10 Tips For First Time Show Jumpers
Are you thinking about getting into show jumping? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, there are a few things you need to know before hitting the show ring. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 tips that will help make your first time show jumping a success!
Before we get started, let's go over a few basics. Show jumping is a competitive equestrian sport where riders and horses must navigate a series of obstacles, or jumps. The goal is to complete the course without knocking down any rails or incurring faults. Riders are judged on their ability to ride cleanly and efficiently around the course.
Now that we've gone over the basics, let's get into our tips!
Tip #01: Choose the Right Horse
The first and most important tip for show jumping is to choose the right horse. You want a horse that is athletic and has plenty of experience jumping. If you're a beginner, it's also important to choose a horse that is patient and forgiving. You can talk to your local trainers and breeders to find the perfect horse for you.
Tip #02: Get Plenty of Lessons
Before you start show jumping, it's important to get plenty of lessons. This will help you learn the proper techniques and develop a strong foundation. You can find a local trainer who specializes in show jumping, or you can take lessons at a nearby equestrian center.
Tip #03: Start Small
When you're first starting out, it's important to start small. Jumping higher fences can be dangerous, so it's best to work your way up gradually. Your trainer will start you out over low cross-rails and poles, and then move up to verticals and oxers as you gain the skills necessary to navigate more complex obstacles.
Tip #04: Dress for Success
When you're show jumping, you want to make sure you're dressed for success. You'll need a well-fitting helmet every time you ride. For schooling at home, you'll want, breeches, and boots as well as a technical riding shirt that offers UV protection. It's also important to wear gloves to help you grip the reins. You can find all of this gear at your local tack shop.
Tip #05: Warm Up
Before you start jumping, it's important to warm up both you and your horse. If you are an experienced rider, you can start by riding around the arena at a walk, trot and canter both directions. Then, add in some simple jumps like cross-rails and verticals. This will help you both get loose and limber before tackling the course.
Tip #06: Stay Focused
All horse sport requires you to focus, but jumping is particularly demanding. Your horse needs to feel your attention on the task at hand whether you are at home or at a show. Once you're in the show ring, it gets a little harder. Everyone gets nervous at show time but it's important to remember to breathe and relax, keep your eyes up and looking ahead. If you make a mistake, don't dwell on it. Just stay focused and keep moving forward.
Tip #07: Be Confident
It's important to show confidence when you're riding. This will help you exude calmness, which will in turn help your horse feel more confident. If you're not confident in your abilities, your horse will sense this and it will make it more difficult to jump cleanly. Taking lessons with an experienced trainer that clicks with you and your horse is the best way to build your confidence.
Tip #08: Practice at Home
In addition to taking lessons, you should also practice at home if that's where you ride and keep your horse. Otherwise, understand that riding horses well and competing requires dedication, so make sure you make the time to practice with your coach regularly. This will help you both learn the proper techniques and develop muscle memory.
Tip #09: Stay Positive
Show jumping can be frustrating, especially when you're first starting out. Learning any riding skill is a lifetime journey, one you share with a partner (your horse) who is also learning. It's important to stay positive and have fun with it. If you make a mistake, just laugh it off and try again. The more you practice, the better you'll both get.
Tip #010: Have Fun!
At the end of the day, show jumping should be fun. It's a great way to bond with your horse and compete against other riders. It's also a wonderful way to get to know other riders in your community and work with a team of riders at your barn. The best thing about horse shows is the social aspect of being with a bunch of other people who are also obsessed with horses.
We hope you found these tips helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We'll see you at the show!!