The equestrian lifestyle community.

Back to feed

How to build a horse's confidence over the jumps?

How to build a horse's confidence over the jumps?
With young/ unexperienced horses I always try to do as little as possible. I only try to keep it going as straight to the fence as possible. That way a horse can learn to jump by himself and it will jump the fences more comfortably because you dont change the way you ride to the fences from when you ride dressage. When the horse starts to het more comfortable you can start perfecting the jumps by doing more yourself.
Start low and build up. It will take time, but the horse is confident with one height then build it up. Also, make sure you do a mixture of heights, that horse is comfortable with.
What my trainer says to my is hold on tight and if he or she runs away from the jump u squeeze the leg they are going to miss the jump I have a horse that dose not want to jump
What I’ve been working on lately with the same problem is providing gentle contact with the horse’s mouth during the last strides leading up to the jump while simultaneously applying leg. The contact assures the horse that you are with them and will support them, and the leg ensures that the horse knows you want them to continue at pace. Good luck!
I ride a horse that runs out on the jump sometimes my trainer says to push the horse using the leg on the side that he keeps running out on to and get him to run closer to the other side of the jump hope this makes sense and helps you
Just thought of something. If your horse is running around the jump do you ride with a whip? Keep the whip on the side he is running out on and LIGHTLY tap him with it on that shoulder coming up to the jump. I'm not saying abuse your horse and I'm not saying tap so lightly they can't even feel it. There is a fine line with whips as so many people think they are automatically just abuse :/ do this even if he doesn't run out. Once the running out stop start to stop doing the tabs to show him you trust him and don't let it turn into a robotic movement.
If you are just starting to learn how to jump, I would reccomend starting with an experienced horse, who doesn’t run out or stop. If that’s not an option, I couldn’t add anything else to the comments!
Try keeping a forward pace with more leg than you think you need, not to speed up but for the horse to knows he/she can’t get get away with it. Also, don’t let the horse run past the jump. It’s better to stop in front of the jump rather than running past it. If the horse still isn’t going over it try walking the horse around the jump to the other side, show him/her that it’s not going to hurt him/her. Make sure your not walking the horse the way that he/she is running out. Go the other direction( away from the side he is running out) hope this helps!
Make sure that the horse is forward and just keep on the leg. then keep your outside leg on if there is only one way out of the jump and then keep your inside leg on! That was really hard to understand! But I hope it helps!
Make sure to keep the horse forward, organized and between you legs! Also make sure your sitting up or leaning back and ounce never lean forward! Also make sure your looking up and not down! I ride up and just to the outside of the outside ear if that makes sense😂 I rode a horse just like that, he would not jump anything no matter what😂 and that didn’t really work for me that well but maybe you can try!
ride confidently!!! really sit up and be ready for the fences! if you notice a pattern in which the horse is refusing, try using your aids to keep him/her in line and always ride straight!!
All these answers should help a lot! But if you aren’t confident, your horse won’t be either. Close your leg and let your horse know you’re confident about what you’re doing.
Hi, this is a personal opinion but I would start ftom the ground. If he isn't confident, having a rider on his back second guessing his every move will only make him more nervous.

I would start with ground work, lunging & long reining. I would start with a pole on the floor, then two & then three. I would then raise the poles one at a time. Once he is comfortable & not questioning what you are asking him to do, them raise them to tiny cross poles that he's able to walk over. I would increase from walk to trot to canter as he gets more confident (adjust poles correctly when changing gait).

Once he is happy tackling a larger cross I would start all over with the poles with a rider on his back, lots of praise & don't question what he is going to do. Just travel as though he is going to go over it with no doubt. As soon as the rider doubts, the horse will pull out. How can he trust you, if you don't trust him?

I would advise not to do this all in one day.

I hope it helps. Xx
Just to add on to the comment on small jumps. The jumps should be small enough for your horse to walk over. So if you need to have your horse take it at a walk. Then build up. Don't rush yourself, and if your horse rufuses first try to push him to walk over it and if not successful circle and try again
I don’t know if this would work in the trot but if you sit deep in the saddle and close both legs. If you feel he/ she start to run out kick with that leg
Thanks to all who answered my question.
try Introducing poles through easy groundwork such as trotting poles, canter poles then gradually bring them off the ground by making the smallest jump first then building from there
Start low like poles or small cross rails. Use your leg more to guide the horse to the jump and to make sure that he doesn't sneak out. My horse is the same, its not her confidence but she likes doing drive-bys and tries to sneak away from the jumps.
Again start small with poles and cross rails and make sure that you AND the horse is comfortable with the jump before moving on.
Try using cones or guide rails beside the jump to help prevent the horse sneaking away.
I know it was long but hope it helped! :)
Hi Hollyn
I would say start will low jumps or even poles and use guide rails to guide you horse into the jump also talking to your horse is a amazing to boost confidence and make sure you have a good rein contact and that you are confident as well as horses do pick up on emotions!
Hope this helps
~ Lian