8 top tips to help you look like a pro over a jump

Do you yearn to look as laid-back over a fence as some of the world’s greatest riders? It is such a hard aspect of jumping to achieve, but here are some top tips to help you improve your jumping position.

Four-star event rider Georgie Strang (pictured) has some helpful advice to get you on your way with improving your position. Then, don’t miss our selection of competitions for you to showcase what you’ve learnt…

1. Your approach to a fence is vital for ensuring you get a smooth jump. Straightness, balance and impulsion is key.

2. You need to make sure the saddle fits both the horse and rider correctly. Every rider is individual in what they need from a saddle so make sure you’ve done your research.

3. Ensure you have the correct stirrup length — they need to be short enough so you can achieve a half seat in the air over the fence, but not so short you get propelled into orbit!

4. A secure lower leg is vital; make sure your calf is in contact with the horse, and your weight is pushed down into the heel into the ball of the foot and through the stirrup.

5. Always go with the horse’s movement, but make sure you don’t get ahead of them — wait until the horse has taken off before you bring your shoulders forward.

6. Your jumping position should be the result of your horse’s jumping effort. Follow the horse’s movement, for example, the more the horse bascules, the more you will need to fold at the hip.

7. Try not to grip with the knee. Although this is always tempting and feels natural to do, it can cause the lower leg to slip back.

8. Tucking a couple of fingers into a neck strap can help make sure you don’t catch the horse in the mouth over a fence. It can also offer a feeling of security and added confidence to help you relax.

Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these events and competitions available to enter where you can show off what you’ve learnt…

Arena eventing

Date: 24 February
Venue: Field House, Staffordshire
Details: “This show features a range of classes from 75cm up to 1.05m with a class at 85-95cm, with added technicality. All classes are open to juniors and seniors. The competition will consist of show jumps, permanent and portable cross-country fences. An optimum time will be set for the cross-country section and all optimum times will be displayed prior to the start of each class.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated showjumping

Date: 24 February
Venue: Mullacott Event Centre, Ilfracombe
Details: “This competition has classes from 65cm to 105cm.”
Enter now

Indoor arena eventing

Date: 24 February
Venue: Wix Equestrian Centre, Manningtree
Details: “This event has classes from 60cm up to 1m. Our indoor arena eventing consists of half a course of showjumps and a timed cross-country course, all jumped inside. You will begin with a normal showjumping course, and then will immediately jump the cross-country section, which is run against the clock.”
Enter now

British Showjumping

Date: 28 February
Venue: Felbridge Showground, East Grinstead
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes ranging from 90cm to 1.30m.”
Enter now

Combined training

Date: 28 February
Venue: Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre, near Bridgwater
Details: “This competition features British Eventing dressage tests ranging from BE90 to BE110 and above (pick your own short arena tests) with jumping between 70cm to 1m and above.”
Enter now

Power X

Date: 2 March
Venue: Inchcoonans Competition & Livery Yard, Errol
Details: “This competition has classes ranging between 30cm poles on the ground and cross poles up to 95cm.”
Enter now

Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings