*WARNING LOTS OF PICS* Jumping... would like some tips please :)
So I've posted before about free jumping my guy, and I have to say that even though we don't free jump often - MAYBE 8-10 sessions a year honestly. I've seen a HUGE improvement from when I first started these "sessions"
This is our first attempt "jumping" *ignore my horrible position, clothing, etc....* The date for these is April 2010.
Six Months later, I attempted free jumping for the first time... and we still are epically horrible. November 2010.
There was some learning, a few camera-less sessions in between 2010 and now, but this is the progress we've made so far: (May 2012)
My question is, how do we get better? I learned that tossing a pole in front of the jump that is about equal distance from the jump as the jump is tall helps Nikki with his take off point. We do mostly trail riding, and I've gotten a better diet for him.
But what can I do to get him to consistently keep his feet together? and what can I do to get him to tuck up his feet more?
What else should I know, or consider when free jumping him .... in hopes that I will eventually be gutsy enough to jump with him :)
How much do you ride? How much actual "work" do the two of you do on the ground? How much hacking do you do?
Conditioning work is very important and flat work is very important to make a great jumper. It isn't about going over the fence that matters, it is the quality of the ride you put in before you get to the fence that matters.
I will start of by saying (and I don't mean for this to be rude) that not all horses are cut out to jump. Some, including my own, just never get it, they aren't coordinated and never will be.
But, flat work, flat work, flatwork! Bend him and get him used to lifting and using his back. Do trot poles and caveletti in succession. Set up grids and bounces to teach him to become rhythmic. When you are riding him, give him the best opportunity to succeed and do not get ahead or behind.
Best of luck! And based on the very last pic, I do think he has some talent in jumping that just needs some practice and polishing.
I trail ride 3-5 times a week... with the new barn I'm at I'm trying to fit in some arena work in there as well but I'll be honest - the arena work I find is quite boring and I don't last more than 1/2 hour in there before I'm back on the trails. For arena work I've been working on neck reining and getting him to collect better. We trail ride up and down hills, through swamps, around trees, etc. In an effort to build topline, and muscles overall I have been putting priority on backing him up slight hills around 2-3 times for about 10-15 ft per ride.
I know that I'll need instruction as well for my own posture and just on english riding in general - which is another plus about my new barn; we finally have access to an english trainer.
I'm just interested in learning what the path to a decent jumper is and what it looks like. I'm more interested to learn so that I can go to the local fairs and do a few low-level hunter classes without looking like an idiot. lol.
I've got them at my barn, but I'm not sure how much space to put between them... and how many do you typically put in a row?
I'm sorry if I sound silly - I'm a complete noob when it comes to arena work of any kind lol.
I would start building a line for him, work on rhythm and rounding rather than just one jump, he is jumping higher, but not better. A bounce fence, or a line may make him work in a better frame.
No need to apologize. I've been away from eventing and jumping for so long I need to go grab a book and double check...
OK, according to my handy dandy USPC B, HA, A manual trot grid should be 6 poles 4 to 4.5 feet apart. they can be raised 6" for more impulsion and to teach the hind limbs to bend more.
Typically, an average horse's canter stride is about 12' and the landing is 6' away from the fence with the take off being about 6'. A bounce (two jumps with no stride in between) should have 12' between the fences, or a bit less to encourage collection and lift. One stride between would be about 24' (12' stride + 6' landing + 6' takeoff).
Best of luck, and yes, do use the help at your new barn if it is available to you! Have fun, I sure do miss jumping sometimes. Heck, I might just tack up english today and see how many Cruiser plows through, haha.
Thanks! I just jotted that down... the only time I've used poles before was just as something to do while free lunging. I tossed one in the arena and used it as a guide to see how good my verbal and body language cues were to see if he would go over it. He did :)
I'm gonna try trotting poles tomorrow - providing it doesn't pour on me lol.. Is it best to start out with less poles at first, or put them all there? and should I be riding him over them first or is it better to working him from the ground over them before riding?
There's something my trainer says about horses who don't understand how jumping works, and are unable, with any amount of training, to figure it out. They are called NDT. No Detectable Talent.
This horse, however, is NOT that!! What i see from 2010 to now, is that he has learned how to jump with his knees up and out in front of him, instead of awkward and under his belly. I think with the correct training, he'd make a fabulous little jumper. Look at pictures 7 and 8! He's learning to use his body correctly over the fence.
What i also appreciate is his polite expression over every single fence. Even if he looks a little unsure, he still has a lovely look of: "okay, i don't totally get this, but i'm gonna try!"
I love it!
Aww! Thanks Oxer! :D
I've started working him over the trotting poles and I've noticed that 5 feet is his sweet spot for them where he doesn't knock them and he picks up his feet nicely .. I tried it when one of the other boarders who's been taking jumping lessons told me that's what she trains over.. and oh man is working him in a ring english a workout for me as well! :-P
I'm super proud of him, and we are on our way to learning more and more things.
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