Jumping Practice

Olivia   October 13, 2015   11 Comments on Jumping Practice

With Nilla’s hocks injected – even if not 100% solved – she has been much more eager to canter and controllable while cantering. I’ve even had some success in collecting her in the canter and managed *gasp* to canter full circles. And we’re doing it mostly on the bit. Since our goal is to do BN next time we show, I wanted to take this new found cantering ability and apply it towards cantering jumps.

from last week’s lesson

This almost got put on hold when I realized my crupper was still in the trailer from the Woodside DotH ride. I tried to do some jumps without the crupper and the saddle completely slid down her shoulders. I had to hop off and fix it. I tried to make a crupper out of my husband’s camera bag strap, but he objected to that. Can’t imagine why. So I did what all cheapskate practical horsemen know how to do: made tack out of bailing twine.

Keepin’ It Classy

Nilla was a bit pissed about this. I can’t imagine it was terribly comfortable. But it did work. We resumed jumping from the canter and Nilla was into it. She’s always liked jumping, but I’ve never had her actually pull me to a jump like this. It was awesome.

Nilla’s still incredible green. So I don’t mess with her going into the jumps. They’re tiny so it’s not like we need to hit a perfect stride. I spent many years riding fresh ottbs and other baby green horses and teaching them to jump. I’ve always been a proponent of letting them figure it out at first. If you correct every stride for them from the beginning, I find they don’t learn how to do it right on their own. However, all of those previous horses had some raw jumping ability. Nilla lacks this. In our jumping practice, she kept coming in really close to the base then doing an awkward attempt to hurl herself over and sometimes failing to clear it with her hind end.

take off point was way too close to this jump.

I’m not sure how to proceed from here. I can see the wrong spot from a few strides out, so I could start fixing it. I’m just not sure if that’s the best way to go with her. If I have to fix it for her, I’m not sure she’ll ever figure out how to do it herself. Any advice on helping green horses with this stage of jumping is welcome. And, yes, I know I need a jumping instructor and I am looking, but haven’t yet found one who will travel.

I think gymnastics may be in order. I did set a little 2-stride line and we hit a perfect spot on that one. My husband also got a great shot of her tongue doing the line:

I have the 101 jumping exercises book and I think I’ll be pulling that out for some gymnastics work in the future. If any readers have a favorite gymnastic exercise, please share.

Because we only have so many poles and standards at our barn (most of which we made/bought ourselves) we made a jump out of plastic planter buckets. I can’t even take credit for the idea as this is a standard jump in our arena. Nilla really liked jumping it too.

And we even got some good striding to it:

With some massive over jumping:

It was incredibly muggy out and I was soaked through with sweat under my vest. My husband was sweating just standing around. So we kept it short and sweet. She got lots and lots of praise and was super happy about jumping. There was quite a bit of “celebrating” after the jumps.

11 thoughts on “Jumping Practice

  1. Carly

    I think it's a good idea to teach greenies where a good spot is, and that there is more than one option for take off. They absolutely should learn to figure their own feet out, but having a little information for their brains to fall back on won't hurt.

  2. Olivia

    I've always had horses figure it out for themselves. But, like I said, they all had actual jumping talent. Nilla does not. She likes it, but it is not her calling. So I am thinking I'm going to need to get her spot for her.

  3. TeresaA

    I love how keen she looks- what a trier she is.
    I would set up grids for her- those are great for helping a green horse learn what to do without to much interference.

  4. SheMovedtoTexas

    The best way to teach them to find a good distance is to teach them to have a consistent canter with good pace. Sit up, count out loud and keep her unchanging as you approach the fence. she will figure it out!

  5. Olivia

    Yeah, that's what I've been doing, cantering on, not changing anything. But she's not figuring it out very quickly. We'll keep working on it.

  6. Olivia

    My look is more like oh god, we're going to die, because tiny jumps terrify me after spending years recovering from injuries. But we can call it "concentration."

  7. emma

    she's got such a determined expression! i like your idea about gymnastics too – those really helped my mare a lot. and i agree with lauren too about focusing on the quality of the canter rather than focusing on the distance itself. if the canter is good enough they should be able to jump well from just about any spot

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