How can I improve my jumping? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-24-2013, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana
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How can I improve my jumping?

Okay, so I know that I should have a trainer who knows what they're doing teaching me how to jump but that is NOT an option for me right now. My trainer (she usually teaches western) has some jumping experience but she's not super experienced. She's going to help me some since she does know more than me but because neither of us is really good at jumping I wanted to post these pictures on here and ask you guys how I look? I think I look best in the first one...

How good is my position now? What do I need to improve on? Feel free to critique the horse, too, but he is not the horse I am going to be jumping on in the future. I'd still like to learn though so any comments you have, please tell me. I'd like to know the things we are doing right in addition to the things we need to improve on. Thank you!

I apologize for how blurry the pictures are.... They are video stills because my friend loves taking video and didn't take any actual pictures.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-24-2013, 09:23 PM
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I can't comment as I have no experience jumping, but you might get more helpful responses if you do post some of the video footage you have.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-24-2013, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I will put a video up soon

Last edited by mangomelon; 07-24-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-24-2013, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 12:06 AM
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Hi Mangomelon, you are very brave posing on the net and asking for critique. :) I have picked up a few things that will help you. I find it helpful to watch what riders better than me are doing and using video people have taken of me to allow me to see faults in my riding. (eg, looking down, toes up, leg too far back, leg too far forward, duck feet, duck butt, and the list goes on :) haha)
I have added a few videos and screenshots from both your video and some pro's on youtube. I hope you find them helpful. If I haven't explained it well enough for you, feel free to ask for clarification. :)


You need to shorten your reins and have more trot coming into the jump. These will be important as you start jumping larger jumps. You must be able to keep the contact with your horse as you are helping them over the jump not just pointing at the jump and expecting your horse to figure things out itself.

Here is Caroline Powell on Lenamore. I know she is jumping a lot bigger than you are at the moment, but the basics are still the same. Look at how much rein she gives him. She keeps the contact even over the jump. She releases with her arms to avoid hitting Lenamore in the mouth as he is jumping, but she is there with him all the time.

You can also see it here on the 2009 Badminton highlights.

Here is a screenshot from the olympic coverage, same thing. More contact but releasing over the jump.
olympics.jpg

Have everything sorted before you approach the jump. You should not be adjusting your reins on the approach.
loose rein.jpg
  • Have your reins at the correct length, a decent trot (or canter) - not too fast, not too slow before you start the approach.
  • Keep your leg on to encourage your horse over the jump and also to help keep it on a straight line.
  • Just sit there, wait and be paitent. Don't beat your horse to the jump, let the jump come to you. To try and get that to make more sense... Just sit like you would if you weren't jumping, tall in the saddle and don't lean forward. Leaning forward messes up your centre of gravity and makes it harder for your horse to get it's front legs over the jump. It also increases the likelihood you you stacking it should your horse decide to slam on the brakes.
  • Look up and over the jump, not at it... again, looking down masses with your balance, center of gravity and makes you tip forward.
I have taken a screen shot of the time stamp when I was looking at in your video of the last few tips, so you should be able to see what I was picking up on. :)
infront of horse.jpg

In lessons I know they tend to tell you to get into 2 point early while you are getting the hang of things, but IMO it can create bad habits as well as allowing you to feel what 2 point should feel like. Don't get into 2 point too early. It can become a hard habit to fix. Just sit still and rise into it as your horse rises to take the jump.

I also find having a neck strap (or in my case and old stirrup leather) around my horses neck to hang on to just incase helps a heap. You can see it in this pic of me and one of my boys... I even have a hold of it as we were approaching a jump that I knew he was going to get deep into. :)
GKharvey.jpg

Good luck with your jumping and again, if you want any clarification... just ask :)
Foxhunter and showjumperachel like this.

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys

http://www.eventingdownunder.wordpress.com/
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 02:27 AM
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^^ Whoa. That is a serious critique!

I'm just going to offer a few simple things: Don't get in the habit of burying your hands in the withers and chicken winging your elbows out.
Don't lean at your fence. I know... I know... this is tough when you're first learning. Hell, i've been jumping forever and I STILL lean on the occasion. (although my horse is a saint, so I get away with it sometimes!!)
If you get a horse that isn't confident in where you're at, you're up there leaning at your fence on the approach, and he decides to slam on the brakes, you're going to hit the dirt. Period.

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 02:56 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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keep heels down and don't rely on the horse's neck, have balance in your seat and you will be able to hold the reins without that big, strong neck support.
Much better than my position

A horse of course!
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