Free jumping - correct techniques
I have recently started jumping with my horse. He's 6, but I'm in no rush, as he is from a slow maturing breed. As for now, it is just some simple jumps, usually about 50-60cm high and on seperate occasions we've tried jumping 80cm successfully. He has also been introduced to basic free jumping while lunging and at liberty. He has jumped a begginners' jumping course with his previous rider, too, before I bought him, but he has mostly been jumped with a rider. However, I would like to start teaching him to calculate his strides more seriously and to get accustomed to grids, and free jumping seems like a good start.
So, after all this introduction, I would appreciate to know any tips and tricks I should know, before I do this. Maybe there are good books on this topic I should read, your personal experience, anything at all. Of course, I will also ask this to our trainer, but I would love to get as much information on this as possible.
The only time I free jump I when my daughter doesnt have time to ride. I'm certainly not an expert but I'll tell you what works for me.
I set up cross rails, or whatever, on the side of the fence. If I have a lazy horse I will lean poles up against the jumps so the horse can't duck out, like a shute. If a horse absoloutley will duck out, I put them on a loose lunge line and have a pole leaning against the inside of the jump before and after.
Make sure that they aren't rushing and they aren't going too slow. Voice commands are really beneficial for this part.
I hope this isn't too bad. There are some pictures below of what I'm trying to say.
Home the pic is in the middle. This is the style I use if the horse doesn't evade the jump.
File:Darginka free jumping.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
See how in this picture there is a string(acting like a Shute) so the horse doesn't evade the jump.
I started free jumping my gelding recently to get him used to jumping things he's never seen before. I tend to just make a small jump in a confined area, and with a lunge whip in hand, i ask for the appropriate canter and allow him to figure it out. It seems to work well for us. :-)
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