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Jen Marsden Hamilton’s A Jump Ahead Book On Sale Now

January 2018 by Horses and People Magazine

For professional coaches and aspiring jumping riders, internationally renowned equestrian coach Jen Marsden Hamilton imparts her wisdom attained from a 45-year coaching and competitive career in her debut book, ‘A Jump Ahead: From Basics to Big Jumps’.

Published by Horses and People Magazine and developed in partnership with Editor-in-Chief Cristina Wilkins and graphic designer Liz Hardy, Jen’s full-colour book illuminates her successful training methods with beautiful photos, detailed illustrations and her trademark wit.

Following an eight-part training series written by Jen for Horses and People Magazine, the resulting published work enables showjumping and eventing riders to easily apply Jen’s coaching principles to their own training practice at home.

As Jen stated in a recent interview with Atlantic Horse & Pony, “I’m famous for stopping a lesson and drawing diagrams in the dirt. Those drawings are the basis for the beautifully illustrated examples in the book, many of them done by Cristina Wilkins.”

The exercises contained within are invaluable for both coaches and individual riders. Each has been developed over the course of Jen’s highly accomplished career, which included writing Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program.

A program that has reached many riders across Canada and into New Zealand. Now, with her book, Jen hopes to reach many more. “When you are in the show ring, your coach can’t go with you. These are exercises you can do on your own that will test your training at home.”

Grand Prix Jumper and Coach Jenn Sarsfield, who began training with Jen at Pony Club uses the diagrams and techniques with her own students. “It’s easy to get into your routines from week to week. This is a nice ‘go to’ that freshens things up.”

In addition to detailed illustrations, Jen’s book also includes photos from her career, including her time as a protegé to legendary United States equestrian coach George H. Morris featured in the book’s forward, along with Olympian and WEG medallist Clarke Johnstone of New Zealand.

Jumping riders and coaches of all levels will immensely benefit from Jen's unique home training system. Each chapter provides exercises of increasing complexity, including:

  • Detailed set-up instructions
  • The purpose and strategy for each training session
  • The options available and how they relate to competition
  • Helpful tips for correct home-based practice

Jen’s own students appear throughout the book to share their experiences, demonstrate their successes and endorse the face-to-face training they have received from Canada’s highest accredited jumping coach — now available to equestrians worldwide.

Kim Elliot-Foster, one of Jen's many talented students, says: “Jen writes like she teaches; with purpose, passion and direction. This book is a must-have for any jumping rider — whether hunter, jumper or cross-country.

“This gem of a book is full of ‘Jen-isms’ — stories, pictures and, best of all, shows us some super training exercises and gymnastic grids designed for both horse and rider. It will forever be in a spot in the tackroom to be easily referred to when schooling.”

Only AUD$44.95, ’A Jump Ahead: From Basics to Big Jumps’ is available to buy online now at

For wholesale and bulk orders, please email



Foreword: George H. Morris    9
Foreword: Clarke Johnstone    11
Introduction    15

1: Training and Coaching    21
2: Back to Basics    31
Creating Good Habits    32
Correct Position    32
Rein Aids     37
3: Putting Theory Into Practice    41
Exercise 1: 60ft Line of Ground Poles     43
Riding the Setup Time    46
Riding the Recovery Time    46
Exercise 2: Increasing Rideability    48
Horses and People Met Along the Way   52
4: Rideability    61

Taking Responsibility for the Ride     62
Exercise 1: Stride Control Over Jumps     62
Exercise 2: Increasing Rideability     68
Exercise 3: Practicing Adjustability     70
5: Improving Your Horse’s Technique    73  
Improving the Jump    74
Jumping Releases    79
6: Problem Solving    85
Krista and Missy    88
Jill and Fiamo    93
7: Developing Your Options On-Course    103
What Makes You a Winner?    104
Developing Options     105
Exercise 1: Slicing the Jump     106
Turns in and Away from Jumps    108
Exercise 2: Turning Away     108
Exercise 3: Turning In     110
Exercise 4: Put it Together     112
Exercise 5: Angles and Turns Combined     114 
Exercise 6: Change the Track to Change the Number of Strides Between Jumps     115
8: The Course Walk    119
Course Design     120
Exercise: Striding    122
Walking the Course at a Competition    124
Competition Day    128
The Class Strategy by Course Designer Michel Vaillancourt    129
Show Time    130
9: Final Thoughts    139










About the Author:

Jen Marsden Hamilton is an internationally renowned equestrian coach. Based in Canada, she travels throughout Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Kenya training horses and riders. For over 40 years Jen has combined her Bachelor of Education (Acadia University) with the most current coaching and equestrian training to nurture the next generation of star athletes.

Jen developed and wrote the National Coaching Certification Program’s (NCCP) Canada, Level III - Jumper. After sport-specifying the NCCP Level IV, she was the first coach to achieve that level.

As a rider, Jen gained valuable experience that informs her coaching today. She placed fourth in both, the American Horse Show Association’s Medal Finals and the Alfred B. Maclay Hunter Seat Equitation Finals at Madison Square Garden. Riding Wee Geordie she reached new heights in puissance classes, jumping six feet and higher.

In 1975 Jen was the Martini and Rossi Canadian Horsewoman of the Year. As a coach, Jen has been recognized for her dedication with the Canadian Coaching Association’s “Year of the Coach” Coaching Award in 1988, the 3M Coaching Canada Award for Coaching Excellence in 1996. She has also represented her country as a coach to young Canadian riders at international team competitions throughout North and South America.