How to get started?

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How to get started?

This is a discussion on How to get started? within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    10-09-2012, 01:28 PM
How to get started?

Im a barrel racer and have ridden western all my life. I have recently been thinking about wanting to try something new just for fun, and made compete later down the road.
I was just wonder I could get myself started. Where I live EVERYONE rides western. I don't even know anyone that jumps or rides english. So I think getting lessons would be out of the question. Do y'all think I could get myself started just by myself?
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    10-09-2012, 09:38 PM
To be blunt, no. You can't teach yourself to jump safely on your own and competing well in flat classes without a coach is possible, but very difficult. If you just want to plod around in an english saddle for pleasure, go ahead. You could maybe try competing after many months of practice just for experience. Just do NOT try jumping without someone experienced in the discipline there to correct you. Any bad habits you develop and don't correct can be the difference between staying on a horse and being safe, and falling and severely injuring yourself.
    10-11-2012, 12:42 AM
I suppose I sort of agree and then I also don't agree. I have been in training my whole life. Never ridden in a western saddle, never been on a trail ride, just ridden english... well... jumpers and hunters to be exact, in an arena, under the watchful eye of an overpaid trainer. So... I would hate for someone to say that after all my years of riding, and I'd like to consider myself a **** good rider, that I couldn't ride western or on trail safely without a trainer there to tell me what i'm messing up.
I'd like to believe that people that know how to ride. People that ride well, ride confidently, can move between disciplines without endangering themselves (or their horses for that matter) too much. There's a young girl on the forum, can't remember her name at the moment, but I believe she was in your same situation and had decided that she would learn how to jump on her own... and she did it bareback! She posted some pictures jumping her pony bareback, and she had one of the most solid jumping positions that I have seen in years. It was a thing of beauty.
So in my opinion... If you're not a very solid rider to begin with, then just take it easy. Lope over a couple cross rails and see how it feels. Have someone there that can watch you from the ground and tell you the fundamental stuff like: "hey, you just totally YANKED on your horses mouth!" or "hey, you're laying in the dirt, so I think what you just did was probably wrong!" haha!

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