Any tips on how to train a horse to jump? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 11-26-2010, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 83
• Horses: 0
Any tips on how to train a horse to jump?

So i might buy this horse but he isn't jump trained. I jump somewhat when riding horses. He has never gone over ground poles nothing. He is a dressage horse who has been ridden near jumps but never done them.

I just want to know if anyone has any tips or things they want to add to my training schedule. Yes i have how i will do this planned out already:
  1. Start out on the lunge line with him trotting ground poles. when he can perfectly trot one we will add more. after that add more etc.
  2. When he can trot at least 3 or 4 we will canter 1 or 2 on the lunge.
  3. When he can do both those things we will then do them with me in the saddle.
  4. While working on that in the saddle we will start to do TINY cavalettis (sorry my spelling is terrible ) on the lunge. (6 inches off the ground)
  5. As he gets better and better at those things we will make the cavalettis higher and higher.
  6. Once he can jump 2 or 3 foot cavalettis on the ground we will start doing nice small ones in the saddle.
  7. We will then move on to more complicated jumps like oxers, flower boxes, colorful cross rails and BIG verticals.
  8. Once he can do those we will start doing them in the saddle.
You see that is how i will train him. Just post any pointers or important tips.
Fourpaws is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 11-26-2010, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
If the horse is over 4 years old, you don't necessarily have to start over fences by lunging. Lunging over fences is difficult to do well and correctly without a round pen and the correct type of standards. I see it done badly/dangerously way more than I see it done correctly or well. If you do anything other than a single low fence, you need to *really* understand striding and distances, but that's true for undersaddle work as well.

I started a lot of horses over fences from the saddle, no lunging over fences first, with no issues. If their foundaton is sound (meaning they are straight, forward, in front of your leg and obedient) start by trotting over single poles, then a series of trot poles adjusted for their comfortable stride, then at 2X the distance of the trot poles, set a little pyramid of poles (the gap in the distance is to allow an awkward green horse to engage his hind end without stepping on/rolling a pole.) Gradually raise the pyramid of poles to a cross rail.

When your horse can jump a crossrail after the trot poles and land cantering without fuss, build a little one stride gymnastic. When they can handle a little gymnastic without fuss, you can start jumping low single fences from the trot.

If you have not started a young horse over fences before, I would HIGHLY recommend you approach everything in a balanced two point, grabbing a piece of mane. Greenies take some big, unpredictable leaps, and you don't want to discourage them by getting left or getting them in the mouth.

I looked around for a good reference book or website for you and was disappointed at the lack of info. I did find a terrific series of articles on the USEA website that might be helpful:

USEA - Starting Your Green Horse Over Fences - Part II

Of course, all of this goes better and easier with a knowledgable person on the ground, and the best thing would be to work with a trainer with experience starting horses over fences to help you and the horse, but I'm guessing if that was available to you you wouldn't be posting. Do have someone on the ground to help you and watch, it's nearly impossible to do on your own.

Good luck!

Last edited by maura; 11-26-2010 at 10:45 AM.
maura is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 83
• Horses: 0
Ok thanks for the advice. he is 12 but supposedly has never jumped.
Fourpaws is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 295
• Horses: 2
I agree with maura, lunging over jumps is more difficult for horses, if you have the oppurtunity to free jump him in an arena this way he can get straight to the fence and have a chance to go straight after the fence. My trainer starts all his young ones over fences like this, he will even add flower boxes when they are comfortable. Or we start by trotting poles under saddle, then multiple trot poles in a row, then cantering poles. I was always taught when starting a horse over fences, young or old, to start with a single fence, and again I agree with maura, grab mane the first couple times, they tend to jump rounder and a little stranger than made horses as they figure everything out. Then once they are comfortable with single fences then add related distances and gymnastics, this is what I was always taught, there are many ways to do it and get it done well. If you are inexperienced training a horse to jump, try having a trainer or someone who is experienced helping you. Good luck with everything!
Alcatrazjmpr is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 803
• Horses: 2
I'm doing this with my horse now :)

We started doing lots of ground poles, gradually adding more and more.

Our first jumping lesson we added a small crossrail to the end of the poles that he was already used to to see how he'd answer that question. It wasn't super pretty at first and he'd try to go around the jump or trot over it but he figured it out and, once he did, really liked it.

We're focusing on keeping his rhythm up to the jump, keeping him very centered and staying STRAIGHT afterward.

We are starting just with a trotting approach and a single fence w/ and w/out trot poles. Good luck!

I wouldn't think of lunging at first either because you really want to help them be straight and centered which is so hard to do on a lunge. Only after a lot of trot poles under saddle did I "send" him over them on a line and he did really well because he knew what was expected at that point.

Deerly is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 83
• Horses: 0
ok so if i do the free lunging in the arena without makeing him go in a circle it would be ok?
Fourpaws is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 295
• Horses: 2
Fourpaws, I have seen many people free jump a horse to teach it to jump, watch some videos and read up on the proper way to do it. I have done it with a bounce to a one stride, or a single fence. Make sure the fences are spaced appropriately and when they are learning I have seen some trainers adjust it to the stride of the horse so they are comfortable while learning how to jump.
Alcatrazjmpr is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 11-27-2010, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
The reason most people free jump is with young horses who are not yet able to bear the weight of the rider over fences.

There really isn't a whole lot of reason to free jump a 12 year old. You're not going to teach him anything he doesn't already know. Most horses know instinctively how to jump a log or obstacle in their path; what needs to be taught is how to do so in balance under the weight of a rider.

I see a *LOT* of bad free jumping, almost as much as bad lunging over fences, where essentially the handlers get the horse upset and chase them over fences. The horse isn't learning anything other than not to like the activity much.

I understand that you're reluctant to start this process from the horse's back, and I think that comes from a good instinct, not wanting to do too much too soon, and to introduce this concept gradually. But honestly, you really are better off with trot poles under saddle and then adding a cross rail, then a simple gymnastic as described above. I really don't think free lunging in this scenario accomplishes what you're hoping for.
maura is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 11-28-2010, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 83
• Horses: 0
ok thanks everyone for the advice i understand all of you points of veiw
Fourpaws is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 11-28-2010, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 671
• Horses: 2
My horse turned 12 this year and I got her in December '09 (I've had her a year on the 7th of December). When I got her she didn't know how to jump at all, she didn't even know how to walk over trot poles. She just simply had never been taught. My advice to you is to be patient, let the horse build up its conference and if you take it slowly at first and make it fun for the horse you'll end up progressing a lot faster. I started off with just a pole on the ground and got her to walk over it, but you can't expect your horse to just go straight over it if they don't have the coordination. My mare walked up to it and stopped but you could see she was thinking so incredibly hard as to what she was meant to do, and after what seems like a long time she stretched her front feet over it and sort of kangaroo hopped over it with her back feet. If your horse isn't thinking what to do and is just standing there looking around not paying attention back them away and try again. Once they've gone over it heaps and heaps of praise and even a reward if you want. Once their confident try it when your riding them and then try 2 in a row evenly spaced out and keep working on that. Gradually build it up to a tiny raised pole and started them with that while your on the ground just as you did with the ground pole. Then try when your on them until there confident with that height and happily, willingly doing it and then take it higher. Just remember that praise is the main thing as well as quit at the slightest try, be sure to finish on a good note to keep them wanting more. You'll get there. My horse went from not knowing how to walk over a pole on the ground to jumping 65 - 70cm in a year and she could happily go higher. (here's a couple pictures of her jumping now)


~He knows when you're happy~He knows when you're comfortable~He knows when you're confident~And he always knows when you have carrots.~Author Unknown
brookelovesparelli is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does anyone actually know how to train a WP horse? Citrus Horse Training 19 11-18-2010 07:40 AM
Would you actually pay someone 18 or under to train your horse? BarrelRacer86 Horse Talk 8 10-10-2010 09:46 PM
Should You Train A Horse? kevinshorses Horse Training 42 02-08-2010 04:39 PM
I wanna train my horse to jump CrazyChester Jumping 2 05-05-2008 11:18 AM
How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!! Emma7442 Horse Training 34 02-23-2008 03:51 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome