Training a horse to jump can be a daunting task. However, it is worthwhile: a horse and rider in sync with one another’s thoughts and actions is a sight behold in the arena. Before you can dream of wooing the crowds, however, it is important to learn the basics. We’re not talking about brushing up your skills as a rider exclusively. Your horse must also understand the basics. Here are our recommendations for easing into schooling horse jumps.
One of the first things you will want to purchase for your training course is jumping poles. Yes, you can buy the standards that go with them. However, you will want your horse to be familiar with establishing a stride. Place a series of poles in a stretch and have your horse trot over them. This will allow you to identify whether they are approaching obstacles too quickly or slowly. Remember: if they show hesitation at this stage, then they will most certainly crash when approaching a real jump.
After your horse graduates from striding over poles, have them practice going through cross rails. These are schooling horse jumps with x-shaped poles, which makes for an appealing shape that appears easy for the horse to overcome. Remember, if they aren’t utilizing the right momentum to get through these jumps, then it wouldn’t hurt to get in more practice.
No horse masters the jump right from the start. It takes practice and dedication for both the horse and rider to be in sync. When shopping for schooling horse jumps think small and simple and then work your way up. In time, your horse will learn how to mast the jump–and the course.