Showjumping is definitely one of the most popular disciplines in the equestrian world. And it's no wonder because showjumping is exciting, filled with adrenaline and it requires so many skills from horses as well as riders. Showing your own horses at showjumping shows can be an excellent way of testing your own boundaries and of course, reaching beyond them!
In this article, we'll look at the 7 best tips that will help you become a better showjumping rider.
The best tips for showjumping - test them yourself!
One of the most important things you can do to become a better rider and showjumper is to have a trainer. Your trainer will be able to assess you continuously and give you and your horse appropriate advice. However, you can try these tips on your own and see how it improves your riding.
1. Flatwork, flatwork, flatwork
The best showjumpers in the world use a lot of time doing flatwork on their horses. Even if you don't specifically do dressage, simple flatwork such as transitions and leg yields can make your horse a lot more supple, stronger and easier to ride.
2. Look at the fence
Remember to look at the next fence early! Your horse will get confidence from your direction and forward ride.
3. Small fences and poles often
You don't always have to jump big fences when you're training. Instead, try jumping smaller fences often. And don't forget the importance of ground poles and cavalettis! You can practice finding distance, shortening your stride and relaxation with small fences and canter poles very easily.
4. Adjustable canter
Adjustable canter is one of the most important qualities of a good showjumper. You have to be able to take shorter and longer strides where needed.
5. Don't overdo it
It's vital to give your horse time to rest and relax as well. Don't forget hacking, trail riding and days off - your horse will appreciate it. Also, giving your horse time to recover will reduce the chance of injuries.
6. Do what you know
When you attend a show, remember to stick with what you know. Trying to do something new at shows will only confuse your horse more in an already stressful situation. Instead, practicing at home and giving your horse confidence at shows by doing what he already knows, will give you the best results.
7. Safety first!
Remember to always take care of your safety. A helmet, safety vest, safety stirrups, gloves and tendon boots are essential tack.
Showjumping is exciting and fun, and improving yourself as a rider will make it even more fun and rewarding. Try out these tips and see how much you and your horse can improve.