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Tips for remembering jump order?

551 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ClearDonkey
Does anyone have any tips or tricks to help me remember jump order at a show? I can't even do it at the barn unless we start with like two jumps, then add in another two, then another two, then stop and do that series a bunch of times, and then keep going. And even then I may forget. Even at the very fun show we went to last month, I got frazzled and my brain was even worse than usual. I got stressed or anxious and I could only focus on what was directly in front of me, nothing else. So I can't imagine what I'm going to do at this show I'm going to next month, where I'll actually be doing a jumping class (crossrails, but still).

One of my instructors offered some really good advice, which is the jumps aren't just random, they are in a logical order. So maybe there is an outside line, then it will probably be followed by an inside (diagonal) line, because if you look at the jumps that's really the only jumps you can take from where the outside line ends, etc. I find this helpful, because it takes them from being a bunch of random individual jumps to at least groups of jumps. But I still get frazzled!

I set up some crossrails in the arena to where they could be taken multiple ways, and I'll work on those when I can.
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· Administrator
37,356 Posts
The only thing I can say is that you're not on your own!!

Get to the show in plenty of time to walk the course and ask the person running the class if they could not place you too high up the order of competitors, that way you get the chance to watch others go round and a better chance of fixing the course in your head.

The jumps do tend to be in a logical order but that's never stopped me from making some super tight turns to get it totally wrong!

PS - I really struggle to remember dressage tests as well and my husband says that I'm capable of getting lost the moment I turn left or right out of our driveway.

· Super Moderator
18,528 Posts
I used to ride about 5th rider or so....
By that time there was a path of fresh dirt you can see that is the pattern.
Remember to look for the lines, look for the turns will also help you to see those lines easier...peek around the corners.

What level of classes are you participating in?
Different levels have different degree of difficulty for the over-fences classes but still, there is a rhythm to the reason as my instructor use to preach at us.

Where I can see you might have difficulty is you will be riding Pony, a pony against mostly horses for your category.
That could throw off distances between fences if combinations on a line exist, go girl and show them what you got and can do with that superstar pony you ride..
His "try" may more than make up for anything paced for horse stride and he push a bit harder to do them with his shorter stance and striding.

· Premium Member
5,001 Posts
I used to imagine myself on my horse doing the jumps as I studied the course. It helps even more if you can physically walk a pretend course--making the jumps sticks or lipstick tubes or anything. You can make it small, like in your trailer if you don't want anyone to see you (embarrassing, a little). I learned this from being a teacher. Sometimes if kids can physically move as they are learning, they can retain it better.

Yes, I was scared spitless when I had a difficult course to remember. Also, usually the easy low courses have easy routes.

· Registered
1,192 Posts
Rather than try to remember every jump, I think it's helpful to say the general pattern of lines out loud and repeat it in your mind as you ride. Like knightrider said, usually the easy low courses are pretty simple. Often something like - outside, diagonal, outside, diagonal. Or, diagonal, diagonal, outside, outside. An occasional arena, if large enough, will include a jump on a short end or on a quarter line, but most don't at the low levels. So all you have to remember is outside or diagonal - how many lines there are total, and which one comes next.

Drill the lines into your head so firmly that your brain starts chanting it on its own. Then once you get into the arena and start your opening circle, say the chant in your head. As you finish a line, take it off your list. Say the pattern is: diagonal, diagonal, outside, outside. After you've done the first line, think to yourself "first line done, now diagonal outside outside. So, next is diagonal." After you've done the second line, think to yourself "second line done, now outside outside. So, next is outside."

And of course, walk the course ahead of time and replay it in your head, and imagine you're the rider as the competitors before you complete it.

Visual pattern + auditory pattern should make it stick!

· Registered
2,530 Posts
I have the same issue, but with dressage tests - I always 'ride' the test on foot, even practicing the cues where I know I'm going to have to give leg/ask for bend/half halt/etc... But without fail, my brain goes on auto-pilot when I enter the show ring and somehow it has all turned out fine so far...

I haven't been able to make the transition back into jumping yet, but I'm not sure if I could remember a course with more than 6-8 jumps anymore... Also looking for advice on this!!
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