Learning to Jump


Learning how jump on a horse requires patience and training on both the part of the horse and the rider. Jumping is an important skill for any rider because you never know what obstacles you’re going to encounter on a ride even if you are not jumping for competition. Following these few easy steps should help guide you to success.

1.Introduce the equipment

Just like with a dog, you should let your horse sniff the poles it will be jumping. Don’t rush this process. Let the horse’s natural curiosity guide you both. After the horse has taken a good whiff, walk it over the pole on the ground several times. It’s okay if a hoof hits the pole. This is a good way for it to learn about the sound the pole will make if it gets hit on a jump. Walk over the poles enough times until the horse does it naturally. Next complete the same exercise at a trot.

2.Secure the equipment

Set the caveletti or pole at its lowest level. Be sure to use secure horse jump cups for the safely of both horse and rider. Lead your horse over the poles at a walk several times and then at a trot. After practicing this successfully, increase the horse’s speed to a canter.

3.Loosen the reigns

Remember to give the reigns slack about two strides in front of the jump as horses need to stretch their necks when they jump. In addition, lean forward, but not too much. Tighten your hold with your knees and heels.

No matter what breed of jumping horse you ride from a smaller appaloosa to a great big thoroughbred, you will need to introduce the idea of jumping slowly. The horse will sense your anxiety, so make sure you are as comfortable as possible as you proceed through each additional step. Once you’ve mastered the basics, jumping should be great fun for both rider and horse.

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