First time over the tire jump. Don't worry, it goes downhill from here

True blogger confessions time: recently I’ve become aware that I had grossly over estimated my abilities as a rider.  See, I’ve been a hunter gal all my life (even little local stuff.. still counts) and did one jumper show with moderate success.  Plus, my horse is a little bit awesome… when he’s sound.  Therefore, I’m obviously ready to make the switch full time to little jumper, right?

First time over the tire jump.  Don't worry, it goes downhill from here
First time over the tire jump. Don’t worry, it goes downhill from here

Yeah, no.  So the jumpers are much harder and I have a lot to work on.  Who knew?

After my series of jumper lessons leading up to the LOPE Show, I realized just how far I had to go.  Right now I still have to…

  • 1- Breathe
  • 2- Count strides
  • 3- Recover from jump
  • 4- Casually look for next jump
This is the last picture of us looking somewhat together in this blog post
This is the last picture of us looking somewhat together in this blog post

With the jumper courses, by the time I’m ready to look for my next jump… I’ve already passed said jump.  Everything is faster and I get super frazzled and my equitation goes to shit and I forget to give my horse directions.

If you watch this video to the end, you’ll be rewarded by the most awkward combination line ever.

The good news is, Simon thinks all of these courses are fabulous.  He’s all “LEFT OR RIGHT?  LEFT OR RIGHT?  I’LL SWAP EACH WAY WHILE YOU DECIDE I’M SO PUMPED!”

Meanwhile, I’m like “Oh Jesus we should jump that thing and all I know to do is point you at it and sit up so I might not die.”  Also, I’m not allowed to look down for my leads anymore, because my trainer essentially said ‘aint nobody got time for that.’  But… how will I know for sure if I don’t visually see?  Jumper life mysteries.

At least it makes for entertaining videos.

Then after the LOPE show, I mentioned to my trainer that I might want to go back to the hunters for a while so we can work on these things.  She said I can do whichever, but then after watching the 2’6″ divisions at our most recent local circuit show… admitted I fit much better in the baby jumper divisions.  It’s where we can be competitive, and if I’m being 100% honest I think horses and shows are too expensive for me personally to go show again and again with no hope of a ribbon.

So, baby jumper land it is!

I’ll bore you with one more jumping video, where we improve our pace so much.  I’ve always thought that Simon is a creature of patterns and habit, and once we start getting the strides as habit they will improve.  This is true, but I also have to sit up or bad things happen.

Nothing is perfect here, but there are improvements… with many more to come.

Thank you jumper lessons, I have been humbled. I’m ready to work hard and get much better at this so we look more like we’re practicing equitation and less like Toad’s Wild Ride.

 

32 COMMENTS

  1. Look at those rollbacks! Perfect or not perfect, it still looks like a ton of fun! Also, Simon is adorable with his snorting- he looks like he is having a blast!

    PS- Dominating jumping logs? Having fun on showjumping courses? I think a horse trials may be in your future! 😉

  2. Jumpers are my favorite – I love classes that are based quantitatively on how well we did as a team rather than how we looked. Besides, it’s fun 🙂

  3. Show jumping is soooooooo harrrrrddddddddddddd!!!! Welcome to my personal struggle bus. If you ever want to commiserate on how hard it is, you know where to find me.

  4. Welcome to jumperland!! I loved the roll back where he hopped a little AND got his change! He looks like he is having fun! I love the technical courses of the jumpers and how I have to plan my route and the strategy of it. Take it slow, as you improve you can bump up your pace. Jumpers aren’t about running. Smooth and tight turns = fast! Now you have to learn what all the tables mean 🙂

  5. Honey, you and Simon looked fantastic to me and there were no flying poles or crashed fences and Simon looks and sounds like he is having the time of his life!!!
    Of course, this is said by a non-jumping person, but I thought you looked great.

  6. Love the bolder pace in the last video! Also: time to get more comfortable with that basier ride. I never did hunters, just started off in jumpers. Never want to do anything else.

  7. I have this theory that 90% of thoroughbreds LOVE being jumpers. Mine does. He thinks dressage is retarded. He thinks hunters are retarded. He thinks that xc is cool, until you have to go in the water. Water, he insists, is for jumping OVER not INTO.

    Would you like to borrow my horse for jumpers? He has autochanges … 😉

  8. Hey…remember that it doesn’t matter how it looked in jumperland, just that you got over it!! haha

    You two do not look half bad at all…you look great infact! Just more and more pace for the jumpers, will let the distances come to you better and I’m sure Simon will love being able to zoomie around!

    I found doing lots of gymnastics and jumper shows helped me this summer…you guys will rock it out there!

  9. Welcome to Jumper Land! It’s the place to be. 😉

    I feel like my barn might be a little weird because all the hunter riders school “jumper” courses (I guess…?) at all times, which, when I did the hunters back in the days of yore, made the hunter courses look soooooooooooo easy.

    Hunters are great for learning patience and that nice, quiet, soft ride, as well as teaching you how to count reliably and use your corners. But IMO once you’re beyond that sort of thing there is a lot to be said for the jumpers. Once you get more used to it, the technicality and fun of it is just SO MUCH FUN. There’s not a huge amount of technicality at the lower levels but there can be enough to keep it interesting, depending on your course designer. Once you figure that bit out it can be really educational to walk some of the bigger stuff (1.30m+, but Grand Prix in particular) and think about how you would ride something like, say a six and a half stride line, or a triple bar with five short strides to an airy plank, or something of that nature. Much more exciting than the hunters 😀 IMO anyway!

    But yeah you do have to be ready to go and turn and be a little more efficient. I don’t think the speed is much greater than a hunter round; particularly at the lower levels, they should look very very similar. Good rhythm and pace to make the lines and that’s about it. The blindly galloping idiots in the low jumpers are terrifying. Efficiency in jump-offs, power & speeds, and speed classes is key. If you want to do it right, that probably means you won’t win, but it will mean that your future is much brighter should you end up moving up – and your riding education will be that much better.

    As far as landing and looking… omg! That can be hard. There are still times I miss jumps because I’m too busy being relieved I didn’t die or staring at my horse or something. My trainer now is big on looking as soon as you’re one stride away from the jump you’re jumping. And our old assistant used to constantly harass me about “looking through the standards” on blind turns/rollbacks etc. Actually good advice! And you can practice IRL too, like when you’re just walking around your house aimlessly. I refer to it as far-off vision, just looking really far away and plotting your approach to get there.

    It’ll come though. Keep working at it! Simon looks like he is having a total ball out there.

  10. Yay jumpers!!! I love jumpers, the courses are so technical and each one actually feels like a different course. Plus you have to love the non-subjective scoring.

    I know you don’t have time to do this in a lesson, but at a show taking time to visualize your course (as in imagine riding the course how you would see it from Simon’s back) several times really helps with the jump order. I try to write down my courses as early as I can and spend lots of time visualizing them over and over before I actually ride.

    I’m super excited for you guys!

  11. 2 notes:
    1. you don’t look for your lead because it no longer matters! you can be on the wrong lead the whole time – as long as he’s balanced enough for jumping, who cares?
    2. Tire jump = solid jump = eventing. Methinks its time for you to try a local eventing show/derby 😉 =D

  12. Ahh jumperland! I love jumperland! Wait, you have to remember a million different courses ALL AT THE SAME TIME? Oh crap, I hate jumperland!
    But I do love jumperland, when I am not forgetting where I am going, which is most of the time 😉

  13. awesome videos!! you two are really jammin around out there – fun roll backs and a lot of great distances! the leads always throw me since isabel doesn’t really have a change, and i prefer to get the correct leading while schooling even if it doesn’t happen during actual shows…

    in any case, tho, it’s an exciting switch up – good luck! and i second everyone else who saw those solid log and tire fences and thought XC!!!!

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