Training horses to jump may just be one of the most rewarding accomplishments a rider can hope to achieve. Of course, if you are a novice ride, or a have young inexperienced horse, this task can be very daunting. Fortunately, it is not impossible. It will tack a certain amount of patience on your part; but with enough practice you can train your horse to jump.
To learn how to train a horse to jump you will need:
- Jumping Rails
- Jumping Standards
- Introduce your horse to the obstacles. Before you even think about tackling a jump, even a small one, you first need to make your horse comfortable with any and all jumping obstacles. This includes introducing him up close to all the jumps and rails. You will even want the horse to touch them so that he feels comfortable and secure.
- Begin by trotting over the obstacles. The next step in training horses to jump is to simply have the horse to trout over the obstacles. Select low obstacles, like placing cavaletti directly on the ground and having your horse trot over them. This will condition your horse to recognize these objects as things he must jump over, not avoid.
- Focus on going over the center of the pole. Before you advance to any higher height, make sure your horse always goes over the center of the pole. As the obstacles become raised, your horse will have a tendency to veer to one side or another. You will need to steer the horse, making sure it is centered. This ensures that the entire body will cross over the pole in a straight line.
- Set up a cross rail jump. After your horse is comfortable with going over the single pole, set up a cross haired jump. This is a great jump because the center is lower and the sides are raised. This makes the height of the jump seem higher than it really is.
- Remain focused. When you are training a horse to jump, the horse does not do all the work. It is up to you to remain focused. As you approach the jump, look up at the center rail. Keep your weight positioned forward, making sure that your seat is positioned forward.
- Repetition makes perfect. You should plan on training your horse to jump several times a day, several days out of the week. Getting a horse to jump is all about comfort. The horse need to be comfortable with both you and the jump. So make sure that he is comfortable before advancing to more complicated and bigger obstacles.