The basic steps to learn horse jumping are developing a secure seat, riding over poles, riding over cavaletti, and then mastering small cross rail jumps. At that point, the rider is ready to work up to higher jumps in the arena with a focus on developing good form.
- Pay attention to safety
Always check your tack for defects, and wear appropriate safety equipment when learning to jump. An approved safety helmet and sturdy leather boots with a heel are essential to jumping safely.
- Develop a secure seat
Practice riding at all gaits until you are confident. Develop a secure seat at each gait in the forward or two-point position, which is used during jumps. It is dangerous to attempt jumping before you have mastered the basics.
- Ride over poles
Practice riding your horse over a series of poles set across the riding arena. After mastering the process at a walk, practice going over the poles at a trot. Next, conquer the poles at a trot in the two-point position. Finally, practice riding over the poles at a canter.
- Learn to ride over cavaletti
Cavaletti are poles that are slightly raised from the ground. While riding over cavaletti, your horse makes movements that are similar to those made during jumps. Learn to ride over cavaletti at a trot and a canter.
- Practice cross rail jumps
Take your horse over a small cross rail jump. Focus on keeping a secure seat throughout the jump. Keep your head up, and look where you are going, not down at the jump. As the horse goes over the rail, move into the two-point position, and lift your hands to avoid pulling on the horse's mouth.