What I’m Learning About the Jumpers

What I’m Learning About the Jumpers

I’ve had three official “jumper” lessons now.  That basically means I’m an expert.  Right?  Right.

Since I’m such a baby jumper expert, I will drop some pearls of my new-found knowledge on you. Bam!


In jumpers, there are more jumps.  Shocking I know!  When I used to be like “Ah, I’m so ready for this hunter course to be done” around fence 8… in jumpers, I’m still going.  I’m still going and I also have to jump off (hopefully) soon.  Basically, I’m out of shape and I’m probably going to die this weekend.


Since I no longer have to “equitate” I’ve learned that I really have to ride.  Recently Simon has shown me that he’s a little backed off of in and outs, of which there are a lot in the jumper ring.  Moreso than the level of hunters we are currently doing.  If I don’t sit up and ride, bad things happen… and by bad things, I mean lots of chippage.


Grabbing mane is kinda a thing for me now.  I usually associate it with a personal victory because if I’m grabbing mane it means “Oh jesus we may not survive this” but since I’m typing this we’ve obviously survived.


Even when I’m doing my crazy amazing wow jumper turns, I have to jump straight.  In fact, straightness is kind of the key to everything.  This is the same in hunters… I guess I’m just a slow learner.

Speaking of those tight turns, Simon is really good at them.  Of course, it is a lot easier when you do them on the correct lead.


My horse is not a slow learner however.  These jumping courses bring out what I call “thinking ears” in him.  Normally he jumps 100% ears forward, but in these his ears are all ‘what’s next?!’  I don’t think it’s pissiness or pain, because when I ride I can tell he’s having so much fun.  Funny change though!


Regardless of what I’ve “learned” so far, my goals this weekend are…

  • Not go off course
  • Not chip out of a one or two stride (or three or four…)
  • End my courses smiling

Wish us luck!

22 thoughts on “What I’m Learning About the Jumpers

  1. Have fun! I’ll be over here spending a small fortune on the monograms that you opened my eyes to 🙂

  2. Yay for jumpers!!!! I do the adult jumpers with both of my mares and am hoping to work our way up to the A/O’s. You will have a blast! A couple other tidbits…… 😉
    -learn your jumper tables so that you’ll know whether your class is power and speed, speed, immediate jump off, etc….
    -learn how to walk a course really well. Know how many of your steps equal a stride and learn how to realize when a line is set a little long vs. a little short. Also, as you advance, some designers like to set lines on a half stride. I like to really visualize how I’m going to ride my course while I’m walking. Then, if possible, watch a few riders go to see if the course is riding the same as it walked. Also, I always take a pic with my phone to help me memorize.
    -wait for the buzzer and know where your timers are located!!! Haha, ask me why I’m telling you this….
    -have fun!!! You’ve already figured out the best part of jumpers… The bonnets!! Now you get to learn the rest!!

    1. This is all GREAT advice. I definitely don’t know the tables, but I know that the 1st day is round + immediate jumpoff and 2nd day is power & speed. I wish they had optimum time, because I think we would be good at that! Totally scared about going off course or missing a buzzer or something, haha.

  3. You will not die, the jumps roll together so much faster in jumpers, they never seemed as long as hunter courses! And so glad that you two are having fun! Best of luck!

  4. You also gotta ride in the Hunters (and the Eq) below 3′ I think the pace issues never seem to come up as much because it feels like over riding it.

  5. Good luck this weekend!
    Simon almost looks like a different horse here! He’s all focused and driven – and forward!! You both look like you’re having a blast!

  6. ZOMG you’re gonna have a blast! Try to relax, and enjoy the moment. I know Simon is going to really enjoy the jumpers and I hope you do too!!

  7. I agree with Genny, I always felt like jumper rounds flew by because the jumps come up so much quicker. So while there are more of them, it goes by in a blur 😉 So funny about his ears!

  8. Chipping isn’t a big deal at all in jumpers – if it slows you down, maybe, but it’s not something to really worry about. Neither is counter canter, except that it can slow you down or make for an awkward jump … either way, if you get around clean and fast, you’re golden! 🙂 And yes. You have to RIDE every step! Your boy is SUCH a cute jumper, though. I love those pics! Have a great time, and just worry about forward and keeping in balance, and you’ll be great!

  9. LOVE the last pic! And this whole thing. Because who cares if your position isn’t textbook perfect? What I LOVE is to see you continue to grow in confidence, and I see it!! I have no doubt you all are going to be doing 3′ hunters (maybe even jumpers?) in no time!!

    And for jump offs, don’t worry, it’s not all about speed. It’s all about lines-taking the shortest track! As you progress, you learn to have tight turns and jump fences at angles (but still straight) etc. It’s rather fun. I think Simon will enjoy it. I hope you have a blast!

  10. You guys are going to have SO much fun!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. I love the pics, especially the last one! Simon looks like he’s having fun and giving you a lovely, powerful jump, and you’re right in synch with him.

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