Cowgirl Turning English
Well, I can't believe I'm doing this....but I think I'm gonna start jumping.
I will be using Annie, my Appendix QH mare, in play competitions at first, then build my way up through the summer.
I am very much comfortable in an jumping saddle already. I started using it on my gelding Jester when I wanted to build my balance and calf muscles and not wanting to ride on his terrible whithers bareback. And I've jumped in it many times, and my trainer tells me I'm doing wonderfully.
So, a few questions...
1) Would it be a total no-no to keep my western bridle on while competing? I don't kow much about english show-ettiquette....and as for the reins, is there any super-special ultra-chic hunter reins I should know about? Or can I use use my old barrel reins?
2) Do I need to switch bits? I've been riding in either a curb or a snaffle, depending on what and where I'm riding. When I practice jumping I just throw the snaffle on her and go, and in the reining and cutting arena I use the curb. Is there any particular bit you would recomend me getting?
3) As far as clothing goes, does it honestly matter? I have a jacket, riding breeches, and boots if is necessary, but I honestly prefer my jeans. So much more comfortable.
4) Leg wraps? I have a whole load of splint boots and polo wraps. Do I need those over-the-hoof boots, too? I've never seen anyone jump with them, but I feel the need to ask anyway.
Yeah...I think that's it. If there's any other tips or tricks y'all would like to add, feel free. I'll need all the help I can get.
All your questions answers are dependent on the type of show you are doing. If its a rated show, No to the western bridle, Yes to the snaffle, No to the jeans, 4 Hunters = no boots, no wraps, Equitation = leather open fronts are okay but not needed, Jumpers = Boots okay.
Schooling shows you can pretty much do whatever, read your premiums, maybe go to a couple shows to watch. I really suggest not jumping in a western bridle or a curb.
if you're showing it would be wise to get an english bridle and reins..the snaffle is fine though. recommended, actually. probably the best bet.
you need to wear breeches when competing. don't worry, you'll get used to them =) when I switched, I felt..naked at first, but now I'm usually actually more comfortable in my breeches than jeans. but if yours are actually uncomfortable maybe you should look into finding a more comfortable pair.
basically, all of the stuff you see people wearing in competitions..you do have to wear it when showing. but you can wear whatever you want when you're just riding at home ;) though I'd recommend getting more used to riding in something more like what you'd be showing in, just so that you don't have to get used to it while you're showing.
1. it would probably be better it you got an english bridle, not just for ettiquette but for better control when jumping.
2. a snaffle will be fine if that is what your horse requires.
3. wearing jodpurs will be better as the seems will not rub you. you are a lot closer to the saddle went sitting in a jumping english saddle and a lot of movement is required when jumping larger jumps
4. put front boots and back boots on (splint or open front) if your horse will tolerate it, the 'over hoof boots' (over reach boots) are only needed when your horse over reaches (clips back of front feet with back legs went in trot, canter)
make sure your horse is as ready to jump as you are. start with small jumps or even trot poles to get your horse's stride right before you put the jumps up. dont expect to be competing to any major level any time soon either! it takes time to get confidence and skill.
maybe get some advice off of someone who already jumps, let them look at your jumping postition and tell you what you need to do. most riders are either ahead or behing their horse. i was always left behind when i was learning but then i injured myself because of that and now i find my self anticipating the jump and throwing my self forward to early! im getting there though, if you have confidance then these thing just sort them selves up in time.
Thanks for the tips guys. Toni's been getting me in shape for a long time now, but I just recently decided to start competing.
I actually went and bought an english bridle today...hehe....she won't take it. Maybe its the full-browband or something (I ride in a split ear) or maybe it just doesn't fit well, although it feels perfectly fine to me, and Toni seems confident in it too. Strange, strange horse. Oh well, she has to get used to it sooner or later. I'll just keep working and maybe try some of Toni's bridles on her too. Maybe there's just something about that particular one that's no good.
We're going to the Howard Prairie Horse Camp to practice jumping this weekend. They host cross country competitions there and they have a warm-up ring with cavaletti steps and basic jumps, but we are gonna take all the horses and run them throgh the actual course. They have a course for every size and level, so we're just gonna take Annie on the intermediate, since that's easy enough. The beginner jumps are so tiny she won't jump, she'll just stop and step right over, while I'm kicking and urging to keep her moving. -eyeroll- Another thing we need to work on.
I'll be working with Annie at Toni's frequently. And thanks for reminding me what the bell boots are called, I always forget, I don't know why. I've been trying to remember for thirteen years now and I'm getting nowhere Hehe ^^ Funnier even, I wear them when I run barrels, and I still never remember. God I must be blonde under the brunette xP
Thanks so much, I'm sure I sound like a total idiot. English competitions are a total mystery to me.
If you were doing intermediate XC you would be juming this
Wich I'm guessing your not! lol! My friends run CCI** and they run Intermidiate!
Let me clarify:
Intermediate at that cross course are like, 2-3 feet. The beginners are just scrawny logs and basic things like that. They're like for mini horses or something o.O This intermediate isn't as advanced as normal intermediate, if they makes any sense at all.
These courses are really wierd.
I haven't read all the posts but here's a simple explanation.
You can ride in jeans, but not in shows. I ride in jeans pretty much always.
Jump in a snaffle and show in a snaffle unless your horse needs something different but general western bits are too harsh for english hands.
Don't use wraps to jump, but boots are ok. The over the hoof boots (bell boots) are not necessary unless your horse overextends and clips their front hooves with the back.
If you have matching tack, that's a plus.
Any questions, feel free to ask me. I ride western and english and two of my friends who were both raised western but they're switching to english so I can help.
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