Switching to Jumpers, What to expect?

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Switching to Jumpers, What to expect?

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    11-19-2011, 07:07 PM
Switching to Jumpers, What to expect?

I've shown hunters with my pony for the past 6 years (and all my life before that) and am going to be switching to Jumpers next year because of my age (can't show a pony in hunters after I'm 18) and because I think she'd be really good at it. I've never done jumpers before and don't know exactly what it'll be like. What are some things that will help me pin high? I know I should stay neat and clean and organized, but what else? Should I ride the course differently from hunters? What should I expect?

Thanks :)
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    11-19-2011, 09:12 PM
I don't do jumpers, I've only showed it a few times at some schooling shows. But from what I have seen from professionals, they look like they ride it like a forward hunter course. You still have to put your horse in the right spot, get the right speed, and be precise (especially at higher levels). Work on some tighter turns but not like, insane turns. Watching some videos of professionals on youtube ALWAYS helps! I'm a very visual person, so seeing things on video really helps me a lot :) Good luck!
    11-19-2011, 09:28 PM
The thing I like about Jumpers is you aren't being "judged" except by faults and time. You have to be precise but fast and the horses form and your form are for function not appearance. This is especially cool for those of us riding horses that may not be the classic "hunter" type. (I have a friesian cross with a high head set so she doesn't look like a hunter when she gets worked up).

The courses are more like your eq over fences. Less straight lines, more bending, water oxers etc. Jump fast and clean and you'll get pinned. Pretty much just simple math for most class types.

What I also like is that they do have lower jump level jumper classes. I had always thought that jumper meant 3'6" or bigger but I found some shows that can start as low at 2'6". Not sure where you're at...

I'm trying to decide between the two right now. I'm more a hunter mindset but my horse is more and more seeming like a jumper. But I'm a rebel so I'll probably do both!
    11-19-2011, 09:52 PM
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Jumpers are just more "pure" to me than hunters. You will need to bone up on your dressage now. No more counter bending and heavy on the forehand. Your horse will need to learn how to engage their haunch and bend correctly to be able to shave those seconds off of their time. Then, they will need to turn and drive forward to jumps from almost any distance.

You will have so much fun!
    11-19-2011, 10:05 PM
My pony is scarily handy and really fast and neat o/f. We've done mainly hunters and equitation so I have decent form and so does she. She's not a typey hunter, high headset, not flashy, etc. So I think It'd be perfect. If the rider doesn't put a lot of inside leg, she'll counterbend and try to cut corners.. But I've been working a lot on that! Hopefully we'll do well when we start! I'll be spending the winter practicing and prepping! :) I want to take a nice dressage lesson with her at some point.. So far, I've taken one dressage lesson on a dressage horse with a Grand Prix trainer, then I took a jumping lesson with my BO on my pony and today I got a really nice lesson with my friend's trainer. But that's three lessons in 5 months xD haha I'm trying to cope without a trainer, but I am still trying to put in a lesson whenever I get money to make sure I don't pick up bad habits..
    11-21-2011, 02:49 PM
One tip I have for jumpers is, turning is just as or even more important then going over the jump. You don't have fly around the arena at top speed to get a good time. Usually doing that results in missed distances and knocking a rail anyway. Getting good a turn is the best way to shave time off your final score. In hunters you make big turns and utilize the whole arena....if you use the whole arena in a jumper course you're time will not be a quick enough. Especially if your on a pony with a shorter stride and other people are on horses with a bigger stride. A lot of times in jumper shows the pony's are unbeatable, because they can make sharper turns then a big horse.

So I would suggest practice a lot of circles.

Good luck, jumpers are a lot of fun.
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    11-21-2011, 10:47 PM
Yea, my friend has a 13h pony that beats all the horses every time because he flies through the courses and turns on a dime xD
    11-22-2011, 02:32 AM
Best thing about jumpers is that there are so many different ways to ride it and there's no incorrect answer. What's "right" is the approach that gets the fastest jump-off times.

I will forever look up to this one incredible rider and his stallion. That rider wastes absolutely no ground and his horses are always calm and working correctly from behind, they never go flat and they never get out of hand. They don't LOOK like they're going particularly fast but they ALWAYS get the fastest jump-off times because there's not even a millimetre of wasted ground. They choose the shortest line to the jump.

A horse that gets strong and over-excited is impossible to get around a jumpers course on THE shortest line, because the absolute shortest line requires balance and responsiveness. Often it requires collected strides and tight turns.

But of course that's at the higher levels. Your jump-off line won't be too difficult if you're showing at less than 3 feet and indeed sometimes up to 4 feet.

My horse can get strong and excited and my coach has us working at 2' MAX until I can get him to keep the same rhythm through the line to the approach and then the getaway. The higher you go the more tempted your horse will be to get hot and hard to handle.

You know a really great exercise for tight turns? Start on a largish circle (I use a 20 metre circle but many people use larger), and spiral inward as far as your horse can keep balance and rhythm, and then leg yield outward again. It builds balance and responsiveness to the leg, and eventually you will find that your horse can manage very tight turns without losing its balance. You may have to collect the strides as you tighten your spiral but the rhythm should stay the same.
    11-26-2011, 12:17 PM
If you're a correctly trained Hunter rider, you have an advantage, locally anyways. Around here, local riders don't seem to do anything other than run and jump. It's the clear, precise and careful riders that win.

You already know how to get good distances, now you need to work on your turning, comfortably extending and collecting your striding and seeing the best course of action. As the fences go up, you'll need more and more dressage. I found it very easy to switch from Hunters to jumpers.... it was also a little freeing since I didn't have the flashiest of mover.
LoveTheSaddlebreds likes this.
    11-28-2011, 10:02 AM
That is true MudPaint - MANY local level riders just blast at the fences and hope the horse clears them. Not such a great idea because it then means you have to take wider lines for your jump-off and whatever advantage in speed you may have you will lose in the wider line and much higher likelihood of knocked rails. With greater speed (running at the fences in other words) comes flatter movement and flatter jumping, therefore limiting the height the horse will clear.

My horse is a very forward and excitable jumper so I know what it's like... I guess my coach is teaching me the hunter way of jumping, so that we take our fences smoothly and with good form rather than what I am tempted to do, which is concentrate on height.

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