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BluMagic 12-29-2007 12:46 AM

How high to jump??? :?
I am not sure how high the jumps are for 4-H.

I am not sure how high Blu can jump.

I am not sure how high I should train him to jump.


Okay, I can hopefully find out the first one on my own. I was just wondering if I should just train and jump Blu when the time comes at an easy pace. Like do some training and then some free jumping. But how high do I place the jumps and increase? I was just thinking I should start with like two feet. And see how he does like that. Then increase it but what should I increase it to? I don't want to over work him, bore him, or hurt him in any way!

Any ideas?

Rachluvshorses4eva 12-29-2007 04:31 AM

Just start the jumps on the ground. Then increase the hight every 2nd time, by 10cm. :wink:

jazzyrider 12-29-2007 04:32 AM

most people dont really know how high their horse can jump until they get there :)

i would suggest you start at the beginning. as you find he is tackling each jump with confidence and consistency, lift it a little. dont push him through them though. take it as slow as you and blu need to go. the key is making sure HE is confident with the height he is jumping. the biggest mistake some people make is thinking that the horse is doing great and lifting the jumps too soon. the last thing you want is to have a nasty accident by rushing and set him back in his confidence.

you will know when he has reached his limits and dont push him past that. its no failure to not make grand prix heights ;)

most of all, enjoy what you are doing. you have been talking for a while now about english and jumping and i think its great that you are spreading your wings :) have fun blu :)

luvs2ride79 12-29-2007 02:47 PM

Also remember that jumping with a rider takes a lot of muscle and balance. Before he can jump well, he has to be strong and well balanced on the flat. Do lots of work over trot poles and caveletties, pattern work at all gaits, and trails up and down hills are also helpful. When you start jumping, just work on little x rails at the trot and canter, to let him get the feel for it.

Contact your show organizer to find out the jump heights and types for the classes you will be in. Most 4-H shows I've seen use smaller jumps, either x-rails or 1'6" verticals, but ask to make sure.

Then at home, school those heights a few times until he's going consistently, then drop down to one lower, and only jump 1 or 2 days a week. Jumping is fun, but it's hard on a horse's knees, shoulders, hocks, and stifles. For long term soundness, you shouldn't jump a horse too high or too often. Even the big Grand Pix riders do more Dressage work than they do jumping at home :wink:.

horse_luver4e 12-29-2007 05:19 PM

How old is your horse your planning on jumping? Mine is only 3 and I keep her at 1ft or a little over 1ft for now. Just for safety. :)

luvs2ride79 12-29-2007 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by horse_luver4e
How old is your horse your planning on jumping? Mine is only 3 and I keep her at 1ft or a little over 1ft for now. Just for safety. :)

No horse should jump any height with a rider on their back before their 5th birthday, preferably their 6th brithday. The horse's knees are the first things to close at 2-3 yrs old. The hocks don't close until 4-5 yrs old, and all of the bones in a horse are closed at around 6yrs old (give or take 6 months).

Jumping before the growth plates in those major bones/joints have hardened completely is a serious risk to a horse's long term soundness and health. Horses are NOT supposed to be "over the hill" at 15-17 years old... A horse should NOT be getting hock injections at 8yrs old, or arthritic and stiff by 15... A horse SHOULD be jumping sound, at least over small stuff, well into their early 20's (barring any injuries or serious conformational issues that would prohibit jumping).

horse_luver4e 12-29-2007 08:20 PM

I've heard of horses jumping 3ft when they were only 4 years old and they were fine. My horse is 3 years old and she only jumps around 1ft like I said and she is fine. If it is so stressful for them why do they race 2 and 3 year olds? I can see if I was trying to jump my horse 3ft now but come on 1ft. I guess we need to lock up the horses till there 6 years old so they don't gallop too fast and hurt themselves! :wink:

Equina 12-29-2007 09:33 PM


Originally Posted by horse_luver4e
If it is so stressful for them why do they race 2 and 3 year olds?

Have you seen many 15 year old horses continuing to race if they were started at 2 years old? Probably not. They physically can't.

I think what luvs2ride79 was getting at is that, a younger horse physically can jump, it could just adversely affect their joints, etc and cause issues later in life. And I completely agree, luvs2ride79.

horse_luver4e 12-29-2007 09:55 PM

Yeah but a 3 year old going on 4 in March jumping 1ft a couple times every few weeks aint going to hurt them.

hunterequlover781 12-29-2007 11:29 PM

I have always heard that you should not jump a young horse until they are at least 4 b/c their knees need to be developed. I free lunged my filly as a yearling over small x's. It is important for your horse to be solid on the flat before you even start worrying about jumping. I would start out over tiny x's and then just start working up a little after he starts getting comfortable. Just remember that with babies you need to take it slow and not overwhelm them when it comes to jumping.

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