Jumping - what do you/should you think about.

daydreamer

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I am trying to improve my jumping and it occurred to me that when I jump everything seems to pass in a flash. I think I need to try and make more things subconscious/habit so I free up some brain space. So I thought it would be interesting to hear what people have made habit/subconscious and what they actually think about when jumping.

For me...

Subconscious: have the horse and I got all limbs attached, are generally healthy and capable, folding over the jump then sitting up again, hands forwards, looking for a straight departure line, jump the middle of the fence, try and approach in a straight line

Conscious: eyes up! try and remember to look for the next fence (tend to be slow to do this or I can look but not organise and look at the same time), check lead leg and change if wrong (very slow doing this, for some reason it seems to take lots of brain space)

No room/time to think about: what type of fence it is and if I should ride it differently to others, how many strides in-between fences, canter rhythm, seeing a stride (although I can sometimes tell if we are going to be wrong I can't/don't tend to do anything about it).

I would be really interested to hear other people's thoughts/ideas :)
 

jessjc

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I think most of us think along the same sort of lines. However, quoting a few instructors: "showjumping is all about preparation" ie we need to think mostly about the canter, way before we even approach the fence. When we have the correct rhythm for the type/size of fence, we can think about the line that we take to it, straightness etc. Then there are three sections to jumping 1) approach 2) take off/jump 3) landing/getaway. On the approach, we should have done all the preparation by that point and so cannot fiddle around, we just need to sit up and support with our legs. Give with the reins the stride before takeoff and think about the next fence. Sit up quickly (something I struggle with) and continue the process with the next fence (obv different according to whether it's a single fence/related distance etc.

It is really hard not to interfere on the approach though..

Some instructors have different techniques. One said that if I am getting too hung up about seeing a stride then look to the sky as I'm jumping. Another said I should look at the fence v early (this has really helped me) ie look at it from the previous fence almost, way before you turn into the fence and keep your eyes fixed on it. They also said that you can only really be half a stride out so really not to worry about the striding (at this stage discovery/newcomers) but to concentrate on the canter.

All helpful stuff. I seem to ride much better in the ring, but my style often leaves a lot to be desired! Interesting to see what people come up with on this thread :)
 

spacefaer

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When in the ring, I have 2 main conscious thoughts - the first is RHYTHM ie getting it then maintaining it and the second is POWER - do I have enough and if so, is it sufficiently contained.

Everything else comes from that - lines, straightness, strides - they all fall into place if you have the first two.

The one thing I should have in my conscious mind (as o obviously don't have it in my subconscious! ) is BREATHE! ! I must remember it when going xc as I'm always way more puffed after a sj round than xc!
 

EveningStar

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2 October 2008
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I have this exact problem which tends to lead on to me getting lost or jumping the wrong fence and other equally stupid things.

It really helps to visualise the course and how you would ride it first a few times. Find somewhere quiet before your round and go through in your head how you'd like it to go

The other thing I have found that works is counting. Lucemoose suggested it to me and it really works. You just keep counting 1,2,3,4 & repeat. it helps with rhythm and it gives me something to focus on so I can order my thoughts
 

viola

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All good points above.

I personally always make sure when I ride or teach that the horse is in front of the leg. If he/she is, all other aspects are 99% easier and flow well. If a horse is behind the leg, everything else becomes a conscious effort, same if he/she is too much in front of the leg (running or generally out of control). I like to have it near perfect on the flat between poles so I can move the horse on and bring him back a little without issue (more or less depending on the horse's age and level of schooling) before jumping.

I find that if the horse is in front of the leg and reacts well, the distance comes to the rider's eyes almost by default, the lines are much easier to ride and so is general planning of the course.
Most issues to me stem from lack of this basic step.

So - when I get on a horse to jump, I think how best to put him/her in front of my leg and feeling hand :)
 
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ann-jen

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co durham
With both horses, sitting up, not folding too early, keeping my hands down, the line after the fence.
Specifically with Jenny, not letting her fall in and motor off on the corners, having her in a slight shoulder in on the approach before the corner.
Specifically with Dee, keeping her neck straighter on the corner and not letting her curl to the inside and drift through her outside shoulder.
 

vam

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Dont **** up, dont **** up, dont **** up............................ ;)

In all honestly it depends on the day, where im jumping, how he is feeling etc. I would say most of my thoughts revolve around dont look at the fence look past it and where i want to go (he think monsters lurk under fences if you look and it ruins his rhythm), dont look down, breathe, butt back, keep my leg on and round, sit up, dont drop my hands, breathe...
It normally works but i think if i thought about all the things i should i would have finshed the round by the time i got to the end.
Unfortunately there are times when the only thing that is going through my mind it tumbleweed....
 

siennamum

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18 February 2004
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I have to stop myself jumping ahead of (and sometimes instead of) my horse. I have to think sit up, hands up, stay back & keep leg on. I forgot all of these things yesterday when jumping and very nearly hit the deck as a consequence.
 

Billy the kid

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Cumbria
basically on show day all im thinking about is rhythm and impulsion.

Im bad for rushing when i get nervous so i tend to count a 1, 2, 3 rhythm in my head. Im lucky and find it easy to remember the course so i dont have to worry about that one.

All the other factors like, straight lines and folding has all been practised sooo much it comes second nature to me.

Although i am having to make a conscious effort to check im releasing his head and neck enough at the minute, as he is very soft in the mouth and its been noticed by my instructor that im holding back a little too much.
 

stencilface

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I honestly couldn't tell you what I think about, I never know how people write detailed stride by stride accounts of their rounds. I mostly think, leg on, look up keep the canter, oh crap here's that double with an oxer and I'm never going to make it!

If it's a JO I'm thinking, kick! And turn! Kick! Turn!
 
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