what training before you even start to jump?
After attending (auditing) a hunter hack clinic this spring I have a bug in me to take lessons and learn that event. But where does one start? I WILL get a trainer before I attempt any jumping but what things need to be done at before you get the level of jumping cross poles? Im in the process of getting April to be a hunt seat horse.
Dressage - lots of it. Doesn't mean you have to be gung-ho about it, but be aware that the fundamentals of dressage is the building blocks to having a well rounded, healthy, succesful jumper.
GP level horses, know minimally level 3 dressage. Majority of GP jumpers spend 5/6 days a week doing flat work, and jump once a week.
We want light, soft, supple, rhytmic, balanced, engaged, strait horses - so that we can jump with success.
Minimally Training Level Movements.
I would recommend picking up this months Practicle Horseman Magazine - George Morris put on a huge Horsemanship Clinic and during that clinic he emphasised how important Dressage is for Jumpers. He had an Olymic Level Dressage Competator come in and give lessons to the riders.
It is titled Dressage For Jumpers.
Good read :)
All the best :)
I would say, be able to balance your horse at the trot and canter (half halt), be able to shorten and lengthen your horse's stride at both trot and canter, and keep your horse straight when doing work over ground poles. All of those will help you negotiate a course effectively. I would do a ton of flat work in your half seat to get your legs strong and get your horse used to taking cues from you in that position. If you have poles, cones, or any kind of markers available, you can play games that will help you when you get to jumping. Pick exact spots to shorten or lengthen a gait, change gait, turn...you get the idea. The more exact you can be with your flat work, the better off you'll be when you get to jumping. Have fun.
My horse jumped be4 I even ask her to. The second day I had her she jumped out of her double dutch door stall. EEK!
But when I started we first had her jump over a pole on her own jumping loose. Others I know have lunged them over a pole and such.
Find a good(CERTIFIED), trainer in your area, and have him/her teach you the proper half seat AND Two point poition, you will learn twopoint first, and once you start jumping courses, you will learn half seat. Just trot and canter around in two point for as long as possible. I you want to start without a trainer(while you are finding one) hike those sturrips up a few holes and ride like that, trying not to touch the horses back at all while posting, and at the canter.
Flat work, Flat work, Flat work....get your horse right on the flat and it will make the jumps a piece of cake. Lenghtening, shortening, bending, counter bending, circles, serpentines, figure 8's. Try to get all of this with a very light contact (maybe a little lighter seat). Use your seat, legs to get your horse where they need to be. Definitely find a trainer in your area...that will help A TON!!! Good luck!
I don't know about other people, but I think it's a lot easier to steer and stay balanced around a course after having done lots of flatwork. I started jumping (VERY little amount) a couple years after I started english lessons, but I only started taking actual jumping lessons until last November or whatever. Until then, I did six years of dressage. Flatwork is veery important :)!
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