Friday, 13 September 2013

Been there... Jumped that.

So, getting more and more exciting news every single day at DMU Equestrian and some fanstastic new partners and sponsors have been gained for next year joining us on our horsey journey! 

Feeling optimistic is something that we Equestrians are only far too familiar with, as every single feeling and impulse the rider has travels down those reins to your horse. A positive rider and a positive attitude makes for a comfortable and happy horse, and from previous experience, it is the most valuable lesson I have learned to gain the trust of a horse/ pony. This is only too significant when show jumping, as the horse relies upon you as much as you do them when approaching that fence and without a forward, fresh and focussed approach success is even more difficult to reach.

The key elements to make a successful show jumping round are mainly to do with the rider and their mental and physical approach to the challenge ahead. You should prepare your horse by warming him/her up in a balanced manner to ensure the best chance of manoeuvring around those tricky corners, especially if you end up in a jump off situation where accuracy is just as important as speed. Transitions are extremely vital to get your horse/pony listening to your aids and to gain the best response from them, a firm and consistent leg is required at all times, not just for rider benefit but so your horse/ pony knows what you are asking from them. A fence should be approached independently, with a straight line, accurate stride and forward jump position over to allow your horse to lengthen and stretch, with the hocks engaged fully over the fence. Landing requires preparation from both rider and horse as the rider must adopt a deeper seat once over the fence and direct their horse forward nice and firmly, with the correct canter lead taken to approach the next fence on the course.

So show jumping is a discipline that must be taken as seriously as any other, as it requires just as much mental preparation and planning as a dressage test, with the added adrenalin of jumping those fences! At DMU Equestrian we have had a fantastic year of jumping, with some of our riders managing to beat even their own expectations and surprising everyone with bigger, and better jump rounds! So here are a few cheeky snaps of our riders in action at this years varsity against Leicester University and some of the fabulous ponies and horses we get to ride. They vary from 15hh cheeky cobs to 16.2hh thoroughbred eventers imported specially from Holland and yet they all look absolutely amazing proving that with hard work and dedication, any horse can be a BUCS league champion!
Becky Shraga with Preston
Gabbi Berrill and Charm

Clare Wilyman and Benji

Gemma Elliott and Jay

Hannah Slinn and Harrison

Jenny Walker and Ben

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