Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
I agree, that jumping is difficult. Like someone said, unless you have a "perfect horse" it's hard. I hate it too when people say you just "sit there" when you ride. They're so ignorant! But anyway, do you do any cavaletti? Set up some ground poles before an x-rail and ride them at a trot, in 2-point position. Keep a steady pace and don't let your horse slow down before the jump. A vertical is pretty much the same thing as an x-rail, its just a bit bigger. With an x-rail its also easier to find the middle.
My advice would be don't take on more than you can do at a time. Set up one jump (a small vertical). In most shows you approach jumps at a canter, but don't think that you have to. With small verticals you can approach them at a trot. So get a well-paced posting trot going, at about a medium speed. Pick a point on the wall behind the jump so that you can find the middle. As you approach it, if your horse is dying out, push him forward, because a lazy trot won't take you over. You can always make a circle to correct your pace or position before the jump, but don't do it at the last minute. Give yourself space.
Rise into 2-point as your horse goes over the jump, pushing your hands up his neck as your body comes up out of the saddle. Let your body sink back down and take back your position as the horse hits the ground and canters off. After a jump, don't just stop your horse. Finish off, even though its one jump. Let him canter along the rail and then finish off with a nice circle at the end. Bring him back to trot and walk and give him a pat. When jumping, I would also suggest having someone there, preferably a trainer. It is helpful to have someone coaching you on, and also prevents you from injuring your horse.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11