All the horse owners watch the dream of teaching their beloved horses how to jump over fences or any other obstacles. We can see many horses jump effortlessly while rushing or cantering to cross any object. This scenario not only amazes the viewers but also gives the rider and the horse potential while cantering.
Though the jumping of a horse gives a pleasant feeling, the teaching of such art is not that easy. There are lots of ways to teach your horse to make a perfect jump every time. But it is necessary to follow a systematic order to do so. By performing these steps, all the horse riders will understand how to train a horse to jump.
Jumping of the horses is all about body coordination and rhythm which needs a special training course and sufficient patience for both the rider and horse. If the horses are well-trained from a young age, then they can jump professionally within a very short time.
Basic Facts Needed to Be Kept in Mind
A horse cannot jump at once if it sees any obstacles or fences in the beginning. It will rather stop or change its course if you put a pole or any other object on its path. So the rider must be very conscious and confident at the same time to make his/her horse follow the instructions properly while running. Few primary facts are needed to be kept in mind by the rider while training to make the whole jumping course much smoother. So let’s check out the facts:
- The rider must understand the condition of the horse before starting its training. The health condition of the horse is a significant concern that must be kept in mind.
- It is best to start the jump training for the horse at an early age. Since the horses remain active and playful during their young stage, they will follow the commands of their owner properly and can memorize the signals.
- The horses cannot jump through high obstacles in the beginning. So the rider must be patient and train the horse from time to time starting from preliminary to advance level for getting a successful result.
- The poles that are used as obstacles must be painted with different colors like- red, white, or black. These will make the obstacles visible to the horses properly from a distance while rushing towards them.
- The rider must sit on the saddle following proper ways to get a perfect horse jump with a safe and comfortable landing. The movement of the rider creates a great impact on a horse while running and jumping for which all the rider must maintain a steady body position.
These facts are essential that all the riders must keep in mind before starting the training. The establishment of understanding between the rider and horse is an important issue that influences the overall training.
Things Needed Before Starting the Training
The key to success in training a horse to jump lies in the maintenance of movement, body balance, and connection between the rider and the horse. The rider must connect with the horse such that the horse gets enough confidence and positive feeling while running. Besides, there are lots of other factors that are needed to be kept in mind before starting the training like- preparing the field, arranging the horse, list of jump training, etc. So let’s check out the points to be noted by every rider:
- Before taking the horse to the training ground, the rider should brush the back of the horse along with the front hairs. It will make the horse calm and connect to the rider. In this way, it will become easy to implement commands on the horse while rushing.
- The saddle must be placed at the center of the back. The horse should not be given excess load by putting on a heavy saddle since it can create difficulties while jumping. The rider should check the comfort and movement of the legs while sitting on the saddle.
- The bottom of the legs should be cleaned if there is excessive mud in between the chestnut and nails. It will give the horse and smooth and comfortable grip.
- The training ground must be large enough to set multiple obstacles like- fences, poles, and wooden cones at the same time. It will help the horse to trot around the obstacles a few times before starting the training.
- The rider must wear a helmet and necessary protective guards to avoid any injuries. Since at the beginning of the training, the horse runs in different directions observing the obstacles, the rider must take necessary precautions.
The combination of leg steps of the horses must be trained at first by making small and easy obstacles. Then gradually with the advancement of the horse, the level of jumping training can be increased by increasing the height of the poles.
Types of Horse Jumps
Learning to jump a horse not necessarily means that it will perform for any act or circus. Jumping is mainly taught for keeping the horse active, playful, and healthy while running. If a horse is trained perfectly, then it can rush with both high and low speeds on any ground and can overcome all types of obstacles easily.
By teaching different types of jumps to your horse, it can judge the height, distance, and required power to make a successful leap without losing the momentum. The overall training of the horse can be divided into three categories- Beginners level, Advanced level, and Expert level. The jumps are also categorized following the training levels for the horse. So let’s check out the types of jumps that are commonly trained to the horses for getting a better result:
- Trot Jump
This type of jump is mainly done for the beginner level. The communication between the horse and the rider has an immense role in such jump training. Poles are arranged on the ground keeping a distance of 5 feet from one another. The horses are walked or trotted by the rider over the bars.
- Cross Rail Jump
It is a bit more advanced level than the previous training. Two poles are placed in the running course in such a way that they form a cross shape. It will attract the horse and motivate it to jump in between the cross rails.
- Height Fence Jump
This type of jump training is only done by expert riders and well-trained horses. Fence and poles are arranged on particular heights and 9 feet apart from each other. The horses are rushed towards the obstacles for performing a high jump over the fence with a safe landing.
- Triple Bar Jump
This type of jump is quite challenging for the horses as the heights of the bars are usually kept higher in comparison with other styles. Three bars are placed one after another with an ascending height order. Then the horses are rushed towards them to perform the leap.
Apart from these jump styles, the horses are also trained with multiple obstacles on their running course to build up the coordination of body movement and speed at the same time.
Methods of Training Your Horse to Jump Step by Step
Though all the horse lovers have a dream to ride their horse and make them jump over any obstacle, it requires lots of confidence and hard work to turn this dream into reality. Horses cannot overcome sudden blocks on their own as they cannot make proper synchronization of body movement and jump at the same time. So the rider must follow a systematic order to make jump training for the horse easier and smoother.
The rider must follow a schedule to arrange training for the horse from time to time in a balanced order. Too much pressure or excessive rushing can cause injuries to the horse. Training must be done with patience and before starting, the horse should be trotted for a while to make it active and catch the pace. So let’s start the steps of training a horse to jump:
- The training ground should have grass as it allows the horse to move easily. Place 4-5 poles 5 feet apart from one another and start to walk with the horse over the poles. The horse may try to avoid the poles in the beginning but the rider must walk over the poles to make the horse comfortable.
- When the horse learns to walk over the poles, then increase the number of poles and the distance between them. Now canter the horse over the poles in such a way that the bottoms of the leg do not touch the bars. Praise the horse from time to time as it builds up positive energy and confidence.
- Now it’s time to place a saddle on the back of the horse. Now the rider will cross the bars sitting on the horse to make the horse comfortable while running. The rider should not give too much bodyweight on the back of the horse rather he/she should stand firmly on the leg hooks keeping the body steady. Now canter the horse towards the poles and lunge while crossing the poles.
- Now place the bars a few inches above the ground to start the jump training. The poles should be arranged in such a way that they can easily fall off the stand when the legs of the horse touch the poles. This will minimize the possibility of injuries to the horse. Trot over the heights to give an idea of speed, momentum, and jumping at the same time.
- When the horse understands the synchronization between jump and momentum, increase the speed of the horse. Then make cross rails to take your training to the next level. Guide the horse in such a way that it rushes towards the cross rails and jumps. The landing is an important factor and must be kept in mind.
- Once the cross rail training is done, it’s time to practice the triple bar test. It will improve the jumping capacity of the horses by increasing the heights gradually. Rush the horse towards the triple bars to perform a perfect leap over all the obstacles. In this case, the rider should stand on his legs keeping the body steady as it helps the horse to lift the bodyweight easily.
- Finally, prepare the training ground with the combination of various obstacles and practice horse rushing jumps. In this step, the horse should be rushed towards the poles and lunged at the time of jumping. It will increase the confidence of the horse and the rider to overcome the next obstacles easily.
If the above steps are followed properly, then the horses can be trained easily to make a safe jump every time. The rider must praise and feed the horse after every step to build-up confidence and momentum.
Special Notes to Be Known by the Rider
The rider has the most significant role in the whole jumping training. So the rider must know various issues before starting to train the horse.
- The horse age is a necessary concern that must be kept in mind by the rider. Too aged or too young horses cannot be involved in such training as there is a high chance of injuries.
- The rider must wear protective guards while riding the horse as it minimizes the damage of any unwanted accidents.
- While jumping over bars, the rider must not lean forward on the neck of the horse. It will make the leap difficult for the horse and eventually may result in a crash landing.
- The rider must connect to the horse by praising it or brushing the head or back to guide easily. These types of gestures towards the horse will motivate it to run with the rider.
Training your beloved animal requires high confidence and patience. Horse jumping is such an art that mainly displays the understanding between the rider and the horse. If the horses are trained well enough, they can overcome any type of obstacle on their way without losing momentum.
Since the training is not that easy, it needs lots of struggles and hard work for the rider to teach their horses. In this case, ground pole exercises for horses must be performed at the beginning, and then gradually following the improvement of the jumps, the difficulty level can be raised. Then the horse can perform all types of leaps along with the rider on any ground.