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SMCLeenie 06-30-2011 11:49 PM

How long before learning to jump
So I have only ever ridden western but this fall I am going to start taking weekly english lessons :-). I was wondering how long you guys took lessons before you started learning to jump? Thanks in advance!

Gilly 07-01-2011 12:42 AM

In my opinion it depends on how quickly you and your horse pick up English riding. Since you've been riding for a while (I take it) you'd have a balanced seat etc. but riding English may or may not come as a shock to the system. It's a different kettle of fish in my opinion.

I'd trust your trainer's opinion. He/she will probably know when you're ready. I hope to jump one day but I'd never attempt it before I'm ready. My instructor once ended up in a neck and back brace for three months after a jumping accident and hearing that really opened my eyes about how it's not to be taken lightly.

I haven't been riding for every long myself so it's just my opinion. Other seasoned and wise jumpers may have a different opinion :P

writer23 07-01-2011 12:51 AM

Definitely an individual thing, how quickly you develop with your horse. Personally I rode for two years (english) in weekly lessons before learning to jump.

Indigosblue 07-01-2011 02:08 AM

your instructor will tell you =) On my second ride ever my horse took off and jumped into the arena fence, smashing me between it and the fence. Needless to say it took a long time for me to jump, but i don't remember the exact time it took. Your instructor will slowly introduce small rails, cavalettis (spelling?) and then cross poles, and you'll be jumping before you know it! Just have fun and learn at your own pace... and remember the more you practice, the better you'll get!

SMCLeenie 07-01-2011 02:11 AM

Thanks guys, I sure don't expect to be jumping the first time out :lol:. Just excited at the prospect. I'll trust my trainer to know when I'm ready.

donatellodemerlieux 07-04-2011 05:22 PM

Took me 5 years... But I started riding when I was 3. Didn't start cantering till I was 5, and even then it was just a fun gait for me that didn't really matter-just kept becoming faster and faster when I rode because that's all I cared about! When I was 6 and 7 I actually started showing and realizing what I had to do, then when I was turning 8 we started over cross rails (ground poles had always been thrown in there, I had almost a flawless 2 point over them). So, it really depends on how you're doing. Plus, keep in mind, your instructor may have something totally different for you. I changed barns when I was 10, and didn't jump for a year after. I finally asked 'When do you think I'll be ready to jump again?' and my instructor informed me 'I dunno, we're concentrating on dressage for now.' and of course then I decided to be an eventer and I started jumping and doing dressage and cross training at age 12. Now I'm an all-arounder, my lessons change daily (yes, I do take 5 lessons a week.) and I'm ready for anything anytime it comes! Anyway, to get back on track-nobody can tell you how long it'll be before you start jumping, but always be prepared for the exciting day!

chevaliernr 07-05-2011 09:51 PM

As the others have said, depends on your pace and your trainer. I was thrown in your typical big group lessons and started jumping crossrails after a few months of weekly lessons. I was nine at the time, and I can't remember if I really should have been jumping or not :lol:. Also cantered during my first lesson at the same barn (also first time being on a horse).

jfisher256 07-12-2011 09:56 PM

Like everyone above my post has said, it is really just when you feel you and your horse are ready to start. I started riding when I was nine, and start going over cavaletti poles and then worked up to crossrails within a few months. It did take a bit of courage to work up to the (at the time) bigger jumps, and by the time I was like 11 or 12 I was jumping 2'6" courses with no problem. It all really just depends on the rider/horse. :-)

HoboandAbbey 07-13-2011 09:27 AM

I rode western for 2 years then switched to English. It took me a month and a half to start crossrails but within 3 months i was doing courses of 2'6" oxers! Everyone starts at a different time and it all depends on the horse, instrustor, and your confidence! Dont feel rushed to start jumping, you'll know when your ready! :)

blue eyed pony 07-14-2011 09:05 AM

My first instructor was a 'pleasure riding for kids' type and had me jumping as soon as I could canter without falling off. My second instructor thought I was better than I was (in the first lesson) and had me jumping from then. I was very over-confident for a very long time.

The first instructor was when I was about 7. I'm nearly 17 now and have been riding on and off for all that time but I'm still only jumping maximum of about 3' - less at the moment due to no jumping saddle.

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