View Full Version : what is safe age to begin jumping?
9th Jul 2002, 11:52 AM
my daughter is (tall) 6, has been riding about 3 years on and off in group lessons, she can canter and is starting to do "baby" jumps where the poles are only just off the ground , in a cross shape so the ends are higher than the middle. she loves doing the jumping, so much so that she has started to jump the ends rather than the middle. she rides various ponies, they are quite long legged and seem to sail over the pole ends (about a foot high). i find this absolutely terrifying to watch and would just like some reassurance that other people have started jumping at this age and have been relatively unscathed by the experience.
i am a nervous adult beginner and realise that it is different for children, but even so i just want to know that this isn't way beyond what she should be doing.
any comments gratefully received
9th Jul 2002, 12:12 PM
if your daughter is coping with the little jumps and can do it without getting left behind, then it's fine. have a read on the horse and hound site about some of the kiddie showjumpers - you get 8 and 9 year olds jumping 3 feet. learning young is great for confidence and ability, and it'll be second nature to her as she gets older.
9th Jul 2002, 12:21 PM
8 and 9 year olds jumping 3 feet? i gasped when i read that. she certainly isn't being left behind and has been praised for having a very good jumping position, so i guess it is just my being nervous (can't quite get my head round that she really enjoys doing something that makes me feel sick!) i'll have a look at the horse and hound site, thanks for the suggestion.
9th Jul 2002, 01:28 PM
Kids are put on this earth to frighten their parents. My niece and nephew were both jumping tiny fences at the age of 5. They had breaks from riding when they lived abroad but Claire was certainly jumping 2 foot horse stiles hacking out on a 12hh pony at the age of 7. They got their own pony when they were 11yo and 8yo respectively and jumped her, although Claire always preferred jumping my mare (16hh) who was eventing at the time! Claire used to say she didn't like jumping big fences on her 13.2hh - she defined big as over 2'9" ! If you think small jumps are heart-stopping wait until she discovers cross-country (ie galloping and jumping over fixed fences). All you can do is encourage her and - for yourself - shut your eyes and look the other way. She will fall off at some point but that happens whatever discipline they choose, just provide good safety equipment and let her get on with it.
9th Jul 2002, 05:51 PM
So long as she's on steady sensible ponies and she is enjoying it, I'm afraid Lgd is right, just grin, grit your teeth and smile through it.
I was barred from my little boys bicycle riding sessions, I had to go and hide and was only allowed to watch when he'd stopped falling into the drain every 10 seconds.
9th Jul 2002, 06:02 PM
My frined started riding full time (every day) when she was 3. Her parents are horsey and she picked it up. She was riding on her own at 3 1/2 and jumping at 4!!! although tiny and the pony was about 25 year old. She's now 19 and her confidence is amazing. Nothing like mine. I was jumping 4 inches (a pole on the ground) at 11, 2 ft and 12, and i'm now onto 3ft (with my own pony now) and 15. I am such a nervous wreck however and am lucky in having a good pony.
I think that starting young is the best way to go. Your daughter will thank you when she's older when she has loads of confidence. It'll also make you proud when she out there competing and wins everything for you.
9th Jul 2002, 10:46 PM
Little Salva is a spanish 7yr old boy who has NO fear.... once i cought him backwords with reins around his body :O when julie had her back turned watching the 10yr old go about his cource, i hollerd and he got turned back around but this 7yr old goes around cources NO fear....rides the horse who tends to Buck sometimes and LOVES HIM! he is quite hte little rider though doing 2-2'6 cources!
if she is doing fine with the jumping than try not to worry but even I at 15 worrys about my little kids who i teach:p
18th Jul 2002, 05:12 AM
Well- I still scare my mom's pants off every time i jump, and she insists that it is too dangerous and I should stop. Then I win a class and she gets all happy and proud again- until the next show. i think that as long as the kid feels secure- the horse/pony is a good teacher, and they are riding with a good trainer (one that has good sense at least), they can jump all they want. It sounds like your daughter is a good enough rider to be doing what she is doing. I think that the best thing you can do is learn as much about riding as you can so that you can judge whether she is being safe or not- and that will give you peace of mind and fewer wrinkles;)
Just don't pull your hair out yet- my mom started a support group for parents of the kids that show with me. They are all scared out of their minds- but VERY pround of their children's accomplishments.
1st Aug 2002, 07:46 AM
When I had my old horse on loan Sampson I was at a local jumping show once and was beaten by a 5 year old on a 12.2hh pony around a 2'3" - 2'6" novice course. I was very embarrased. His sisters who where 7 + 9 (ish) both competed in the imtermediate 2'6" - 2'9" and both got placed (again beating me!!!) All three children where AMAZING had aboilutly no fear and LOVED it. Joe - the little five year old boiy was VERY upset his parents wouldn't let him compete in the imtermediate comsidering he came 2nd in the novice!!!
I think your 6 year old will be fine ;)
19th Aug 2002, 03:39 AM
At a show a few years ago i was riding my 12.3hh Welshie in a 65cm class and we made it into the jump off only to be beaten for first by a little 7 year old on a 11hh aussie riding pony. I was 15 at the time...
20th Aug 2002, 12:55 PM
hehe I've never measured how high I've jumped but i think its around 2 foot 9 (I'm 14) with my old instructor we did tiny jumps about 3/4 of a foot high. But now we've got a new instructor who comes along and starts to put up 2 ft small spread jumps! - when I'm on a big lazy part heavy horse who has to stop and take a good look at each jump be4 he even thinks about jumping it !:rolleyes:
24th Aug 2002, 07:47 PM
my mum gets really scared when im jumping. I jump 3ft and im 13. I started jumping when i was about 9 but there are kids at my riding school who are about 6 and are jumping 1ft.
11th Sep 2002, 08:44 AM
happy postscript, my 6 yr old had a go at her first clear round jumping this week and did it - only foot high jumps but she's determined to be back for more and higher jumps next time. the school were very kind and gave her an older calmer pony who loves jumping so she didn't need too much persuading over the jumps.
daughter is absolutely hooked on the jumping now, i am both really pleased and even more terrified! she's wearing her pink rosette everywhere!!!
thanks to everyone who said if she can do it, let her.
12th Sep 2002, 08:46 PM
Great news, sarahh - and what an accomplishment for one so young!
Sometimes I feel I just can't watch my kids when they jump (ostrich syndrome). But they love it and one just has to accept that life is full of dangers. Now I only get really unnerved when I see them on strong a/o green horses....but I could dedicate a whole post to that issue!
Again, congrat's to your little one.
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