Get Inspired to Learn Horse Jumping

horse jumping

When most of us think about horseback riding, we see a familiar image of running through a course with many jumps. But how do you get to that point as an entry-level rider?

If you’re thinking about trying horse jumping for the first time, there are a few things to consider:

  • Are you ready to try jumping?
  • Is your horse healthy enough to jump?
  • Is your horse well-trained?

Let us guide you through the process to make sure you’re fully prepared to have the best experience teaching your horse (and yourself!) how to jump.

Are you ready for your horse to jump?

The first and most important point to consider is if you’re ready for horse jumping. Specifically, if you want to learn to jump.

While jumping can be exciting and you may crave the challenge of learning a new skill, it’s certainly not the only way to progress as a beginning rider. If this isn’t what you want to do, there are other ways to improve.

You need to make sure that you’re competent with the basics before you move on to jumping. If you’re not sure, review our horse training basics. Once you’re comfortable with these aspects, you can think about taking your skills a step further.

Is your horse ready to jump?

First, ensure that your horse is physically healthy enough to jump. If you have any doubts, check with your veterinarian. With vet approval, most horses are physically developed enough to begin jumping around 3 or 4 years of age.

While most horse breeds with appropriate temperaments can learn to jump, some breeds are more suited to jumping than others. See if your horse might have a leg up to learn this skill.

The next thing you’ll want to consider is your horse’s skill level on the ground. If you do not have good control of your horse, you should not try to jump yet. In this situation, you’ll need to spend more time working on the basic skills before you move on to horse jumping.

You also need to be certain that your horse is mature enough to be able to confidently learn to jump. If not, you may need to wait until he or she is ready.

How to learn horse jumping

Learning to jump can be tough at first, so make sure to go at a pace that is appropriate for both of you and be ready for the unexpected! Here are some tips on learning to jump with your horse.

Start slow

With a horse who is new to jumping, it’s vital that you start slowly. You need to make sure your horse is confident enough for each jump you try. If the horse is not ready, this could cause big problems.

It’s a good idea to start by jumping over poles on the ground to give both you and your horse an idea of how jumping feels.

Build up to higher jumps

Once you can comfortably jump over ground poles, you can try adding more poles or slightly higher jumps. You’ll want to do this under the guidance of a professional to make sure everyone is safe.

As you incorporate higher jumps, you’ll need to make sure that you warm your horse up to that during each riding session. Just because your horse could do 3 higher jumps in a row last time, doesn’t mean that he or she will be ready to start with that the next time.

Stay in tune with your horse

It’s essential to be mindful of how your horse is doing while learning to jump. If you think your horse might be afraid of a jump, lower it! To keep both of you safe, keep an eye on the state of your horse throughout each of your rides.

Next steps

If you’re ready to take the next step toward jumping with your horse, reach out to us to see how we can help you master this next adventure in your riding journey.

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