Now that the summer is truly here, riders at Horses With Hope are taking advantage of the warm days and lovely dry footing to do a lot of outside jumping. During the winter we set up small jumps in the indoor and did a lot of work over poles and caveletti, but there is nothing better than heading outside- where we then have the ability to incorporate other natural obstacles. Jumping makes for a fun change of pace for both horse and rider, and as with all our other obstacle work, we hope that it will help to create more confident horses who fully trust their riders.
With our younger horses, simply trotting over flowerboxes in the ring or small logs in the field provides a relaxed introduction to jumping. We simply want these guys to get to the other side quietly, and it’s a nice way for them to begin to figure out their footwork while adding interest to the ride. For the older horses with previous experience, jumping is a great way to improve fitness and to improve the overall connection with their rider- and it is a lot of fun!
We do many ‘outrides’ with all of our horses, and it is great to be able to present them to natural ‘obstacles’ along the way. Water crossings, small ditches, up-banks, down-banks, and logs are all likely to be found out on the trail, and when we make them just a part of the ride the horses learn that they are easy to navigate. This summer, we’re working towards adding a few new jumps to our field and trails, and also looking forward to getting Hopie and Raven out to some schooling shows and 3-phase events. So far, everyone seems to be taking the jumping in stride- and having a blast. Happy summer!