Hi! I am wanting to start jumping with my mare, but I've never done it before. Any tips on how to start? When taking my first jump what position should I be in and what should I do? Thanks!
I can't stress enough about this matter, please if you are going to jump, get a trainer/coach to help you, you could severally hurt yourself and/or your horse if you don't know what your doing.
It sounds like both you and your mare are new to jumping, right? If so, I would suggest that you seek some lessons on an experienced jumping horse with a good instructor to help you learn the mechanics from a rider's point - and then work with a trainer to help your mare learn the mechanics from the horse's point.
You need a professional trainer. Learning to jump isn't something you should be trying learn on your own, especially if your horse isn't trained to do it.
Oh hey, I'm in the same boat :-) I'm in the process of teaching my horse how to jump and am re-learning myself (I jumped when I first started taking lessons about 6 years ago, but I've really forgotten most of it; I do have a much better understanding of flat work now, so hopefully I won't be too awful at it!)
My dressage trainer helped me get started with the ground work necessary- this page is pretty similar to a lot of the exercises I've been doing with my horse on the lunge line: Lorien Stable - Training a Horse to Jump My horse has a pretty good grasp on jumping on the lunge line now (a requirement before you try jumping while mounted), and I've been practicing my two-point as well as doing mock jumps (just ground poles between jump standards)
This weekend I'll be going to my first actual jumping lesson (with a jumping trainer) and doing my first jumps while riding. I'm definitely looking forward to it!
I'm also finding "Hunter Seat Equitation" by George Morris to be a good resource.
One thing I'm trying hard to focus on is not pushing my horse too hard, too fast and making it a good experience for him. I want jumping to be a fun change of pace for him, not a chore.
Best thing you can until you can get a trainer is just trot poles. A lot. It helps trust me!
Thanks all! I've only owned my mare for about a year now but I was told that a previous owner used her to teach riding lessons that included jumping. So I think she's been trained to jump, I've just never tried it myself.
Even if you "think" your horse has been trained, still get a trainer. Take lessons on a school horse. You don't know what to do or how it is supposed to feel. Don't put yourself in danger if you dont have to just because you're looking to have a little bit of fun.
Even if your horse is trained to jump already, I would agree with everyone that a trainer will be a good idea so that you know what feels "right" or "wrong." Jumping incorrectly is not only risky for you, but for your horse as well.. for instance:
And I'm guessing that rider has had a lot of lessons.
In addition to taking some lessons, I think supplemental learning is incredibly valuable. I find a lot of great information and some great do's and don't's on the Horse Riding Critique board on this forum, for instance. It's good to look at photos others have posted and see what is going wrong and how fixing one thing will help the rest of their position. Similarly, it's good see examples of great position.
I also agree that George Morris' book is a fabulous resource, and YouTubing some instructional videos about various aspects of jumping are incredibly helpful too. But you must TAKE LESSONS in addition to all of this!
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