Whether you’re going showjumping or cross-country, get prepared for jumping on grass with this fab guide!
Lots of competitions take place on grass over the summer, with venues making the most of the extra space available. It’s a good idea to practise jumping on grass before you compete on it for the first time so you know what to expect.
Before you start riding, consider the area where you’re planning to jump. Make sure there are no rabbit holes in the field and that the fencing is safe and secure. Use an area that’s as flat as possible, too.
Even if you’re jumping in a specific schooling field, check the ground is suitable. It shouldn’t be too hard and rutted or wet and deep, as either extreme can put extra strain on your pony’s legs. If you’re unsure whether the ground is suitable, check with your yard owner or instructor first, and make sure you have permission to ride in the field, too.
It’s normal for ponies to be more excitable than usual when jumping on grass, especially if it’s not something they do regularly. Take advantage of the extra space for your warm-up to help them settle before you start jumping. These are some things you can include in your warm-up…
- large shapes, including circles, figures-of-eight and changes of rein. Because you’re not relying on markers or the edge of an arena, your pony won’t be able to guess what you’re doing and should be more responsive to your aids
- transitions are a great tool to keep excitable and speedy ponies listening. Use transitions between paces, such as trot to walk, and within the paces, such as a smaller trot to a bigger trot
- riding between fences While you may not have arena markers to guide you, using the fences as objects to school between or around is a great alternative. Try riding a 10m circle around each fence, or weaving between parts of a combination
Read more about jumping on grass in June PONY magazine, on sale now!