Hey everyone! Welcome back to another blog post! This past weekend, I attended a jumping clinic taught by my trainer. Below is a pic of me jumping Kahari. The clinic was so much fun and I started to feel my love of jumping come back. Whether it is a ½ ft tall jump or a 3 ft tall jump, the thrill never goes away. While I attended the clinic, I learned many important basics of jumping. To be able to jump, you have to have the basics down pat. It’s basically like laying down a foundation for a house. Once you have the foundation, then you can start building. Today, I am sharing with you 3 tips that I learned at the jumping clinic. I hope that these tips will help the riders who are wanting to begin jumping classes, but also a reminder to those riders who have been jumping for a while. Enjoy the tips!
Tip #1 – Heels Down
Now, yes, I know this is basic, but it is an important tip to becoming a great jumper. Heels down is important because it helps you to stay seated in the saddle while going over the jumps and, is also beneficial to your balance as well. For example, if you had your heels up in the air then whenever you would go over the jump you would fall onto your horse’s neck or maybe even fall off your horse. Having your heels down is basically your center of gravity, balancing you as you and your horse go over the jump. Make sure to ALWAYS keep your heels down when you are jumping!
Tip #2 – Look Straight Ahead
Looking straight ahead while you are jumping is also a very important tip. A couple of times when I was jumping, I looked down at the jump. DO NOT DO THAT! Look straight ahead and then once you are over the first jump, look towards the second jump. When horse riders look down at the jump, horses might get confused. They might think, “Do you want to stop or go?” As riders, it is our responsibility to get ourselves over the jump and to get our horses over the jump. So, by looking straight ahead, we are telling our horses to keep on movin’.
Tip #3 – Have Confidence
Personally, I feel that this is the most important tip when jumping. To be able to have confidence in yourself and also in your horse is important. When you are able to have confidence, it makes it much easier to get over the jumps. When approaching the jump, if at any moment you have any doubts, your horse immediately will have doubts as well. Your horse is thinking, “UH-OH.” Doubts don’t lead to a very good situation. My trainer gave me an example of making the jumps higher. Sometimes as horse riders it might make us nervous to make the jumps higher. You have to be able to have a “let’s do this” attitude, instead of becoming scared and nervous. Once you have confidence in the jump, your horse will as well.
I hope that you found these tips helpful! Jumping is not easy. You have to work hard and persevere, but it is so rewarding in the end! Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!
Have you ever jumped before? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s chat!