Training to Jump?
I posted this in the jumping section, but go no replies, so I'll have a go at it here...
Okay, so I ride a really athletic arab sport horse for this lady. (In my avatar, actually lol) Right now I show him in sport horse in hand, and HUS. I have shown him in dressage before, and we frequently do "dressage" just for practice at home (Note: we don't do "dressage" in a dressage saddle or with letters or anything, I just call it dressage because we do a lot of dressage-like circles, leg yields, ect...).
His owner brought up possible having me show him in hunter (over jumps) next year at sport horse nationals. I have ZERO jumping experience, but I've always wanted to do it, just for something new. I'm planning on starting my lessons as soon as possible. In my opinion he would make an AMAZING hunter! He has gorgeous movement (since hunter is all about "pretty" lol)
Now- my question is: how much does it take to train a jumper? I've heard people say that jumping is just dressage with speed bumps (lol). I know the horse has jumping ability (and he loves it!). Is it unreasonable to think that I could learn jumping & prepare him for hunter in a less than a year? (Nationals is in september, but we'll have to qualify).
I know of people who've taken an OTTB and had them jumping courses in a few months, nevermind a year. I don't persay agree with it, but I think you can EASILY accomplish this with such an already well trained, responsive and show ready animal. You will definitely need help, and if you have no jump training it is very likely it's going to be YOU who needs the training moreso then him.
I watched a woman get on my Dressage coaches Level III Hanoverian stallion and cruise him through a 3'0" course without a blink of the eye. This horse hadn't been jumped for a decade and even then it was only free jumping. His Dressage training, combined with a top level jumper rider, made it easy for her to rate him and guide him without any problems. You would have NEVER guessed he'd never jumped a course before.
In a year, with hard work, you guys could be robbing the ribbons! :wink:
To train a jumper takes patience, same as anything you are training a horse to do. It took my horse about 6 months to learn to jump. She still isnt perfect, but she is a stubborn thing. But since your horse is athletic it might take shorter for her to learn to jump. I think that dressage is very beneficial for any horse. I personaly think every horse should have had a least a little dressage training.
As long as you have someone experienced helping you, you should be fine.
I say go for it, with a good trainer. If you are not there yet when the time rolls around you can amend your goals to the following year.
You will probably have a good idea once you start training if your horse is the type that will be able to move forward with your plan or not.
Thanks everyone! Maybe after some months of lessons, I can move the horse to my lesson barn and have lessons on him, or have my instructor work him.
Like alwaysbehind said, I suppose we can always show him on the flat at nationals and jump the following year. Thanks :)
As a note, I rather successfully trained my Arab mare to jump with limited jumping experience myself under supervision of an instructor. Once the horse is already trained, applying the training to jumps is rather easy, especially for the forward inclined horse. My Arab mare took to jumping like a duck in water, and I essentially was able to have lessons on her because she was so honest. Up to that point, I'd had intervals of jumping lessons when I was around 12 and in Pony Club for a year, but virtually no further education for about 6 years up to the point when I started jumping my Arab.
We never made it to shows, but I had her doing quite nice little courses of 2'0" jumps at the barn where I boarded at in less then a year. :-)
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