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To jump or not to jump ?

(7 Posts)
pinkpjs Wed 18-Sep-13 12:30:43

I'm wondering if anyone could help ?

I've got an 8 year old son , who has just started riding lessons .

He's had 4 in total plus 3 trecks on a lead iykwim.

His riding instructor passed him at grade 1 on his first lesson . He can control the pony (welsh) and trot quite well , and always comes to a full halt. He can reverse the pony and get her to to a sharp turn .On his second lesson , the instructor had him doing small jumps . Last night she had him jumping correctly over different heights , rising to the jump , and doing 3 in a row ( around the arena ) .

Now whilst I'm very proud of my wee boy ( and the pony) the instructor is now talking about entering him into jumping competitions , and wants to put his name down .

Is it not a bit soon for all that ? I He's not passed grade 2 and has only been on a pony 7 times in total . He can't canter yet .

Or should I just let him go for it ?

Butkin Wed 18-Sep-13 15:27:08

Sounds a bit quick but your instructor should know best and will know the level of the competition - I presume they are only small cross poles.

At our Pony Club we start them jumping from 5 (on the lead) over the Winter and during the Summer we have lots of lessons and little competitions for the 5yo+ An 8yo would normally be in the more experienced classes but of course your DS has only just started so he'd be put in with the little ones.

They learn to walk the course - remembering the route and talking about angles etc - and of course as they learn to canter they start to think about being on the right canter leads etc (experienced ponies will probably do this automatically).

I know nothing about the grades you refer to but I think it sounds great and as long as he is keen and the instructor thinks he is suitable then go for it.

In my experience boys love to jump and the more exciting things they can do the more likely they are to stick with their riding.

mrslaughan Thu 19-Sep-13 22:33:47

I think it depend on your son....mine lacks self belief, and doubts himself, looses confidence really easily..... Has no interest in jumping even though he has ridden for a year. I watch him ride, he has a fab position, and is a great little rider, but just no interest in jumping.....don't get me wrong he loves it...but is not a speed demon....he has had a couple of falls, so this has made him even more conservative.
But then some kids, the idea of falling does not scare them, they bounce back quickly.
So I think it depends on your sons temperament, how much you want him to continue riding, and how much risk you are happy with.

Also how would your son cope with canter? It's very common for a pony, to go over a little jump in trot, but to take up canter after....

Principality Fri 20-Sep-13 15:07:56

Mrs l, my son is exactly the same! Although he does jump and enjoy it, he is a cautious soul and much prefers a steady pace and loosed confidence easily.

Have you found many ways of helping him?

mrslaughan Fri 20-Sep-13 19:55:21

I am just letting him go at his pace - even though he looses confidence easily he loves it!
We are in the happy situation that we can afford private lessons and have a fabulous instructor, who has the right balance of pushing him forward, so he is stretched within his limits.
I don't really care what he does as long as he loves it....I think he will eventually do a little bit of jumping.....he gets a huge kick out of doing a new thing......

shootingstar1234 Fri 01-Nov-13 15:42:41

That's absolutely ridiculous (on the instructors part). I teach part time at a British Horse Society approved riding school and wouldn't dream of letting a child jump until they had done plenty of pole work, work on their jumping position and could canter without stirrups. It's great that your son appears to be doing well and enjoying his lessons but there's a big difference between clinging on when the pony pops and jump and properly jumping in balance with the horse. I'd be looking at different riding schools if I were you.

CalamityKate Fri 01-Nov-13 15:58:57

Agree with SS.

I've met and taught a fair few "naturals" and when you get one it IS lovely and it's tempting to push them, just to see what they can do.

However just because someone has a good sense of balance and a naturally good position and can manage to stay on a schoolmaster that doesn't mean its a good idea to rush them.

The pony sounds lovely. However learning to sit nicely on a pony is not the same as learning to ride.

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