Learning to Jump
I have been riding for a few years now but have only done western and trail ride. I have now been able to get my own horse and found that she loves to jump. In a month or two I plan on seeing a trainer with a greater knowledge of jumping than me, but until then I need some advice and some background knowledge on jumping.
I know they judge lead changes, but I dont know the exact place I should instruct a lead change, but I do know not to construct them on turns. If anyone also has a good idea of how to teach smooth lead changes, please feel free to let me know because the way I am trying doesnt seem to be working.
The classes I plan on doing are jumping and equitation jumping so if anyone has some ideas on what I can practice before I go to the trainer, please feel free to offer up opinions!
p.s. I have been doing many ground pole and cavaletti exercises already
Good for you for getting a trainer! I see way too many people on this forum posting questions about teaching themselves how to jump. It's flat out dangerous. However, just to be sure, I must ask - Is your horse trained english? If not, I'd suggest you do not learn to jump on that horse. It is best to learn on a well-trained english horse. Green horse and green rider do not mix, so if your horse does not already know the ropes it is unsafe to try to teach her to jump while you are still learning. You cannot teach what you do not know.
Also, it confuses me that you are thinking about jumping if you have only ever ridden western. To learn to jump, you must first learn the basics of english. If you have only ever done western and trail riding than you'll probably need to start right from the beginning and work your way up. Don't think that you'll start jumping as soon as you get a trainer. You may learn a little faster because you have experience riding in a different discipline, but it will still take time and work.
My advice is simply to get a trainer right off the bat. There is nothing you need to do in preparation; you're there to learn from a trainer, not impress them with perfect equitation. Also when starting a new discipline, it's best to have someone experienced there to help you.
If your horse were english and you were experienced in the discipline, to answer your question lead changes are best done over the jumps. So if there is a jump across the diagonal of the arena, the horse would approach on one lead, go over the jump, and land immediately on the other lead. This can be asked for by moving back the outside leg of the lead you are trying for and tweaking the inside rein as your horse goes over the jump. It may also require some training on your horse's part. If you don't get the correct lead, you should change it as soon as possible with a simple transition or a flying. Flying lead changes are better for showing.
There's a lot of preparation you should do before actually jumping under saddle. I wouldn't even worry about things like lead changes right now.
Check out the first section of 101 Jumping Exercises- they have a bunch of ground pole exercises that can get you and your horse started thinking in the right frame of mind. By the time you can do those exercises you'll be ready to get the most out of working with a trainer and begin to jump under saddle.
Than you both for the advice. I do know some about English though. I took lessons on a trainers horse when I was younger but haven't really done much since. I will start working on some of these exercises though. They are very helpful, thank you!
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