ride horses that I KNEW were about half-broke and had rearing and bolting issues.

But that's THEIR lawsuit waiting to happen, not mine.

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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post #6 of 47 Old 09-01-2010, 10:52 AM
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I 100% agree. I was on a lunge line for about 6 months and didnt canter for a whole year when I started riding. And I didnt start ground poles for another 2 years. And I'm thankful for that because it built up my form.
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post #7 of 47 Old 09-01-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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I have a very good feeling that with a good trainer and a safe one riders can go very far
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post #8 of 47 Old 09-02-2010, 08:35 AM
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I'm with ErikaLynn, I did walk, trot on the lunge line for a while before starting anything else, then it was a couple years before we did any crossrails. I think it is so important to have a secure seat (for your sake and the horse's sake) before you even start to canter! Riding (well) is not something that can be accomplished in a few weeks.

I was actually just talking with my current riding instructor last week about kids starting to ride. She said that she won't start teaching kids until they are about 5 and even then, she will only do walk, trot. She believes that children do not have the strength or balance to begin to canter or jump until they are at least 9, for their safety and for the horse's!

I think it is such a disgrace to those of us who actually care about riding, and feel like it is important to do things correctly!

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. - Winston Churchill
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post #9 of 47 Old 09-04-2010, 09:02 AM
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I am going to have to respectfully disagree with some of the above posters, based on my own experience. While I understand that the concern for safety is paramount; there is no reason why a reasonably athletic beginner on a well trained school horse can't be trotting over cavaletti and a pile of poles on the ground or a tiny crossrail with 10 lessons.

The advantages of doing so (no, it's not just about advancing students quickly to keep their interest) are to make jumping seem like not such a big deal or a big step up, but just part of everyday riding, and to give them lots and lots of practice with maintaining jump position, eyes focusing up, not interfering with the horse, before the jumps get any bigger or more complicated.

If you don't have a good school horse, stabilized on loose reins, that responds to voice commands, then no, it's a bad idea.

If the beginner is timid or fearful, then it's a a bad idea. If the beginner can't maintain a decent design of position in two point grabbing mane, then it's a bad idea. (Just design, mind you - they're not going to have strength or grip yet.)

But a well taught, reasonably athletic beginner on a stabilized school horse? No reason not to.

I suspect that a lot of you who are upset by the idea come from the teaching philosophy that you should be able to 1.) ride on contact and 2.) sit the canter before jumping. If that's the case, a year or two of instruction is about right to master those to skills. And if the only horse available to teach on is an intermediate level horse that needs to be ridden to a fence sitting and on contact, you're right again - the student shouldn't jump *that horse* until they can do those things.

However, in 20 years of teaching Litteaur based instruction, 75 - 80% of the beginners were trotting poles/crossrails in two point, grabbing mane, in the first ten lessons, with very, very, few falls and no injuries.

And I have a friend, a BHSI, who's run a riding school for 30 odd years, who pretty much does the same thing and has an exemplary safety record.

So like a lot of things with horses, it depends. Does the situation the OP described sound scary and unsafe? Yup. Is it always bad to start beginners jumping early? Nope. Depends on the conditions.
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post #10 of 47 Old 09-04-2010, 10:21 AM
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Good points Maura! All beginners are not created equal either.
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