Teaching to jump - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-16-2011, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Teaching to jump

So I want to train Duncan how to jump (like eventing) because I think he'd be great at it-- his mom cleared a three foot fence once, and I just love watching him jump and play when he's running across the pasture.

I've never done any English sort of eventing ever, and so I'll be coming back with a lot of questions.

The first one is how old should he be before I get started? He'll be a year old on March 31.

Also, I was wondering if it's okay to teach him how to do things without a rider on him. Obviously if I start now he can't have anyone on him since he's still so young, but even when he gets older I'll be too big to ride on him. Is that okay, or should I find some brave kids to help? I was planning on finding some knowledgable kids to help me anyway with training him to be under saddle anyway.

I think that's it for now. I love this forum-- it's been so helpful in helping me raise my first colt
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-16-2011, 12:33 PM
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I never trained a horse to start jumping until they were four years old. The epiphysis (the area on the end of the bone that allows the horse to grow) is not closed or nearly closed until that age. At one year old, the only things you can really do with the horse is to lead him over objects on the ground, get him used to blankets and other things on his back, a bit in his mouth etc.

Lunging and round pen work could put way too much strain on the legs and this horse is a baby still growing. I would wait until he is two and a half at the earliest to begin teaching him anything about anyone getting on his back.

Be careful getting "knowledgeable kids" to help train. If they get hurt you could be paying the court settlement the rest of your life.

I am not familiar with duncan? What sort of pony is he and how big do you think he will get?

Training to jump usually starts with cavaletti to a low cross rail. The rider needs to know how to jump in order to even consisder training a horse to jump.

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-16-2011, 07:08 PM
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You have quite awhile to learn different ways to teach him to jump, he is still little.
If you wanted to see how he likes jumping things setting up a sort of shoot with a very little jump, or even just a ground pole for the first few times will work. Just don't do it often and don't push him.

On the note of knowledgeable kids, you are better off finding a smaller, most likely will be woman, adult trainer. Most ponies can carry a quiet, soft adult rider enough to get basic training down. You may even luck out and find a teenager that is small enough that is willing to work with the trainer afterwards.

And I know how impatient someone can get waiting for their baby to grow up, but you still have at least 2 years before any under saddle jump work. Like Elana said, just keep working on age appropriate things and let him grow up nice and strong so he can event or jump later on into his career.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-17-2011, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well, on the legal issues, my fiance is a lawyer and would have no problem whipping up a contract that puts me not at fault if something happens. Additionally, I have two of the signs that state the same according to Georgia law.

I know I have to wait a while, I just wondered what would be the best way to start while I was thinking about it.

As for his height, breed, bloodlines, etc., he's not registered as anything, as neither of his parents are. His dad is about 10 h, and his mom is about 11 h. My mom does pony rides, and just lets her stud pasture breed once or twice a year.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-17-2011, 01:19 PM
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there is a lot of conflicting information out there about when a horse can and should be started under saddle and jumping. here's one great article:

The Horse | How Many Jumps Does a Horse Have?

overall i believe based on what i have read that free longing and doing small raised cavaletti once in a while is not detrimental to the young horse. once in the ring with a 2'6" jump set my (at the time) 1yr old colt decided it looked like fun and jumped it. he was fine. would i do that regularly? no absolutely not. same with longing. he knows how to longe and has had a saddle on (he will be 2 this spring) but has NOT been backed. i want him used to this stuff and bored with things like clippers and tack, but not overdone or carrying weight from riders yet.

just remember not to rush it - take your time - and work with trainers with experience with babies and you should be ok!

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