Training a Paint to Jump

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Training a Paint to Jump

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  • Training a paint horse to jump

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    01-30-2010, 07:57 PM
Training a Paint to Jump

Hey Guys,

I am trying to teach my 15 hh Paint to jump! She is willing and seems to enjoy it so far. First, I w/t her over poles. Then, I set up a tiny cross-rail. As I added height to the cross-rails, I noticed that she didn't quite jump over them, as much as, just ...walk over them. It wasn't until I added a pole about 12-14 in on the ground before and after the jump that she discovered that she would have to jump it. Now we are having fun.

I am concerned that I will have to leave the poles on the ground until we get to an appreciable height with the jumps. Is this a bad thing? Does anyone have experience training a horse to jump that might be able to offer advice.

Where can we go next? What other type of jump can I or should I introduce?

How will I know that it is appropriate to increase the height of the jump? Everyone says, "Take it slow" ...but what would that look like?


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    01-31-2010, 06:39 AM
"I am concerned that I will have to leave the poles on the ground until we get to an appreciable height with the jumps. Is this a bad thing? Does anyone have experience training a horse to jump that might be able to offer advice."

Not too sure what you mean by this statement?

As for her only walking over the smaller jumps, that's nothing to worry about, a lot of horses will just walk/trot over the jumps until they get high enough that they have to jump it to clear it.

Only you can really decide when to make the jumps higher, a good guide (I think) is when she is happily jumping the height nicely (not rushing, dawdling, zig-zagging up to it, knocking it etc) and has jumped that height at least several times that way. Just raise it a little bit at a time, and if she seems to be having any trouble, go back to the previous height and work your way up again.

Good luck
    01-31-2010, 07:15 AM
A pole on the ground in front of the jump, called a ground line, helps the horse's depth perception and allows them to both "see" the jump better and to judge their take off spot more accurately. Your horse won't outgrow the need for this. Good ground lines are essential when introducing a horse to jumping. (I see a lot of home made backyard type jumps in photos on this forum without them and it's always a concern.)

When you see horses jumping fences without ground lines at the upper levels of showing jumping and eventing, it's because the rider is sufficiently advanced and the horse and rider's communication well established enough that the rider dictates the distance and take off spot.

As far as increasing height, the safest way is to build a little gymnastic exercise - trot poles to a cross rail with a one stride to an oxer. (Give the horse several trips through the exercise before adding first a vertical, then the oxer.) Once the horse is comfortable and jumping through it well, gradually raise the oxer. As the oxer gets bigger, you will need to move the oxer out in the same increments as your raising height.
    01-31-2010, 09:35 PM
I wasn't sure from your origial post, but are you riding her over these or lunging or what? If she isn't actually jumping then I suggest lunging her over cross rails, or free jumping her through gymnastics. This will teach her to pick up her feet, balance and find her distances without having to worry about the extra weight. Once she is going well over cross rails-2' fences free jumping then I would try riding her over nice inviting cross rails with ground poles (i'm assuming that's what you meant by putting poles 12-14" in front and behind the jumps). Some horses don't start to actually jump until around 2'. If you aren't an experienced jumper I would not suggest trying to train her yourself though, as simple things like getting left behind, jumping ahead, losing your balance or using your reins to balance are all things that can seriously harm a horse's jump training. When in doubt, get lessons at the least or best case scenario, get a professional to train her for you. Getting the basics down while still maintaining her willingness to please and sanity is utterly important.
    01-31-2010, 10:05 PM
I trained my paint to jump himself... he did exactly what yours did.. just like walking over them. She'll eventually just learn that she has to pick up her feet and jump it just came over time, with mine.

I would still get a coach to help you, so your horse can learn how to figure out their striding by theirselves. The distance of the jumps. Bounces help alot. Don't think of height until later.

Also free jumping is another way of training. :]

My paint loves jumping... he chooses it. When he's free jumping he loves going over.. Theres no need to chase them, ever.

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