My trainer wonít let me jump and Iíve been riding for 5 years! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-31-2020, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy My trainer wonít let me jump and Iíve been riding for 5 years!

Help! My trainer will not let me jump and I have been riding for years. The first year I was learning how to tack up, groom and walk around. The 2nd year I was walking all by myself and even learned to also trot by myself. The 3rd year I worked on improving my trot and canter and then centered and trotted some ground poles. The 4th year we still did ground poles and low cross rails. Now I have been riding for 5 years and showing for 2. I have won my divisions at shows. For 3 years now I have been asking her to jump. Sheís says ok we will soon. And she keeps saying that when I ask and tryís to avoid talking bout jumping. My friend started taking lessons at the same barn a year after me and is now jumping 3ft. We both take lessons once a week. I have mastered everything on the flat but she still wonít and when I ask her why she says we will start soon. I donít know why. Itís very annoying and frustrating. I need tips on what to do. Thank you!
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-31-2020, 04:51 PM
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WELCOME to the Forum!!


Is the horse yours or belong to the trainer/instructor?
If not belonging to you are you sure the horse is capable of, allowed to jump or possibly not do to a injury?


Does your trainer/instructor know how to jump?
Does she have the knowledge to teach you the basics, the fundamentals of jumping?
Is your position astride strong enough in stability to allow you to jump and not be injured?


If you really want to jump and your trainer/instructor refuses to take the steps to teach you...talk to her and have your parents speak to them...
If that doesn't help...then find a new barn where you can expand your riding technique, knowledge and abilities.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-31-2020, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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The horses I ride belong to my Trainer and are able to jump. Other riders have jumped 3ft on them and have done courses that height and the horses have no problem jumping. The horses are allowed to jump, and none of them have injuries. My trainer definitely knows how to jump and knows how to teach jumping. I have mastered groundwork and my trainer even says Iím strong enough for jumping but she still wonít let me jump. I have talked to my trainer and then she says we will start soon and I have asked my parents to talk to her but itís been no help.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-31-2020, 05:54 PM
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I've had trainers hold me back because they had a preconceived notion of what level I was at, and should stay at. When I changed barns and horses, it turned out that I was capable of a lot more.

I think you should ask your trainer for an honest conversation about why you aren't doing more with your jumping. And be open and receptive to the feedback you get. Maybe she thinks you aren't ready. You can ask what you need to work on to progress. And if you don't get constructive answers, then maybe it is time to move on.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-31-2020, 06:15 PM
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Definitely have a good conversation with your instructor involving what goals you plan to achieve and in what timeline you'd like to do so. Ask your instructor if there is a reason you haven't moved to jumping yet. And yes, as SteadyOn has said, also ask if there is anything you can personally do to speed up your progress.

If your trainer does not give you a legitimate answer and shrugs things off, then it may be time to search for other lesson programs.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-01-2020, 02:58 PM
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If she has others on the same horses you ride and they are jumping and doing well with it then it's time for a honest talk about why she is not allowing you to learn to jump and start a program to get you there.


It sounds like there is something that she sees that you do not that is holding her back from offering this to you. Maybe something she feels would keep you from succeeding. Not everyone is capable though I do believe if you want to try then she should start you on beginning lessons and see how you progress. As she has had you at low cross rails and then backed off it is reasonable to think she saw something that you have not moved beyond that tells her you are still not where you need to be as a rider. A heart to heart with her and your parents is something that needs to happen. Find out why. Then develop a plan that may or may not include you being evaluated by another trainer.



Sometimes it is confidence that is lacking that is seen, sometimes a fear that you may or may not be aware of that is seen, sometimes balance off or flexibility/rigidity caused by some physical issue beyond your control that therapy could help you out of. Could be you are still using your reins to a degree to balance. Perhaps you have some limitation that was brought up by your parents when you started and she is not comfortable with you progressing past where you are at. Talk to her. Have your parents present. Be open and honest and allow her to explain without interruption or repercussion her whys and then work together for a solution. May be there is not one with her, may be there is.



I have a friend that has a daughter that loves horses, loves to ride and has limitations. The girl rode with a friend for a while so I spent time seeing how she interacted with authority and the horses she was assigned. Going back in time here her mother had purchased a horse to ride and kept this mare even when she stopped riding (long story). For her daughter she bred the mare and envisioned daughter raising and training the resulting foal. It didn't ever happen and 9 years later after several attempts and on and off lessons the mother sent the horse off for training. 3 months, thousands of dollars and then another three months with daughter riding under this trainer (once a week as the trainer was 2.5 hours away), horse was brought home and within three months the horse could no longer be ridden by the daughter. Daughter was having to "retrain" the horse. Horse was moved from the long term facility it had been in to another with the thought being she needed away from the "oppressive" trainer and BO where they had been for so long. The new facility worked out for a short while when the daughter committed to spending time with horse under the eye of the trainer. With much discussion and some demands placed on her by the trainer and on the trainer's advice the daughter allowed others to ride her horse and she was put on other lesson horses for a time. The horse blossomed. The new trainer pushed for her to sell the horse and purchase something more suited to her skills and riding goals. It took her watching others ride and do well with him for her to see it was she that needed work as well. She needed to gain confidence and then once she was back on him. Once again, it all went to pieces. He was not the horse for her. The trainer worked with her to pick out a beautiful little mare that was all try and willingness. Sadly after a time (once she stopped riding under the instructor) the new purchase was no longer a joy and developed awful habits but it wasn't because she bought above her skills. It was that she did not recognize that she had not progressed to where she thought she had in her own mind. Not saying this is you but ALL this girl ever wanted to do was jump. She still isn't there. For her it is partially physical issues/mental issues combined with not respecting what her instructors were telling her and her mother catering to her that undermined any authority the trainers had. Every horse she rode became a problem horse for her and their solution was put her on another horse.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.

Last edited by QtrBel; 04-01-2020 at 03:32 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-01-2020, 07:06 PM
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I always complain about trainers moving too fast but this one sounds like she may be moving too slow...

I did go to a women once for lessons but she told me it was 3 lessons on the ground at $50 per hour before you even got on the horse. I thought that was crazy... but looking back - I could have used lessons on the ground....

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-02-2020, 12:51 AM
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Have a conversation and have clear, defined goals of what you need to accomplish before you can jump. Things like "be able to maintain position in two point at the canter for three laps, for X number of consecutive lessons." Clear communication is the biggest cause of contention.

Also be aware that with the global situation, you may not be allowed to jump due to the increased risk. You don't want to fall and end up in a hospital right now.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-02-2020, 10:31 AM
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So, as someone who has been in many barns and lesson programs, with a lot of people at different levels, here's my take:

You are not ready to jump.
Just from your two posts, it seems that jumping is the end all be all for you and you have stopped applying yourself to your trainer's interests.
Ground/flat work, and a solid position is essential to being able to jump safely for both you and the horse.

I see time after time, barn after barn, people jumping far before they're ready to jump because that's what keeps people riding and paying and wanting to come. No longer is it a school of being confident, able, and strong enough to do so. No, sadly, allowing anyone to pop around a course of cross rails on a saintly school horse pays the bills for a lot of lesson programs.

I remember thinking - and my parents backing up the thinking - that the coach I grew up riding with was holding me back, not allowing me to jump with the rest of the lessons, making me flat around in my two point for hours and hours, sometimes causing me to cry.
You know what?
I turned out way stronger of a rider because of it.

When I went off and decided to DIY the start of my hunter career from eventing guess what?
I went up in height at that first show and fell off in every round because my horse was smart enough to say 'heckaroo no.'
I thought I knew that I was ready to do things and I was not. I wasn't applying myself fully, I wasn't strong enough, and I didn't have enough experience nor understanding of the how's, why's, and mechanics.
Looking back I see things that I should have been able to do before being allowed to jump around that I couldn't. I couldn't find a distance to a pole on the ground. Couldn't shorten and lengthen my horse's stride properly, chipped or left out strides to small courses...

But that's riding, too. Learning as you go. Making mistakes. Looking back and going 'dang we got away with a lot of bad decisions ten years ago!'

I grew up in my teen years angry that everyone else was doing things I could not, and blamed my trainers or my parents or my horses or something, but looking back now, ten or so years later, I'm so happy things happened as they did. It took me a long time but it made me a really strong rider and horsewoman.
I didn't jump a lot when I was a kid, but now I have a horse that I can jump 5' on and be confident and strong about it!

TL;DR ending - trust the process. Instead of saying 'I can't do this, why?' Ask 'if I'm not ready to jump yet, what do I need to do to better ready myself?'
In the interim, read books! Watch videos! Even as someone who rides 3 horses a day, competes on the A and AA circuit, has ridden with big and small names, I watch riders all the time. I read books by the old masters and talk with the people around me on the 'what could I do better? What was right that I did and what wasn't?'

I agree with having an open and honest talk with your instructor is a good thing - especially with your parents present so they understand too! But don't skip to another trainer just because this one isn't letting you do what you want.
The only reason I'd have you move, if you were my child, is if the trainer cannot give you a detailed and straight answer as to why you're not allowed to do something.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-02-2020, 01:18 PM
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Talk with your trainer, and try to get a straight answer. If you do, great. If your trainer says that you're not ready for jumping, for the meantime, just listen to her and focus on your flatwork. Don't just laze around since you can always learn more on the flat, no matter how long/hard you've been riding. But if you can, ask to create a plan to get you jumping in the next however long to avoid a "well you will be soon I swear..." If you can't get a straight answer, switch trainers. It might be a good idea to change anyways, as you get more experience with different ways of doing things. It also means a pair of fresh eyes on your riding. If a new trainer says that you aren't ready to jump, really analyze yourself. Sometimes people are non-confrontational and will really hide anything that the other person might not like in order to avoid conflict, and that can lead to other people not realizing what they said at all. If you are prone to not understanding people like that, and your trainer is like that, it might be good to find a trainer who gives it to you straight and doesn't really care whether or not you like it, but still wants the best for you. This will ensure open conversation. You should still seek to understand what other people are saying, but it can take time to develop those social skills.

So to quickly recap, the options I see are:
- You're not ready to jump and your trainer won't tell you that clearly.
- You're not ready to jump, your trainer won't tell you that clearly, and you're not ready mainly because you've lost focus and are being lazy about lessons.
- You are ready to jump but your trainer has, for whatever reason, been holding you back.


And in regards to your friend... sometimes people are just talented/hard workers and will be more advanced than you even if they're been doing it for less time. It's just an inevitability in life, and there will be things that you're better than everyone else at.
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