Unlimited access >

no jumping without a lesson rule?

ive seen this while looking for new barns, and i was wondering your opinions on it? would this be a turn off for you if you couldn’t jump on your own? i would assume it makes you a better rider in the dressage, and the rule is there for safety, but other than that, what do you think?

1 Like

Are you opening a barn and thinking of having this rule? Otherwise I am not sure why it matters what someone in another part of the world doing something else thinks of the rule.
Not trying to be snarky.
This is one of those things that some barns do, others barns do not, we (general) have to pick a barn that works for what matters to us.

I have a hunter background, every barn with a lesson program and show string in my part of the world has this rule. It is how things worked in my world so it is not a rule that bothers me one bit.


Think of being the barn owner and seeing beginners who think they know everything jumping, falling off, pulling on horses mouths and jumping horses every day with no thought of their legs.


no, i’m cosidering moving barns and would just like to know others opinions:) i’ve never seen this rule, but i’ve only been at 2 barns, one wich was a hunter barn, but nobody owned or leased any horses there so they didn’t need any rules, and the barn im currently at which is an eventing banr and doesn’t hsve any rules like that because only advanced people lease/own. i’m moving barns for some reasons and was looking around. i enjoy jumping on my own, and i was just wondering if this is a common thing

When I was riding lesson horse as a kid yes it was for a rule for all free ride kids. That and they had to have an adult with them. However at all the barns I’ve been at owners and leasers could jump whenever they wanted, underage once again MUST have a parent present. For me any kind of rule like that is a huge turn off for me. I’ve known people who have no issue with this rule and I feel it’s a really personal decision. For me I wouldn’t even look at a barn if I knew it to be a rule.

RIGHT. And potentially having to deal with the consequences of that. Examples include injured riders (liability, loss of future income, etc.), damaged mouths, refusing fences, or other physical or behavioral problems that were not present before.
However, I do understand how this rule would bother the fully capable riders, but I think those individuals would probably find another barn to board at if they were unable to come to a special arrangement with the owner/trainer.


@eventingcms I can see this rule being applied to leased horses even if the barn allows owners to jump when not in a lesson. The barn might want to maintain some control over what their animals are doing and risk them being over jumped by someone who wants to jump every day or above their level.


I have this rule for my boarders/students, for the following reasons:

  • Most of my boarders are kids, and I don’t quite trust their ability to not be stupid
  • All of my boarders are relatively inexperienced riders and need to only jump when an instructor can help them
  • I prefer horses not to be jumped more than once or twice a week, and my students take lessons 1-2x/wk

As you can probably tell, my I only take boarders who are part of my program and take lessons and show with me. I do permit and encourage riders to lower jumps to poles or cavellettis to practice a specific exercise we worked on in a lesson.

I used to keep my horse at a nice Eventing barn with teen and adult riders up to Prelim and 1*, and our trainer had the same rule for similar reasons.

This is what works for my program, but not necessarily what is best for all barns across the board!


This rule is very common and I’d say fair in situations where the barn owns the horses and people ride outside of lessons because they buy free rides or are on leases.

If the rule applied to people who owned their own horses I’d see it as needlessly restrictive and I wouldn’t move there.


All but one barn I’ve been at has had this rule. Every one of the barns that has had it has been a lesson barn. The one that did not have this rule was a large barn with multiple jumping areas, but it was all for boarders and they did not have lessons or lesson kids. While I really enjoyed the freedom to do what I wanted, I can also see how for any lesson barn allowing anyone to do what they want can be a major liability.


im assuming the rule applies up for everyone up to a certain level. that’s what i’ve heard from some people at a different barns in the area with this rule. at their barns it is for either C1 and above may jump (for pony club) over the age of 13,competing at novice level eventing, or similar rules like that. as far as i know, this rule is for EVERYONE, including people who own. not sure, i’ll have to check.

I have not boarded at a barn with such a rule, nor would I want to.

I agree it may make sense as part of a lease agreement (specific to that horse, and as agreed between the owner and rider), but not general barn rules.


Yes, this is a common rule, and it would make a lot of sense in a barn with a coherent training program. As others have said, if you are jumping 2 or 3 times a week in lessons then you don’t need to be wearing out your horse outside of lessons.

Since you are leasing horses, I am sure the barns will want a limit on the jumping. I’ve watched more than one junior rider cripple private lease horses with too much jumping.

You could also ask what lessons means. Perhaps the barn does scheduled supervised group jump practice sessions that are more affordable than regular lessons.

As a very do it yourself adult, and a feral pony kid who only jumped logs on trails, any kind of rules rankle with me. Nonetheless I know that my coach doesn’t jump at her own barn without someone present and nearby, and the trainers who jump at our barn have an experienced adult along to watch and set poles, etc. Not a lesson necessarily but an eye on the ground and a safety factor.


The responses here are really interesting to me! The barn that I grew up riding at was a very small backyard barn. The woman who owned it owned the 4-5 horses that lived there at a time and she used them for lessons. There were only a handful of people who rode there, but we were allowed to jump outside of lessons. I stayed there for almost 10 years and when I went to move I was shocked to find places that didn’t let you jump outside of lessons! To me, from a liability perspective, it makes sense why you aren’t allowed to jump outside of a lesson. For me, I don’t mind too much …for one I’m in a full training program so almost every time I ride it’s in a lesson, and secondly we are pretty much coursing 3ft+ and I wouldn’t feel comfortable jumping that without a trainer.

Honestly, now that I think about it, I can’t think of any of the main or bigger barns in the area that would allow riders to jump outside of a lesson, regardless of if they own their own horses or not. A lot of the barns that come to mind require you to be in some sort of training program anyway (one day a week is fine) too.

Very common rule. It would be one that would stop me from boarding at a place. That said, I have boarded at place with that rule but it wasn’t applied me expressly (given my experience etc…including that I rode at time other boarders were not around). It really isn’t so much about riding level…but judgement. Some kids and some adults can lack judgement on what is good for them and/or their horse. And the liability issue is a real concern.


Most barns I’ve ridden at have had this rule. I half-lease and mostly ride dressage, so it wasn’t a major concern of mine, but it was usually cited as a liability issue. Pole work was fine and at one barn crossrails were also allowed outside of lessons, provided the rider was jumping higher than crossrails in lessons.

I admit I did suspect at barns with a strong focus on showing where riders were required to take at least one lesson a week, the issue wasn’t just an over-jumping issue but the fear that the rider might inadvertently teach the horse bad habits by unintentionally pulling, getting left behind too often, catching the horse in the mouth, and so forth. At more backyard-y type barns, often there was very little jumping outside of lessons just simply because of a lack of equipment and the requirement of putting all the jumps away afterward, plus poor footing during certain times of the year.

Sometimes it’s just easier and certainly safer and lower risk for barns to have a blanket policy versus trusting that riders (and their parents) have common sense about knowing what the riders should be jumping and how high, given their level of ability.


It’s a common rule for barns.

The barn I was last at had a form of this rule. 1. People under the age of 18 couldn’t jump outside of a lesson, full-stop. 2. Leasers/non-horse owners can’t jump horses outside of lessons (so an owner can’t have someone else ride/jump their horse). 3. Privately owned horses can be jumped outside of lessons but limitations apply: not in excess of 2 feet, no courses, must be 18+.

For this barn, it’s both a liability issue, and a management one. A lot of riders will over-estimate their competency (ability to navigate a course/identify when things are going bad and make intelligent/educated decisions on how to circumvent escalating problems) and get themselves into trouble.

I have never boarded at a barn with this rule, it would be a deal breaker for me. The exception were school horses, they could only be jumped in a lesson, and I can understand that, they work hard enough and don’t need unsupervised jumping.


Somewhere in my travels I was at a barn where an advsnced beginner junior had a half lease on a coaches pony with the express rule of no jumping except in lessons.

The place was an unsupervised recreational and retirement pasture barn. And there was the juniors mother who had signed the lease getting her tween daughter to jump on her own because after all we’ve paid to lease the horse.

Fireworks ensued I believe

So no you cannot trust parents judgement either.


My barn instituted this rule last year. It was a condition of their insurance policy.