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How to Free Jump a Horse/Pony

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Do you want to see your pony jump without a saddle? Or do you not have tack but want to jump your horse? Well why not try free jumping? Free jumping should not be an unattainable feat. It should be an easy, simple, hassle-free job that you can complete with confidence.


  1. 1
    Set up your jump. You will need to set up the jump A) Along the fence. Or B) In the middle. However if you have an outdoor arena make sure your jump is smaller than the arena fence. If it is bigger, the horse might get confused and jump out of the arena!
  2. 2
    Put your block on one or two sides of the fence. The blocks mean your horse has a better chance of jumping the fence straight.
  3. 3
    Put a pole where the jump will be. This pole is used both as a guide and warm up jump. You can place wings on either side of your jump, but make sure any wings you use do not have cups attached. (These are a safety hazard)
  4. 4
    Get your horse/pony. Your horse should be groomed, as if you are going to ride, but should not be tacked up. You can either exercise your horse in a headcollar or an in-hand bridle (A bridle with the reins taken off)
  5. 5
    Lunge your horse/pony to warm them up. Lunging the horse allows you to warm them up safely as when you remove the lunge line your control is limited.
  6. 6
    Unclip the lunge line. Take your horse/pony by the halter/bridle up to the pole. A few feet away let go of your horse/pony. Urge your pony over the pole with hands, voice and only if needed a whip. You may want to lead them over first, if your horse is young or nervous.
  7. 7
    When your horse/pony is used to going round the arena, trotting and cantering, over the pole, on each rein then put the pole up to a jump. Remember to start with a cross pole and gradually work upward.
  8. 8
    Get your horse/pony jumping confidently over the jump on both reins.
  9. 9
    If your horse is feeling up to it, you may want to add a bounce or a grid.
  10. 10
    When your horse/pony feels up to you can put the jump up or add more challenges such as spreads, fillers, gates, waters, etc.
  11. 11
    If you want a real challenge then you can try to get your horse going over the jumps in course, without blocks. This is done completely off body language.

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A video describing how to get the most out of free jumping.


  • Let your horse/pony choose its own take off stride. This way you will know when you ride him if, left to his own choice, he will jump early or late.
  • Free jumping is great but make sure they know what they are doing before you start setting up doubles and grids.
  • If you are teaching a young horse to jump for the first time, it is advised that you to put on a numnah with a girth or massage pad with a girth as soon as you begin. This will introduce him to carrying a light weight over small fences, and you can build up from there.


  • This must be done in an arena or grass school, as long as the area is safe and fenced in.
  • If your horse does drop his legs and you are using solid poles, please protect his legs with boots or bandages to prevent injury.
  • After leading your horse over a jump with tack on in 8, ensure that you do twist the reins as if you don't, they could fall over your horse's head and he could trip on them and break the reins and his leg.
  • If your horse/pony does not want to don't make him.
  • Do not over push your horse/pony.

Things You'll Need

  • Jumps
  • An arena
  • A horse or pony
  • A halter
  • Or a bridle
  • A lunge line
  • A lunge whip

Article Info

Categories: Riding

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