Jumping can be a fun and challenging exercise for both horse and rider. These three tips will help you take your at-home practice up a notch so you see real results in jump performance.
- Install Secure Footing
Secure footing is an absolute must-have for fun and safe riding; it is even more critical when it comes to a jumping arena. The right base, sub-surface and surface materials will ensure your horse has adequate traction and support to make transitions and land safely from jumps.
- Vary Jump Appearances
If every jump looks exactly the same, going over them can get boring pretty quickly. There is also a chance you may encourage refusals of less-familiar-looking obstacles in other places. These are just a few of the reasons why you should vary the jumps in your practice space.
Think beyond traditional pole standards to create a course that is both challenging yet appropriate for the abilities of you and your horse. Adding a few oxers, roll-tops or wing standard horse jump to the mix can keep things fun and help expose your mount to new features he may see in a show ring.
- Keep Practice Fun
Sure, you want to do well in jumping, especially if you intend to compete against other equestrians. However, you also want to make sure it stays fun and safe. Adding games to your practice routines can add some playful energy into training; it may even help you and your horse develop a stronger relationship. A few ideas to help you get started include:
- Change up your routine with some different patterns.
- Use free jumping to watch your horse’s natural behavior and posture.
- Add toys to the arena to help with focus, then reward your companion by allowing them time to play after a successful set.
Ensuring a secure footing is the foundation of a safe and fun jumping experience. Vary jump appearances and add games to keep things exciting and prevent boredom from setting in.