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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basically, currently I'm riding an AWESOME appy pony, who is a spectacular jumper/show pony.
Right now we're schooling to 2'6, and coming up this month I'm taking her to the first show of the season, hoping to compete 2 feet, 2'3 and 2'6 (I know you're supposed to show lower than you school, but it's a smaller show where the judges give you lots of amazing feedback, and we're paying for the day so why not?)

The thing is, I'm not EXTREMELY confident over the jumps. She's competed to 3'6, but I know my position could use a lot of work, and I want to work on it as much as possible this month.

So how often a week is 'ok' for jumping? We ride either in a sand arena or on grass (the ground isn't hard AT ALL). She's barefoot right now, getting shoes this week (probably just front... should we get the backs done?)...
I know lots of people say you shouldn't jump them often, because it hurts their joints, but then there are people who say it doesn't matter, and amazing hunter jumper barns that have their horses jumping five days out of seven, so what are your experiences? Is it actually going to hurt her?
And please actually support your answer :)

What if I was to take her over smaller jumps throughout the week to get us both "perfected"?
... Yeah. :p
 

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I think if you're aiming to work on your position there's as much to work on on the flat as there is in the air.
That said, it's hard for me to tell you how often you should jump - I don't know your horse, your horse's history, your conditions, her jumping style, etc. I would suggest you ask a coach who is familiar with your horse, your riding, and has your best interests in mind.
Personally, I'll jump anywhere from 0 - 6 days a week.. But I'm not jumping 4' courses, I'm usually working on pace & control. I'm also on a horse who is physically very fit and has clean x-rays, on good footing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My position is lovely on the flat.
... Wow, that was arrogant, haha.

But I'm a fairly strong rider as far as EQ is concerned, and my position is fine over smaller jumps, the problems I have with bigger jumps is that she really launches so I sort of... bump forward? I stay on fine, and it's nothing major, I'm just not 'used to it' and want more practice?

My coach:
My coach is the horses owner, we've got her on free lease. My coach is 'retired' and coming back for me, my mom thinks she's 'A-M-A-Z-I-N-G' and she is... but I don't know, she's not very approachable? She said she's always been sound and very sure over fences, never had any problems.
She's fairly fit, but coming off of 'maternity leave', basically she had no rider for a bit longer than usual after her baby, so we're still working on that, but we don't spend HOURS jumping, 15 minutes or so a ride, including warmup jumps.
 

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Well, jumping bigger fences is all about flat work It doesn't matter how lovly your seat is on the flat, you should be up in your two point position trotting laps around the arena if you're having trouble with it over fences.

A horse SHOULD NOT jump more than maybe three times a week. I only jump once to MAYBE twice a week on regularity, and then I maybe jump a course with my trainer every day if it's the week aproching a show. Hop up and down on one leg for an extended period of time. Not only is your foot taking the shock, your ankle, knee, hip, back, and shoulders are. That is how a horse feels coming off the backside of a jump. No matter how soft the ground, that impact is substansial. It is very hard on a horse just jumping them 2'. You want to have the days off from jumping to practice other things too. It is slightly obvious that you arn't giving dressage and flatwork your total priority, which it should be given. Flatwork is the key to jumping, always.
 

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Well, jumping bigger fences is all about flat work It doesn't matter how lovly your seat is on the flat, you should be up in your two point position trotting laps around the arena if you're having trouble with it over fences.
Exactly what I was saying.
If you're having trouble with your position over fences (which you say you are), there's more you can do about it on the ground then over fences.
I'd be focusing more on trotting in two point, as well as half-seat, with ground poles & such.
 

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I never jump more than 2 times a week. I like preserving my horse's legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is slightly obvious that you arn't giving dressage and flatwork your total priority, which it should be given. Flatwork is the key to jumping, always.

Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/jumping/your-opinion-please-how-often-52382/#ixzz0kvYEnZLz
No, I'm not giving Dressage any of my priority really. I ride training level dressage tests on occasion, but I don't have much of an interest in it. As for flatwork, I do do a lot of flatwork, but this particular thread is about jumping. I said I'm working on my position, both on the flat and over fences, and I'm trying to get comfortable jumping at this level, my position isn't horrendous, and I am working with a trainer.
I apologize if that isn't how it came across.

What I'm asking is your opinion on how often horses can be jumping, and at what level it really starts hurting their joints.

Now, I'm sorry if I'm coming across as rude, I don't mean to, but this thread is veering from where I wanted it to be and getting into a topic that I'll leave for my trainer, I'm looking for a variety of opinions on how often you jump your horses and how often you jump on the higher scale.
 

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I definently wouldn't jump her more than 2 or 3 times a week
 

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As far as what level starts hurting their joints....

Any level can hurt their joints if you do it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The answer you get on the forum are all the same and the answers outside of the forum are all the same. =P I was just out with a bunch of my mom's friend, including the ponies owner/trainer and they're more in the mind of 'as much as you want, as long as you take good care of them'.

On that note:
Of the people who are jumping 2-3 times a week, how much are you doing on those days? If you were to do (taking this onto a deeper level, haha) the same number of jumps with fewer jumps a day with sufficient warmup and cooldown, would that be the same? Just popping over a crossrail or two for "fun" while working on other things, in order to make sure they're still paying attention? Or switch things up a bit?
I honestly can't see that being a problem, but I don't know the exact science behind it. ;)
 

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When I jump, I usually jump for about half an hour to 45 minutes depending on what the goal is for the day, if I am working on grids or courses, or bumping up the fences, or in a lesson.

I wouldn't consider it the same if you spaced it out because their joints still wouldn't have the sufficient time to rest.

However, like you said, if you have a horse who loves jumping and you want to switch it up and do a X rail or two, that shouldn't be a problem. I do that with one of my mares who hates dressage. If she's good, I'll pop her over a crossrail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I typically do 30-45 minutes of flat work, 15-20 minutes of jumping and then cool her out for as long as she needs to.

She does love jumping, both of my horses do. I left a jump set up in the field and she just played with it hopping over it and making a big scene. It was cute.
 

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This is one of those questions that has no black and white answer. There are too many variables to give you a specific answer. I know A LOT of trainers who say there is little wear and tear on a horse when jumping under 3'. In fact, I think William Steinkraus even says it in one of his books. I had a trainer tell me you can jump a horse 2"3 practically every day. These are also trainers on young, fit, conformationally sound horses who spend thousands a month for the ABSOLUTE best care and maintenance. That being said I don't believe in jumping just for the heck of it.

The number of time I jump my horses a week completely depends on their level of training and how high they're jumping. On a really green horse learning to jump I think it's more beneficial for them to jump a few crossbars 4 or 5 days a week then to have one massive day of jumping once a week. On a less green horse that's in training I'll jump more jumps in one day but only do it a few times a week. I don't jump a horse bigger (over 3") more the once or twice a week unless we're at a show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's what I was thinking... and what about horses that are in stalls vs. pasture? Standing in a stall all day can have problems with their joints, compared to horses who have the run of a field, so does that make a difference?
My horses all have 24/7 access to the barn and the field and are never in a stall.
 

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i think a great program for green horses or riders involves doing a jumping exercise [this is your real jump for the week] and building it up as far as desired to reach your goal- ie starting with a ground pole grid & building it up to 3ft. then through out the next few days while you are working them, pop through it once to help them remember what they learned, built the correct muscling, & acquire muscle memory.

that being said, i wouldnt go out & school xc for 2 hrs every day, & yes i know people who do that !
 

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Studdies show that when our horses land off of a fence, their joints absorb alot of shock that occurs when the hooves hit the ground and the horses body weight compacts down onto the front legs.

These studdies show that this shock wears and tears on our horses joints, ligaments and tendons and the impaction of the 1100lb animal on those ankles, knees, shoulders.

That being said, many Grand Prix Riders/Trainers/Competators only jump about once a week, if maybe 2. Many, don't even jump until the warm up ring at the comp itself because they want to preserve their horses legs.

What is it that they primarily focus on? Dressage. Dressage builds the muscles, dressage builds the stamina and dressage is the fundamentals for all aspects of the equestrian discipline. It makes them that much better, for when they do jump.

Believe it or not, those who are at the lower levels, really over jump their horses - funny how those at lower levels try to mimik those of upper levels in any way that they can, but fail short in the training aspect,

As big named competators, such as Ian Millar, Erik Lamaze, Rodrigo Pessoa and more say

"A horse only has so much jump"

I jump once a week.
 

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I wouldn't jump more than once a week, if not less. What you need to work on is dressage and jump work over ground poles and/or cavalettis, as well as flat work. You already know your horse can jump, all that needs work is your position and her form/collection.
 

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it also depends on how much jumping you are doing in that time. but which is better once a week for 1.5- 2hrs or 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes ?? i prefer to study little & often over cramming personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Exactly, that's what I was saying. And there MUST be a difference between professional jumpers and jumpers that are doing under 3 feet. Otherwise, half the school horses I know would be completely lame right now.
I'm not taking it down to once a week or less, because my focus is not in dressage and I do do a lot of work on position on the flat, and without practise there is no way to get better, but I'm certainly not going to be jumping 2'6 six days a week.
 

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Exactly, that's what I was saying. And there MUST be a difference between professional jumpers and jumpers that are doing under 3 feet. Otherwise, half the school horses I know would be completely lame right now.
I'm not taking it down to once a week or less, because my focus is not in dressage and I do do a lot of work on position on the flat, and without practise there is no way to get better, but I'm certainly not going to be jumping 2'6 six days a week.

I was well aware that your focus is not on dressage, do you think I didn't notice the subject of this thread? I stand by my post. The truth isn't pretty, even though jumping is fun for us and the horse often enjoys it, it is strenuous compared to flat work.

Any form of jumping causes extra strain on the joints compared to no jumping. I am typically more concerned about the horses that take new riders over 2-3ft jumps 3 times a week because not only are they jumping multiple times, they are doing so with riders that are often unbalanced.

Tell me, what is your weekly schedule now in regards to jumping? And what exactly were you looking for in this thread?
 
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