Ground jumping

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Ground jumping

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  • Ground jumping
  • Assessing a horse's freejump

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    06-17-2009, 11:53 AM
Ground jumping

I'm thinking about starting my paint on jumps (well, not now, but rather soon), and since I always rode only finished jumpers (as lesson mounts), my question is does is make sense to start jumping her on ground (no rider), or should I just start working with poles from the saddle and build from there? Any other advise is appreciated.

P.S. I also will look for the trainer to work with both of us, but I am wondering about the very beginning (kinda preparation :) ).
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    06-17-2009, 12:17 PM
I always start with free jumping , starting the fences off small and building them up from there. This gives me the ability to see the horse jumping without a rider and to assess the horses ability. It also gives the horse a chance to figure out what to do with its legs without interference.

I always build a jump next to the outside of the arena with a sort of funnel - this makes it easier to guide the horse into it. ( see pic )

Once the horse has the idea that it has to go over the fence I then proceed with ridden work, starting with poles on the floor and gridwork before going onto small fences.

It is important not to overfence your horse.
    06-17-2009, 02:06 PM
I do both. Start your riding work with just poles on the ground at walk and trot only.
    06-17-2009, 03:04 PM
I would introduce her to ground poles both under saddle and on the ground. It'll teach her that she has to pick her feet up and she can't get lazy.

You can also raise the ground poles a few inches off the ground to get her picking her feet up more.

I do like free jumping as it helps the horse get used to the whole thing without the interference of a rider.

One tip, when you do start jumping her undersaddle, I suggest you have a ground persont here with you. Just incase she knocks down a poll that you don't have to dismount, put it back, etc. And the ground person can give you pointers on what to do/not do next time.
    06-17-2009, 05:11 PM
I do both. Ground poles under saddle and cavaletti's (sp)on a lounge line. I have portable adjustable cavaletti's that I can adjust from 6-18 inches to start them off. Once they get the idea I progress to cross poles under saddle. I go into them at a trot then progress to trot in, canter out, halting at the end of the arena so they get the idea that they can't run off after the jump.

With free jumping while I agree it's very good for them if you have a horse that rushes, free jumping can escalate that problem. (just somethng to keep in the back of your mind)
    06-18-2009, 03:46 PM
All, thank you very much! When would be safe age to start free jumping (of course I"m not talking about 4 feet here, just a foot max)? She's coming 5 yo in Sep. I do 3 ground poles on trot and walk (couple times every time I ride her), but so far that was pretty much all "jumping" I did. :)
    06-18-2009, 04:35 PM
I would think free jumping her over just a foot would be fine right now.

I wouldn't do it every day, but like 2x a week or so should be fine.
    06-18-2009, 06:17 PM
Thanks, appy!
    06-18-2009, 06:23 PM
I like free jumping a horse, and it shouldn't be a problem to jump her that way a few times a week. Free jumping gives something different for the horse to do, aside from the normal ground work...

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