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In high school I did barrel racing a pole bending; now I think I want to branch out and enter the world of english riding. Specifically, I want to learn to show jump. Being new to this sport, I would really like to know a few things before I get started:

On average, how much does it cost to get started in this sport? (Say, for tack, riding apparel, etc.)

Can I train my own horse? He's a very tall quarter/fox trotter mix and very smart. I think he'd enjoy learning to do this. If so, what are some tips for training him to jump?

Do I need to put the horse on joint supplements? If so, what are some good brands to use?

Is there anything else I need to learn about show jumping?

Thanks for the help!
 

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The first thing I would really like to recommend is getting and finding yourself a good, quallified, experienced coach to work with you one on one.

What you should learn first, is how to ride in the sport, before you focus on training a horse to jump. Finding a good barn that can educate you first the more important.

That way, when you get into a barn and under a coach - you can learn about all the other aspects, as in cost, tack, etc, etc.

Best of luck :)
 

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Agreed. I believe any hobby, especially equine related hobbies, eventually become expensive. But it is well worth it. I do hunters and I love it.

As far as tack goes, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap tack it will be poorly made and will most likely fall apart. My advice would be to save up and ask around the barn where you'll take lessons for advice and recommendations on brands, etc. For now, your trainer might have some tack you can borrow. I would look into a good set of open front boots for your horse to protect his legs once you actually start jumping. You might have some time though because my guess is you won't be jumping for a while until you have some of the basics down.

As for supplements, I would consult with your vet and they should be able to tell you if and what your horse might need.

For your apparel, unless the barn you decide to ride with requires you to ride in breeches, polos and tall boots, for now you should invest in some black paddock boots and half chaps. My paddock boots were only $35 and I love them and my half chaps were around $80. Some schooling gloves could be good too. Of course, a helmet is something you will need as well. (I'm not sure if you wore one when barrel racing, most people I know do not).

Well good luck. You'll love it. It is very addicting.
 

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On average, how much does it cost to get started in this sport? (Say, for tack, riding apparel, etc.)
Are there any disciplines in the horse world that aren't expensive? :) It's expensive. I agree with what people have said, you get what you pay for! But it can be done on a budget if you're careful and look around. I'm all about ebay and tacktrader for quality used tack. You don't need the best of the best but you do want something that's going to last and fit you and your horse well.

Can I train my own horse? He's a very tall quarter/fox trotter mix and very smart. I think he'd enjoy learning to do this. If so, what are some tips for training him to jump?
If you've never jumped before I'd advise against it. Jumping is hard and you need to be secure and stable over fences before you start teaching your horse how to do it. It's easy to teach your horse bad habits while jumping and can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you're dead set on training your horse yourself I'd sign up for a bunch of jumping lessons with a quality instructor. Then have your instructor work with you to train your horse when you're ready. The best way to prepare a horse is good flatwork!

Do I need to put the horse on joint supplements? If so, what are some good brands to use?

Npt necessarily. There are those who swear by putting their horses on supplements "just in case". There are those who swear by only using them when necessary. Good arguments for both sides. I'd talk to your trainer and the vet and see what they say.

Is there anything else I need to learn about show jumping?
get ready for some FUN. :D
 
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