Teaching A Horse To Jump

You’ve decided you’re going to learn horse jumping, which is great. You probably already know that it’s a difficult task, but doing your research prior to learning will make your experience much more enjoyable and easier to handle.

A horse is a large animal. It has a lot of mass and therefore requires a lot of energy to accelerate it and move it around in the world. But the bigger the animal, the more potential for damage — for itself, and for you, when things go wrong. In this article I’ll take you through some tips from my experience that have improved my ability to get my horses moving forward and doing what they need to do around obstacles.

If you want to teach your horse to jump, there are a few things you should consider. First, you must train your horse to stand still while you approach it. If the horse is not accustomed to being approached by people and has not been trained on how to stand still when someone approaches, it will become scared and try to run away. To train your horse to stand still when approached, walk up to it while making sure that you’re approaching from the side and not directly in front or behind it. Then, gently rub its neck with one hand as you give it treats with the other hand. Repeat this for about five minutes every day until you can walk up and touch the horse on its face without it running away or flinching in fear.

Once the horse is used to being approached from one side, begin teaching it how to stand still when someone stands in front of or behind it—again, by giving treats as rewards for good behavior. When the horse is comfortable standing still when someone approaches from any direction, move on to teaching how to stay still when someone touches its face with their hand (again giving treats). Finally, once all of these steps have been completed successfully—along with others related specifically

A horse that jumps well is a joy to ride, but getting there can be a long and frustrating process.

There are many different methods of teaching a horse to jump, but they all have some things in common. They all involve lots of time spent on the ground with the horse, developing trust and communication.

The first step is to teach your horse to approach the jump with confidence. If you’re having trouble getting him or her to go into it in the first place, find out what motivates them—food? A toy? Praise? Once you’ve figured out what works best for them, use it as a reward when they approach the jump with confidence.

Once your horse is comfortable approaching the jump confidently, make sure that he’s not afraid of any part of it—the top bar, for example. You can do this by using treats or even just approaching the fence with him so that he gets used to how it feels when he puts his front feet on top of it.

Once your horse is comfortable with everything about jumping, start teaching them how to do it themselves! Start by making sure they’re clear about which direction they need to go: up or down; left or right; forward or backward; etcetera. Then get

Teaching A Horse To Jump

Some horses are more sensitive or temperamental than others, but generally a horse has no preconceived ‘opinions’ if he hasn’t seen a jump before.  It’s up to you to make him enjoy his new experiences, he will then learn to be willing to do what you ask. At no time should you be overly forceful as this will only scare him and create problems in the future.

Before you start introducing him to any kind of obstacle remember this very IMPORTANT rule. AT NO TIME SHOULD YOU FORCE, KICK, OR USE THE WHIP TO MAKE HIM GO OVER POLES. If your horse is very green and has never jumped before he will be genuinely spooky and may not know what to do.

When you approach the first pole do your best to stay in balance, support a green horse with your aids and keep him straight. If you do all of this correctly and he still stops then let him have a look and then turn and approach the pole again. You can give plenty of encouragement however do not push so much that you scare him when he genuinely doesn’t understand.

Exercises: (To be planned over short sessions and not all completed in one day)

#1. Single pole. Place a pole in the arena and walk in a straight line over it (ideally in-hand the first time). If your horse stops to look or sniff at the new obstacle, let him, before encouraging him to walk over it

#2. Line of poles. Once he is confident over one pole in both walk and trot, introduce more poles, add one at a time and leave a space of 1m in between them (this is a horse distance with and average trot stride, adjust accordingly to size of the horse or length of stride)

#3. Introduce a small jump. The next step is to introduce a very small cross pole. Ensure your horse is trotting forward straight and confidently. Use an average distance of 2.5m (increase distance as jump jump gets larger). Tip: If your horse is finding it difficult to stay straight, lay a channel with two poles in front of the jump, ride between them to the cross pole to help him keep direction.  You can add two more poles after the jump, but set them far and wide enough so your horse won’t step on them on landing

#4. Build a small grid. Set at a distance of one or two strides and make sure you build the correct distance between jumps.  Start small so your horse can add an extra little stride if he is still lacking in straightness or confidence. Tip: Even if you are experienced use a neck strap. Put your fingers though the strap as your horse takes off to avoid losing balance and pulling him in the mouth if he does something unexpected

Advice: When you start jumping in canter build your fences carefully. Start with a cross pole and when you progress to an upright remember to put a ‘placing’ pole as a ground line, rolling it out a little way from the jump to create a more inviting jump for your horse. When it’s time to introduce a filler, choose a small, not too spooky option and remember to put a placing pole in front. Let your horse have a good look and support him as he approaches by riding positively in a forward going trot, maintain a good contact with his mouth and keep him channelled between leg and hand. If your horse is still a little wobbly in front of the fence open your hands, do this by widening them to support straightness.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top