Tag: Jumping

Key Elements To Consider In Show Jumping


Getting over the course with no faults and creating a seamless and effortless looking ride is the ultimate goal of the show jumper. However, getting to this level of skill, balance and athletic ability for both horse and rider takes a lot of work, often years, especially when you are looking at national or international levels of competition.

While most riders and horses aren’t going to compete at these high levels, it is still essential to ensure that you have the best possible performance. All horses and riders can constantly work on balance, flexibility, suppleness, stride and gait as well as actual physical ability and jumping ability. Often horses that are trained just in the show jumping style without adding horse gymnastics reach a maximum level of ability and plateau. While all horses and riders will have an upper level of competitive ability it is still possible to continue to improve on technique and style, ensuring that you both keep getting better.

One key element to consider in show jumping training through the use of horse gymnastics is the automatic ability of the horse and rider to adjust to different gaits and moves. Although the course is set and you certainly can practice in advance there are always those little things that come up during the competition that need to be adjusted for right then and there. If the horse doesn’t have confidence in his or her rider and own ability and the rider doesn’t know how to communicate changes with the horse the result in s a less than perfect ride or even a full refusal. In worst case scenarios a fall or accident can also occur due to confusion between horse and rider.

Learning stride length and balance and how to control the horse up to and through the jump is really the most key element of jumping. Teaching this by simply jumping repeatedly will improve your horse’s skills, but not lead to a better ability to control and correctly position the horse to take the jump. While the horse may be the muscle behind the team the rider needs to be the brain, thinking ahead, adjusting stride and gait and even correcting for lead and balance dependent on what happened on the last jump or when rounding the end of the arena. Simple little teaching techniques such as half-halts and counter canters can make all the difference in allowing the rider to get the horse right where he or she needs to be to take that jump perfectly.

Of course this level of teamwork only comes from learning the basics and working up. Training using the trot poles and Cavalettis to get a feel for stride length and adjustments is essential. If you don’t use horse gymnastics training in this basic work you are really limiting how far you and your horse can go, regardless of his or her athletic ability. It is amazing how many riders and trainers don’t focus in on horse gymnastics training and end up staying at local competitive levels while the international trainers incorporate it as a basic warm-up even with their highest level competitive riders and horses.


Source by Cathy Barrea

Categories: Sports Betting


Find the Benefits For Horses – Using Gymnastics’s Jumping Exercises


Everyone knows how important stretching, using different muscle groups as well as constantly working on increasing and maintaining flexibility is for humans. Not surprisingly it is equally if not more important for horses, regardless of the type of work that they will be required to do. Sport or jumping horses and those that are competitively ridden need to work on flexibility and muscle development just the same as pleasure horses that are used for the occasional weekend event or ride.

The great news is that working any type of horse through a gymnastics routine will increase the horse’s control, energy levels and flexibility. It will also help the rider focus on the horse’s position during the jump, as well as how to improve their own riding skills. Since the goal of the gymnastics program is to increase the horse’s balance, jump and landing as well as increase the self-carriage of the horse, injuries and stress on the horse will decrease through the use of gymnastics as a core part of training.

All horse gymnastic programs start with basic, simple jumps and trots between jumps, ideal for horses that are unfamiliar with the routine. Initially poles are used in place of jumps, allowing the horse and rider to trot through, focusing on having the horse develop control and flexibility in approaching the poles and then later the jumps. Poles are then combined with low jumps, allowing the horse both a warm up as well as a prelude to the actual gymnastics program. This trot jump, which is often done as an isolated exercise, helps cue the horse and also helps the rider to focus on correct positioning, following the horse and using leg control to help the horse with carriage, balance and landing.

The benefit of using a gymnastic type approach to training is that the positioning of the jumps and poles is strategic. They are placed so that the horse is cued to transition weight to make the jump, plus it also encourages the horse to continuously be thinking about what he or she is doing. Through these controlled but low level jump exercises the horse and rider develop a unified sense of balance and control, with the horse also developing an increased flexibility and response to the rider.


Source by Cathy Barrea