Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm Seriously Considering Taking Jumping Lessons

I'm in a rut. I'm bored. I shouldn't be. I've got three great horses at completely different places in their training and I really should be very interesting.  But it's not. I'm just not feeling it. 

I think I need to shake things up. 

Perhaps I'm having a mid-(horse)-life crisis. I've been riding horses for as long I can remember. I grew up riding Western, then discovered dressage as a teenager. I've been riding dressage ever since. 

In short, I'm stagnating. It's about time I learned something new.  

Well, actually, I haven't always stuck to just dressage. There was that one time in college that I briefly worked for an Olympic Eventer. After a couple of sessions over fences, I was told that I should probably just stay with dressage. 

I'm a chicken over jumps, and generally refuse to jump anything higher than my own knees. I also need at least one beer to be anything close to enthusiastic about any jump at any height. Which is why I think I really should take more lessons. 

So, I'm going to find somebody to teach me how to jump. I haven't got a damned clue how to jump, my "jumping form" involves standing up in my stirrups as much as you can in a dressage saddle and grabbing the mane. But I think it's a good skill to have and I think it will wake me up and get me excited about riding again, even if that excitement is just realizing that I should stick with dressage!

As I was writing this/having my midlife crisis, I was also talking to some of my friends about my new training goal of jumping. They unilaterally pointed out that I've got a really bad back and jumping probably isn't the best new thing for me to learn. 

I say, "poo-poo" to those nay-sayers. I'm only going to do very small jumps, because I'm a big chicken, and I fail to see how small jumps are any different from riding sitting trot extensions or re-training baby OTTBs. I think it's a good discipline to learn, and an intellectual departure from what I have been doing. 

In short, I say "Pbthththththb!" to them. And now I need to find a jumper trainer!


  1. Go for it! Can't hurt to give it a try. :)
    If jumping isn't the "fix" there are lots of other fun things to try to keep things interesting (trail, driving etc.)

  2. Go get em! Good luck! Might turn you into an eventer... ;)

  3. I don't jump any more - used to do it a lot and it was fun - but I'm over 60 and things break more easily now. How about getting those dressage horses to do some trail obstacle work (competitive trail classes) or working some cows?

  4. Bit if a laugh here. I rode hunter/jumper all my life until I discovered dressage. I still jump a little as it's really good for dressage horses...kind of cross training. I'm sure there are some really good trainers down your way. Good luck, and enjoy the journey.

  5. Number #1 goal for this is a good coach who will understand your nerves - that will be a make or break for your jumping career. Best of luck.

  6. NO SHAME IN LITTLE FENCES!! :-D Haha, I told a girl I met that I jumped and she was all "omg you're so brave" which is just funny if you know me at all.

    Anywhoodle. Fabulous A+ plan. Jump little things with an instructor and learn some technique. At the very least, you'll be equipped for when your kids want to learn.

  7. Fun!! Do it!! Oh I love that picture by the way. I'm having trouble getting motivated to ride, but for me it's mainly having no one to ride with... blech.

  8. "Pbthththththb!" indeed! I have always suffered from back pain and learning to jump has been one of the things that has most strengthened and suppled my back, not to mention helping my balance immensely. And for me, sitting an extended trot is MUCH harder on my back than anything I've ever had to do while jumping - albeit I've (still) never jumped anything higher than 3 feet. I also have a feeling your horses might enjoy it ;)

  9. Welcome to the dark side!
    Heck if I can learn to jump having grown up doing SADDLESEAT, then you can too!


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