If you have taken a fancy to equines, take a look at these horse riding jumping basics to get you ready for your next lesson. Make sure to check with your instructor, vet or stable owner before starting jumping with your horse. Both you and your ride need to be in good health!
- Jumping bridle and saddle
- Beginner jumps
- Neck strap
- Shorten your stirrups. Very few beginners have their stirrups cinched up enough for good riding support. You want your stirrups short enough to have your knees bent. This will allow you to press your knees against your horse and lift yourself off your horse's back during the jump.
- Keep your horse involved. While your horse should unquestionably answer to you, a bored horse is more likely to disobey or ignore you. Switch between two or more different jumps so your horse stays entertained and challenged.
- Get back on. The old saying about getting back on the horse that bucks you holds true for jumps as well. If your horse refuses to go over a jump, don’t give up. Keep pushing. You need to remind them that you are in charge. On your next try, apply extra leg pressure on the side he keeps turning away from the jump.
- Keep your horse safe. Using a neck strap is the best way for a beginning jumper to respect their horse. Since beginners aren’t used to the sensation of jumping, they tend to grab onto the reins too hard, hurting the horse’s mouth. As you improve, you will learn to grip less tightly on the reins and can get rid of the extra tack.
- During the jump. Along with not pulling too hard on the reins, once your horse is airborne you should lean your body slightly forward, raising your rear out of the saddle. Support yourself with your legs against your horse and with your feet in the stirrups. Don’t look down; keep your eyes focused forward.
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