Do horses have to be taught to jump?

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Do horses have to be taught to jump?

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  • Do the horses know when to jump
  • How do horses know to jump

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    04-27-2011, 11:13 PM
Do horses have to be taught to jump?

Musing here really. I'm teaching kezzie to jump. I want him to have a rounded education and i've designs on him for M&M WHP (if I can get over the size of the jumps for his height!). Mum on the other hand doesn't think he needs to. His forte will inevitably lie in dressage and so far his education has veered that way as my RI is dressage only.

He has a ”vega-style Dressage Saddle” and aMeti 500 Dressage Saddle” ,but I don’t think he need a jump saddle since he still not good at jumping now.

So, do you think all horses should be able/taught to jump? Is it necessary for an all round education? Would it bother you if your horse couldn't jump?
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    04-27-2011, 11:19 PM
Green Broke
Plenty of horses never learn to jump with a rider. All horses have the natural born ability to jump, and most horses are capable of jumping with a rider without any sort of training (for example, logs on a trail).

No, there is no reason why your horse needs jump training if he's not going to be a jumper. Most Dressage horses will never jump because they simply have no use for it. I don't think there's anything in jump training that would help round out a Dressage horse anymore than one who didn't have jump training.

EDIT - As a note, my Paint mare is 4 and I have done no official jump training with her, and she's perfectly capable of jumping quite nicely over logs on the trail. Horses moreso need training for jumping courses, as mentioned virtually ANY horse WILL jump if you aim him at an obstacle. So no it's never bothered me that my horses weren't trained to jump because they always did when I really needed them to. However, I also free jump all my horses.

    04-27-2011, 11:24 PM
I do think that basic jumping skills should be part of what goes into a well-broke horse, no matter what the discipline. It doesn't have to be formally "trained," I just like to know that the horse can mentally handle the obstacle. The horse should know that a jump is just another type of obstacle to be negotiated, like a bridge or a trailer or a gate, and be handy enough to pop over it without balking, running out, refusing, or bolting upon landing. It doesn't have to be A-Rated hunter pretty, or GP jumping high, but it needs to be willing and safe.

It doesn't bother me if my horse doesn't have this skill, I just add it to the list of stuff to eventually teach/introduce to him as he becomes ready. I generally lump neckreining into the same category as jumping - something that a well-broke horse should have a working understanding of, no matter what his focus discipline is.

As far as your horse, if he's green at jumping he will probably benefit from an appropriate jumping saddle. The dressage saddle just isn't designed to help the horse over fences, and a greenie needs all the help he can get from appropriate tack that helps his rider balance. Sure, it's possible to pop over a jump in a different style of tack, but it isn't going to make the process easy for a learning horse or rider. If you want to formally teach him to jump, and you aren't a very experienced jumper/trainer, I highly advise getting some knowledgeable help to get your horse started over fences. The process can get hairy pretty fast.
    04-27-2011, 11:24 PM
Agree with MM. Almost all horses can jump without any special training, even with a rider. However, they may or may not be balanced, comfortable, and look good doing it without the proper training. If you want to show him in jumping at some point, then yes, he should really have some training for it. However, if you don't have a need to show him in jumping, then no, he really won't benefit from training for it.
    04-28-2011, 08:37 AM
I find jump training helps dressage horses a lot. They really have to sit back and use their hind end when jumping and this will carry over to flat work. Jumping can help shape and strengthen the canter. Also, most horses like to jump so jump training is fun for them ! Who cares if you never show in jumping, you and your horse can still benefit from it =]
    04-28-2011, 08:52 AM
I agree with gypsy to be honest, but for mostly the last reason. Jumping training can be very beneficial for a dressage horse because just flatwork and no 'play' can make some horses sour. And as Scout said, it is part of a well rounded education.

Jumping can also be seen as dressage training. Showjumping is virtually just dressage with bumps - it really is all about the control of the horse, picking where it puts it's feet, and getting it to use it's body properly.
    04-28-2011, 09:17 AM
As has already been said, if you have no plans to go into show/stadium jumping, fox hunting, cross-country there is no need to concentrate on training your horse to jump over staged jump courses.
    04-28-2011, 09:49 AM
Most horses seem to enjoy jumping, but nope, definitely not necessary! I wouldn't have bothered teaching my tb to jump (he's a bit of a mad jumper and he is for pure dressage too) unless my sister hadn't insisted on her doing it.

If I were you I would give it a go, you might both have fun Book a couple of lessons with an allround instructor to get you started. If you are only jumping up to 2'3, a dressage saddle is fine (not the easiest thing, but not an issue)

You do have to jump for WHP, but they're rustic fences and not massive, 2'6 tops I imagine? Most horses pick it up pretty quick, and if he doesn't enjoy it for whatever reason, you can just stick to dressage as was your original plan
    04-28-2011, 11:17 AM
IF you want to jump your horse HAS to be taught to do that. Otherwise I don't see a need for it. And no, not every horse can jump (I'm not talking about one foot here). My qh will never make a good jumper, so after trying her on very low ones last year couple times I don't even try anymore as its just waste of time for both of us.

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