Trying something new in the show ring can often be nerve wracking. However, the evolution of equitation to jumpers can also be exciting! In all aspects of competing, whether in hunters, jumpers, equitation, or medals, there are invaluable life-long tools which you can use to sharpen your aids, increase your strength and refine your style. The equitation ring teaches riders to display elegance and grace, as well as strength, which proves necessary for tackling a speed class. Equitation riders must also possess the natural finesse and confidence that’s needed to impress top judges. These qualities are not just vital for eq, but also for instilling reassurance in the horse. A confident horse is an eager horse. Rhythm is another key asset that’s established in the equitation ring from an early age. Rhythm is indispensable not only in the eq ring, but it’s also essential for maintaining a consistent tempo on course in a strenuous jump-off. Making the eq to jumper transition presents a whole new set of obstacles to overcome; you’re entering a different riding format whereby the course is bigger, the jumps are much brighter and the design of the jumps are quite bold to both the horse and rider. You will also need to apply more strength to give your horse the pace and confidence he/she needs to get through this new course. Learning the tools which are necessary for equitation is important; then carrying them into the jumper ring and applying these tools becomes the challenge. It can be easy for some riders to throw away the valuable assets that being a former eq rider has provided. However, staying consistent with a beneficial, solid equitation foundation is key to having a successful career in this sport, no matter which show ring you intend to make your focus. All in all, eq is a great base, as it provides instrumental fundamentals to all riders and reinforces the use of proper aids while on course. Someone taking the leap from equitation to jumpers will quickly see the advantage they have with these established fundamentals in play.