Travel & Leisure

Tips for Training a Jumper

There are many equestrian sports, but show jumping is one of the most popular ones. It takes a special horse and rider to navigate show jumping courses and take large jumps easily. If you want to become a showjumper, you need to put a lot of planning into training your horse to jump. Use these three tips to train a jumper.

Use a Variety of Jumps

Many horses spook when they encounter unfamiliar obstacles. You need to be able to trust your mount on the course, so it is important to introduce your horse to a wide variety of jumps. Start out small and use cavaletti to teach your horse the basics of jumping. You can then work your way up to larger jumps that challenge your horse’s skills. You may want to invest in a wing standard horse jump and other types of jumps to place in your home arena so that you are mount can be familiar with them.

Work on Communication

To be a great showjumper, you need to have excellent communication between you and your mount. Your horse must be responsive to your commands to navigate a jumping course safely. It’s always a good idea to work on strengthening the bond between you and your horse. Spend plenty of time with your pet and don’t put too much pressure on competing. Taking a break from the competition to go on a relaxing trail ride can sometimes do a lot to strengthen your relationship with your mount. The more you work on communication, the better you and your horse will do in competition.

Desensitize Your Horse

Horses are notorious for spooking when they are around large crowds. Because jumping competitions are often crowded events, you could put yourself in danger if you cannot trust your horse around a crowd. Spend some time desensitizing your mount so that it knows most sights and sounds will not hurt it. Always start desensitizing your horse in your home or arena where it is most comfortable. Once you trust your mount not to spook, you can start bringing it to competition to get it used to the noise.

Training a showjumper involves a lot more than just teaching your horse how to jump. You want to keep both you and your mount safe on the jumping course, so it is important to use these three tips to prepare your horse to face any obstacles on the course.