Archive for August 5, 2011
Written By: Larissa Cox
In my younger days, I was fearless. Jubee, my 14.2 hh Chestnut Arabian Mare and I went everywhere and over everything, it didn’t matter how high or how long. It’s funny that when we grow older, we think of the “what ifs” and when as children, we never think of what could happen, we just do. My Jubee was a spunky little mare, who always took the challenge of what I presented to her and thinking back I am sure she sailed over some of those jumps with ease just to protect me, her passenger, even though she thought I was absolutely nuts!
As knowing adults what can we do to increase jumping safety for our children and those around us?
Firstly, when jumping never jump alone. Always have someone there either riding with you, or watching you on the ground should something happen.
The number one safety item that everyone should wear is an approved fitting helmet ensuring that the helmet is fitted properly and will stay on in case of a spill.My mother’s second safety rule was to always wear a jumping vest as I am sure I set her heart racing when we took to the field! The purpose of a safety vest is to protect your spine and internal organs in case of a fall. The foam of the vest is also meant to absorb the impact of the fall instead of your body. If you are a novice rider you may want to consider wearing a vest during all rides for added safety.
Do not jump if empty cups remain in the jumping standards be sure to always remove unused cups. Often, those cups which hold the horizontal poles in place are often made of metal. If you fall off and hit one, believe me it hurts!
Never jump a jump if you are not comfortable with it. Expect your heart to beat a little faster when you are learning to take those jumps, but don’t let anyone force you into a jump you feel is too high, too challenging or just too uncomfortable.
Adjust your jumping stirrup length to be shorter than usual as your crotch must be able to clear the front of your saddle and also allowing you to be able to absorb the shock of landing. To check your stirrup length for jumping, stand up in the saddle at the halt. With your heels down, your crotch should clear the front of your saddle by about two inches.
Good luck with those jumps! Larissa