So I’m new to the English world and have decided to pursue my dream of show jumping after barrel racing and training all my life. I’ve done some research on good training exercises for the starting show jumper but I’d like more input. The horse I have now knows nothing about jumping. He’s been used to work cows but he’s very smart, is amazing under saddle and I believe he would do great at a low level. So what are some good exercises for starting a show jumper? I have already been doing tons of flat work with him and he’s picked it up great and carries himself nicely and is very well balanced.
Since both you and the horse are new to jumping, the best advice is to work with an experienced trainer. Many experienced riders never jump without a trainer present.
If you absolutely can’t find a trainer, start by letting the horse figure out how to jump without a rider, using a jump chute.
You absolutely need to find a trainer.
Work with a trainer. If you don’t have a trainer, get some good books or other resources on setting fences and starting young horses. Keep it small for a long time.
Note, people can mess up a horse in a jump chute easily with improper striding between fences; many QHs (if that is what you are riding) and other shorter breeds don’t have the step that we expect when we set standard striding between jumps.
In addition, I would strongly recommend you take lessons on a horse that does know how to jump. Horses new to jumping can make some nasty awkward efforts at first and the very last thing you want to do is loose your balance and grab them in the mouth or fall back on them.
Get some help and have fun
Thank you guys. I have taken lessons on horses that know how to jump, that’s how my love of it came about and also trained with a great trainer and rider a few years back, Stephanie Pair, so I do know a little about it like the basics of jumping, posture, strides etc. I’ve just never trained a jumper which is why I was asking for good exercises to start a horse. Yes my horse is a quarter horse and I know they usually have short strides but I do pretty good at placing their feet just from jumping logs and stuff around the ranch. But sadly I cannot afford a trainer right now which is why I’m looking for advice.
If you could afford even a few initial lessons with someone, it would be hugely beneficial to lay a good foundation for you and your horse. The trainer could give you exercises to work on outside of your lessons. Don’t rush the learning curve.
Absent a trainer giving you homework, you may find this helpful as a resource - the first section has ground pole exercises that could be a good introduction of the concepts http://www.doversaddlery.com/101-jumping-exercises/p/X1-34049/