If you have ever watched an old Western or you were dazzled by the skill of the Lone Ranger, you might have dreamed of becoming a horse jumper. After all, watching those steeds and rides take on horse jump gates or rock walls with stride, power, and accuracy was exhilarating. However, not all horse riders will be jumpers, and horses just don’t wake up one day and decide to scale a picket fence. If you don’t want to jump, you can still participate in competitions that assess dressage, endurance, pleasure, or polo. If you want to jump, then here are a few things to get you started.
Start at Your Own Pace
It might be thrilling, but true jumping that is safe for you and your horse takes time. Don’t feel pressured to display results within the first few lessons or training sessions. Do what feels comfortable for both you and the horse. It is a team effort, and you need to go at your own pace.
Have the Right Equipment
It will take a little bit of investment to get ready for jumping, but safety first is one key reason to take note. Always wear an approved ASTM helmet. You should have an all-purpose or close contact saddle. These have a more shallow seat and shorter flap making it easier to get out if the saddle when hurdling the fence. Show saddles restrict your movement. You should only use riding boots that have at least a 1-inch heel. Check your tack before each ride, as weak and tear can turn into a break when you are jumping. Clean it thoroughly after use, and keep it in good condition if you want it to last a long time.
As you prepare to get started, it is never a good idea to learn with a horse that is inexperienced. It is best to get your footing on the skills and techniques you need with a horse that can adjust to the process.