Humans have the capability to write and talk, but they need to be taught how to do these actions well. It’s the same with horses and jumping. Horses can naturally jump and will likely do so when an object is in their path. However, all horses need to learn how to best coordinate their bodies so that they can clear jumps at a high skill level. If they don’t, they can still get over an object, but they may hit the top or side of it on the way. These mistakes will give them low marks in showjumping events. 

Most horses, aside from those with certain personalities or disabilities, can be taught how to jump well. Before you get them started on the more advanced techniques, however, you have to begin with the basics. Learn how to get your horse started with jumping.

Start With the Smallest Obstacles Possible

Usually, horses that are bound for jumping start with stepping over poles on the ground. Riders should lead their horses over these obstacles while riding the animal. If the horse is too afraid, the rider can gently pull the animal forward while walking in front of or beside it before progressing to riding.

There are two reasons why this is done. The first is to help the horse slowly get over any possible fear that it has of obstacles. It will also be able to start learning how to get its hooves and legs in between objects while it walks. Learning this skill beforehand will help the horse more easily figure out the more difficult jumps, like schooling horse jumps, later. 

Gradually Increase the Heights of the Obstacles

Once the horse has successfully walked over the poles multiple times, you should start increasing the height and width of the jumps. Consider starting with a single pole between two wings and sitting only slightly above the ground. Then you can raise the height of this pole and/or start using more specialty jumps such as roll tops, Oxford crosses and so on. 

When you’re teaching your horse how to jump, be sure to use the best-quality jumps to do so. If you use jumps that are made of inferior materials, your horse could injure itself on a broken piece of a jump while it is practicing. This is especially important during training, as a mount will likely make many mistakes while it’s just starting to learn.