Jumping is one of the major activities of any equestrian event. As such, it is important for riders and horses to have strong endurance, be coordinated and well-trained. If you want to help improve your horse’s jumping skills, you can do so by checking out these simple tips:
Tip Number One: Build Confidence As Early As Possible
Make sure that your horse understands what you are asking him to do. For example, if your horse is still young, do not force him to jump over a puddle of water without first making him learn how to do it. Otherwise, he will refuse to do so because it is something new – and therefore scary – for him. Help him build confidence as early as possible. Train him to do some simple exercises every day. Once he gets used to them, he will understand what they are for and will slowly build confidence to do everything on his own.
Tip Number Two: Make Use of Flatwork Basics and Train Your Horse to Trot
Use the flat to properly warm up your horse. In addition to this, you should also train your horse in trotting. Once your horse gets used – and feels comfortable – trotting, he will be able to gauge fences before jumping easily. Trotting will also help him to relax and calm down whenever he approaches fences.
Tip Number Three: Do Not Teach Your Horse to Say No
While training your horse, do not show any indication that it is all right for him to refuse your request or command. For example, if you are training to jump (small jumps first) and pauses, as if questioning your command, do not allow him to turn away or to approach the fence again. What you should do instead is stay on and wait until your horse finally jumps over.
Tip Number Four: Find an Assistant to Help You Out
Training a horse on your own is not easy. Therefore, find someone who can help you on the ground. Having someone to assist you will make changing grids and lowering jumps easier.