If you consider yourself to be an avid horse rider, then you might at one time or the other have thought about jumping into the very competitive world that is showjumping. While few things can beat hacking and riding, as a means of enjoying the best that life has to offer, eventing is on its own in another class. Clearing fences as hundreds look and cheer are according to the general agreement, all shades of fabulous.
If you are indeed thinking of show jumping, on a horse you love like a brother no less, then here are a few helpful tips that will bring your dream closer to concrete reality.
Warm Up– Before taking the horse on jumps it is rather vital to warm it up first, loosen up the muscles and get it used to you. This goes a long way in lessening the risks of injuries.
Communicate Effectively– Regardless of what Hollywood might have you believe, horses are not actually mind-readers. Thus speeding at a fence while going full throttle is not the best way to teach them how to show jump. Instead, communicate effectively and patiently till the horse knows what exactly is required of it.
Follow The Leader– Should you be focused on teaching a young horse how to show jump, the trick might be first getting them to see another, preferably older horse doing it first. This works because horses are primarily herd-animals. Thus, learning comes easily to them when an older horse is doing the teaching.
Trot It Easy!– Early on, it might be wise to trot while approaching fences. Later on, this can be upgraded to a canter. The main thing is to take things slow and be patient.
Take Small Steps!– Teaching a horse to clear obstacles is not a simple task. Nor an easy one. At first, why not lay some coloured sticks on the ground and have your horse walk or jump over these. Much later when the horse has learned to jump, poles can be laid on the ground to show it where it needs to go, either before or after a jump.
Easy Does It!– Horses are great but lovable and affectionate beings that should be treated with all respect and care. An easy way to show the depth of your affections would be to keep a tight hold on the neck strap while jumping. If this is not done, the horse will get smacked around its mouth. This is painful and when continued can make the horse see jumping as a punishment of sorts.
Don’t Be Discouraged– It can be rather easy to give up when the horse shows about as much enthusiasm as you do when being given an injection in the lower extremities! However, keep going at it, properly motivate both the horse and yourself and set realistic goals. Soon enough, success will be yours!
Jump Small!– With every increase in the comfort and capability of the horse gradually boost the jump height. Should the new height not be to their liking, revert to the old one until they are ready to upgrade.
Well, there you have it! Apply the tips mentioned above and you and your horse will soon be jumping around like no one’s business, just like those cute animals springing in Fluffy Favourites game!