How to Train Your Horse to Jump Solid Fences

If you are training horseback jumping, you will eventually need to move on to solid fences. This can be somewhat of a difficult transition for the horse, which in turn makes if challenging for you as the rider.


  1. 1
    Understand that it is in horse's nature to run away from anything suspicious or scary. And a solid fence or small wall can very well be scary. Therefore, be aware of your horse's ears, as they will show you when (s)he is scared (they will be pointing backwards), and when (s)he is about to try and escape.
  2. 2
    Start low. Even if you usually jump quite high (say for example 1 metre), start with a way smaller solid fence (in this example, 0'6 metres), so that the horse will feel more confident. Keep practicing with the small solid fence until you notice that your horse is no longer afraid of it, and jumps it naturally. Then, you may move to a larger one.
  3. 3
    Show your horse the fence before you try to make him/her jump it. That is to say, as you are starting to warm up your horse, you can walk by the fence a couple times, forcing the horse to look at it, and smelling it if possible. This way, (s)he will get used to it faster.
  4. 4
    Use a controlled gait. When approaching the solid fence, always keep a steady but controlled rhythm since the horse is quite likely to refuse the fence. Leaning slightly backwards and holding the reins tightly will also help encourage your horse to jump, and will help you not to fall if the horse happens to refuse to jump. When you are about two or three metres away from the fence, you may also press your heels against the horse, to push him/her forwards and encourage (s)he to jump.
  5. 5
    Do not stress or get frustrated. It may take some time before your horse learns to jump solid fences. Perseverance and patience are the keys to success!


  • Pay attention to your horses' body language
  • Show the fence to your horse before you try to jump it
  • Always lean slightly backwards and hold the reins firmly when approaching the fence
  • Have patience. Teaching a horse takes time!

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Categories: Horse Showing and Competition