Tips for my First Jumpers Show? (: 207 views  •   1876 days ago
Sonny Int     •  2,866 career posts  
At the end of May, I'm off to my first real show jumping/hunter jumping competition with Bounce! I competed with her once, last May, and we ended up with a first place ribbon in the flat equitation classes, and all shows done before Bounce were flat classes. So I've got no experience with jumping competitions - I've never even spectated one in person.

Obviously after 10 years of riding, I know what the different classes are, what they mean, I know how to jump (though the last time I did jump, I, err, broke my collarbone. whoops!), but I'm only at the point where 2'3" is moderately decent to go over and 2'6" seems to be a horse-eating monster height.

Bounce couldn't care less. She'll fly over anything. The pasture fences included.

But any tips you have - for memorizing courses, having a clear/smooth course, ANYTHING - are greatly appreciated!
For those wondering, we'll be competing in Limited Rider 2'3" Hunters, Green 2'3" Hunters, *maybe* Limited Rider 2'6" Hunters, and the 2'3" Power and Speed Jumpers.

Thank you!!
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Go over your course in your head, many many times :p it looks different when you're actually out cantering around and have to hurry up and know which way to turn after a jump (no, i'm not speaking from experience.......)

And find some sort of rhythm to ride to so you stay at an even pace.
Whispering Pines Stables     •  514 career posts 1876 days ago
For memorizing courses the barn I ride with usually has a helper that goes over and writes the courses down, then comes back and shows us the course or reads it to us, then we have to repeat it back, do this as many times as you need. If it helps, memorize by colour, decoration, or type of fence, or type of line. I've shown over fences for 3 years and I've only ever forgotten a course once and it was because I was excited because I was doing so well. xD Which brings me to staying focused, which affects both your course memorization and having a clear course. Stay focused on the fence ahead of you, not the one behind you or the one that's way ahead, for example - scary fences. I have an awful habit of getting stuck on little mistakes in the past and they come up and haunt me later in the course, so being able to focus on the next fence is pretty much a must.
CactusisinaBox     •  19,428 career posts 1876 days ago
Also, my barn only has 4 pairs of jump standards, and the most we can fit in our indoor is three (it's a bit narrow), and the outdoor arena is big enough for all four. Should I be a bit worried if I'm unable to practice a whole course prior to the show?
Sonny Int     •  2,867 career posts 1876 days ago
I always remembered jumps by their color, or theme (ie: American flag, liver pool, lime green, Halloween, ect). If they're all white fences (which is a pain in a butt to try to remember long courses) then remember them by their locations.

Be patient in your courses. The amount of times I've seen people speed through their courses and knock rails because their horse can barely keep up.. it's ridiculous. For your power and speed, take your time in the "Power" (usually fences 1-5 or something). And then fly through your JO or the "speed" part (usually the remaining fences).

Count your strides in the hunters. 1...2...3...1...2..3.. and so. Or sing a song. Patience in key when in the hunters because (unless you're in the eq) there isn't usually rollbacks or bending lines. Make sure you hit your strides in the lines and your distances to the fences,patience. I'm a super ADD person, which is why I count and sing to myself to keep myself busy and from rushing through my hunter course.

If you want anymore advice, feel free to message me :)
Haylo      •  6,309 career posts 1876 days ago
No, I can really only set up one or two at home and my arena is a hillside so they have to either be in a line or on the long sides of a U shape. You'll be fine :)
Whispering Pines Stables     •  518 career posts 1876 days ago
Thank you all for the tips!! I think my biggest worry will be forgetting the course, hahah.
Sonny Int     •  2,868 career posts 1876 days ago
Agreed with Haylo as well, counting or talking to yourself helps a lot. I talk to my horse a lot during courses and flat, everyone may think I'm crazy but it helps me so much. XD

And as for the jumps, is there any chance you can use things like square bales, barrels, etc as standards? And how many poles do you guys have?
CactusisinaBox     •  19,429 career posts 1876 days ago
Honestly, I don't jump my horses over full courses before shows. I just practice getting my distances to my fences. Just like barrel racers don't run the full pattern until the show, the good barrel racers only practice one or two barrels at a time.
Haylo      •  6,310 career posts 1876 days ago
hahaha I know, I'm always saying "good boy" after a nice fences, or "easy".."whoa".. I talk waaaay to much to myself sometimes xD

If I don't talk to myself then the silence kills me and I speed through my course and my distances become crap. Lol

I'm a complicated rider...
Haylo      •  6,311 career posts 1876 days ago
And when you're warming up at the show, I like to jump everything going both ways (left/right) as well as do a couple roll backs. If your jumper isn't until later then I would warm up as a hunter. And then right before your jumper class set up a vertical and jump it and do a real sharp rollback after the fence. This will prepare your horse to sit on it's hunches for tight turns in your "speed" half of the jumper course!
Haylo      •  6,313 career posts 1876 days ago
What should I plan to do during a warm up?

Should I jump especially low jumps? Higher jumps? The height of the jumps in the class I'm headed to?
Should I limit the jumps?

What are your warm up plans, is what I'm asking, haha.
Sonny Int     •  2,869 career posts 1876 days ago
I usually try not to overdo the warm up especially because it'll be a long day of jumping already.
I go in and just get my horse over everything and let him see the things that are "scary."
But my horse is very seasoned in hunters and jumpers and doesn't take much show prep.
But I do make sure to go over everything both ways, I'm not picky on the heights. I'll take him over it even if it's a crossrail.
If you take your horse over everything and you feel he needs more, then hack him over a couple more. It all depends on your horse!
Personally, I just take my horse over everything and then let him chill out. But my horse is the kind to come out of the warmup and immediately start falling asleep.
When I was a jumper, I would school about 4 fences in the warmup pen, sharp turns immediately after the fence.
Haylo      •  6,315 career posts 1876 days ago
Yeah don't overdo it, start off low and build your confidence, usually I end up finishing with a couple fences of the height I'm jumping. Make sure to go both ways and make sure to let yourself calm down over the warm up fences.
CactusisinaBox     •  19,431 career posts 1876 days ago
Be careful when warming up. Haylo mentioned jumping both ways, but at most shows the fences are flagged. Only jump if the red flag is on your right, and the white flag is on your left. You have a chance of being disqualified if you jump the wrong way.
As for remembering courses; walk it, repeat it over in your head, memorize colors/patterns on the jumps.
Don't forget to eat and drink! Even if you're nervous and feel sick, eat something. You don't want to get dizzy or anything while riding.
Stay calm. Deep breathes, sing a song, talk to yourself or your horse, etc.
Count strides to every jump.
Don't stress about the other riders. It doesn't matter whether you get first place or last, as long as you had fun, were being safe, and were happy with your ride(s).
RoughTides     •  925 career posts 1876 days ago
In hunter course there's no flags on the fences... Hence why I jump both ways because in hunter course you usually switch directions by a diagonal fence and end up jumping a line twice. So I jump both ways. :)
Haylo      •  6,316 career posts 1876 days ago
Yes I know not in the actual course, but in warm-ups.
RoughTides     •  929 career posts 1876 days ago
I've been showing for years and have never seen flags in the warm up for hunters. I've seen them in jumpers.

But not in hunter.
Haylo      •  6,317 career posts 1876 days ago
Hm, that's weird. Maybe it's just shows in my area then. Sorry!
RoughTides     •  934 career posts 1876 days ago
Thank you!!

I've got one more question, oops! It is to my understanding that boots for the horse aren't allowed in hunter classes. And, of course, you can only use a shaped white saddle pad. Would it be silly of me to switch out my shaped pad for my full pad with the Ogilvy half pad, as well as open front boots for jumpers?
Sonny Int     •  2,870 career posts 1875 days ago
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