5 Horse Jumping Tips For a New Rider
Horseback riding is a fun and exciting sport that can be made even more exciting when you start jumping. If you’ve just started riding and are building up to your first jump, here are some tips to help you get started.
Have the Right Gear
You won’t have to worry about any horse jump accessories just yet. A helmet and boots are the two pieces of gear you need to wear when riding a horse. This is doubly important for jumping. Your helmet should be snug, and your boots should have a heel that is tall enough to keep a grip on the stirrups but short enough that it isn’t cumbersome.
Choose the Right Horse
To be a successful rider, you need a strong relationship with your horse. Choosing a horse you feel comfortable with and whose behaviors you know will make it much easier to be a successful rider and, of course, jumper.
Before attempting any jumps, make sure you and your horse are entirely comfortable with all of the basic paces: walk, trot, canter, and gallop. You should be able to communicate commands for each of these to your horse, and your horse should respond without delay. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the various paces, you can begin to practice your jumping position.
As enticing as a fun combination jump might seem, you should start with the basics to ensure success. The cross rails, a small jump with a low center, is the perfect place to start. This will allow you to get comfortable with the movements and commands for jumping without coming too far off the ground.
Know Your Limits
Some jumps are much more complicated than others. Make sure to take it slow and build up to each one. For example, don’t move onto a vertical jump if you and your horse haven’t fully mastered the cross rails.
Learning to jump takes time and practice, so patience is key. With the proper training and discipline, though, you can build yourself up to become a great showjumper.