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The initial training of a young or green horse over jumps will have a big impact on how easy and safe they are to jump. In this video, I share several key objectives of a horse’s early jump training as well as the basic progression of exercises that will help a horse learn to jump safely and effectively.

Do you have any tips to add? Leave a comment!

Thanks, Callie

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Comments

24 Responses

  1. Excellent! One thing I’ve done to make it easier for me to set up different grids (especially since we’ve got many riders at the barn who break down or set up their own exercises) is to cut plastic marking tape to the different sizes I need, and write on them with magic marker. E.g., 4′ trot poles, 9′ bounce, 11′ single stride. I’m not very good at pacing things off, and since the marking tape can be bunched up small, I just stick it in a pocket when I plan to set up exercises either in the arena or jump field. It’s easier than carrying or using a tape measure.

  2. Callie,
    Thank you for the great video! It was very helpful. I was wondering if you could do a video for the rider and jumping. I have a horse who is a good jumper, but I’m a novice. I practice with her at my barn, and I’m okay with xpoles, but once I change to a vertical, I make mistakes. I don’t want to sour her on jumping, and I want to jump better. Can you go over positioning/body mechanics and thought process through a jump? When to put leg on, how to find distances, when to send the horse? I would so appreciate it!! Your videos are always so informative, and I learn so much from you. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Erin, great suggestions! there seems to be a lot of interest around jumping, so I will go over more of the jumping process in the coming weeks!

  3. Are trot poles and canter poles the same distance apart? 4 ft? Does it depend on size or breed of horse? I assume a course is set the same distance regardless size or breed
    Thanks

  4. I love using the gymnastics that you’ve suggested here. They are great exercises for beginning jumping riders and even for those who need a re-introduction to jumping. Straightness, balance, and rhythm … all good foundations for when approaching jumping.

  5. Hi Callie,
    Thank u for presenting such important topic , i appreciate if u would talk in more details about jumping higher fences and how to keep the horse straight and keep him on cantering after the jump, how to change the lead over the fence .
    Thanks

  6. thanks for advice just started juming myself small excerises like this are good for me . if you have anymore videos on proper jumping postion .

  7. Hi Callie, the video was very helpful. Could you tell me the distance you would recommend between poles, my horse has only jumped one pole before. She is a 16h cob. Thanks for your weekly posts i look forward to receiving them each week here in England.

    1. Hi Michelle, average distance between poles for trotting is 4 – 4.5 feet. Best suggestion is to start with this distance and ride through it in a medium trot. If your horse feels as though he has to shorten his stride, lengthen the distance between the poles. If she feels as though she is taking huge steps, then shorten the distance. When you find a distance that works, measure it with your feet heel to toe – this way you can set the poles again without a tape measure.

    1. Great questions here on setting the poles for this exercise – average distance between poles for trotting is 4 – 4.5 feet. Best suggestion is to start with this distance and ride through it in a medium trot. If your horse feels as though he has to shorten his stride, lengthen the distance between the poles. If she feels as though she is taking huge steps, then shorten the distance. When you find a distance that works, measure it with your feet heel to toe – this way you can set the poles again without a tape measure.

  8. Thanks Callie. Love your videos. Would love to visit your barn someday and do a clinic. I am in South Carolina. We get to ride outdoors almost year round. We host Equine therapy twice a week. Leaving for FL to get certified next week. Check out our Facebook page. Fidelis Foundation in Myrtle Beach SC. Have a great day.

  9. Hi Callie,
    Thank you for your perspective on working a green horse over fences! I had some issues with my young Warmblood initially with trotting immediately after a fence, but used your suggestion of an in and out and he has improved tremendously!
    Thank you again!

  10. We watched your video pn teaching a young horse to jump and would like to know how long you stay on one exercise before moving up to the next step. We have a 5yr old appendix who we have just started over fences.
    Please let me know,
    Thanks

    1. Hi Peter, that is a great question and it really depends on the individual horse! I would love to have you check out our Building the Showjumper program for a detailed training structure for starting a horse over fences 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  11. Thank you Callie. Your videos are priceless, every single one. I have the opportunity to ride a three year old who is eager, smart and capable. Your approach is sensible and clearly stated and I am eager to apply your lessons.
    His trainer took him over a couple cross rails which he did, but there was no confidence in his stride. Thank you for sharing your experience as your approach has addressed all what I observed happening – from his foot placement and balance to his confidence. He wants to please, which is what got him over the cross rail but my concern is the anxiety I perceived which needs to be nipped in the bud. If at all possible I want to help him become secure on his feet, be able to correct himself if I fail in my “job” on the approaches, and I would like him to feel confident. Your video helped me to visualize all of that and gave me hope – maybe we really can achieve these lofty goals! Thank you Callie

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