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How to get a horse to jump

I have a 19 year old thoroughbred retired race horse and I would like to start jumping with him. I have set up a log jump for him to go over but when I try to get him over it he ether canters up to it then stops and does a big cat jump over it. Or, he runs around the jump. What to do to get him to like jumping and to do it right?

Thanks, Anna

Hi Anna,

Practice on the ground first doing a lot of ground games. Lunging over fences starting with caveletties will work well. Start low and small and build up. You cannot expect a horse to just start jumping over logs if he has never done it. Also, if you are not a good rider who knows how to ride from their 'seat' and give a horse confidence, the horse will be afraid to jump. Also, there may be something physical inhibiting the horse from jumping (like back or leg pain for instance). You should definately get a vet check before beginning any strenuous endeavour. Forget trying to "make" your horse do anything. What is needed is for you to become his great teacher. Teach him to trust you first and make certain there is nothing physical preventing the horse from jumping.

Do not blame your horse for anything. It is never the horse's fault. It is always human error.

Good Luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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