How to School a Pony over Its First Jump

Three Parts:Setting upWarming upLearning to jump

Make sure you are equipped with all the right tack and safety gear before schooling a pony over its first jump. You'll need all your concentration focused on the pony and the jump, as it will not be easy the first few times.

Part 1
Setting up

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    Place four poles on the ground. Place these next to some jump wings, in readiness for use as the poles get raised with growth in the pony's confidence.
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    Check to make sure that the striding is right for your pony.

Part 2
Warming up

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    Warm up. Get your pony on the bit.
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    Start by doing 10 minutes of walking, then 15 minutes of trotting, then 5 minutes of cantering.
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    Practice doing serpentines and figure eights.

Part 3
Learning to jump

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    Use a walk, then trot, then canter to go cautiously over the poles. Repeat until your pony is confident and going over without hesitation.
    • Be prepared for anything. Keep your leg on and look ahead.
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    Raise one of the poles a tiny bit. Repeat the walk, trot, canter over it until the pony is confident with each approach.
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    Place two poles into a small cross pole. Then walk up to the jump and let your pony look at it, to become familiar with what it will shortly jump.
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    Walk up to the jump but this time a bit faster, with your leg on. Your pony may hesitate but speak softly to encourage and reassure it that what you are doing is okay. Be prepared for it to leap or stop.
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    Repeat in trot. Always remember that this is scary for your pony––it's new and daunting. Anything could happen and it's as if you're suddenly jumping off the monkey bars––you'd hesitate and find it scary at first too.
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    Do not go into canter yet. Give it a few more tries jumping fillers and coloured poles.
    • Keep the jump on cross poles but change the height. Do not try spreads or combinations yet, as your pony is not used to having to stride and pace itself at this stage.
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    Don't forget to end on a good note. Pat your pony and praising it. Always cool down effectively, on a long rein.
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    Praise your pony after. Give it a treat, acknowledging that the pony did a brave thing for you. However the exercise went, the pony still tried to please you.

Tips

  • Always take it carefully.
  • Be cautious but brave.
  • Be in charge, otherwise you horse will not listen.

Warnings

  • This can be a dangerous task and you are taking a big risk. It's a good idea to do this with someone experienced spotting and/or guiding.

Things You'll Need

  • Jump poles and wings
  • Horse tack
  • Horse treats
  • Riding gear


Article Info

Categories: Horses