July 26, 2002, Newsletter Issue #83: Teaching Horses to Jump Correctly

Tip of the Week

Teaching a horse proper jumping skills requires patience-patience-patience more than any other learned or developed or natural ability in the Rider and the Trainer! Remember to always, if you begin to have resistance, or vices start, at that point in time, to go BACKWARDS; usually by lowering the height of the obstacles or by reducing the number, or the level of difficulty. ALWAYS!

You have now developed a course. You have jumped this course, in sections, and have (hopefully) recorded your findings after each session. Are you ready to move onto jumping an entire course? Is your horse comfortable with each type of fence and is he secure on his take off point before each fence? Provided that all of your answers are YES, then proceed with your course jumping. Remember to take your horse slowly in his progression of new things, and he will learn that he can always trust you. Rushing a horse when it is not ready, will only increase the mistrust and the confusion, and the jumping vices.

Go to the tip section, Jumping for sample courses for each level of rider/horse combo. There are course designs for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Give your level of courses a try. Remember that MOST fences, unless Verticals with no ground line, or X Poles with no ground line, can only be jumped from one direction.

Spend the rest of your Riding Time either Trail Riding, or on Flat Work, but no longer on the fences! YOU DO NOT WANT TO BURN OUT YOUR HORSE ON ELEMENTARY FENCES!

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