View Full Version : How does a horse's "free-jump" relate to their "U/S jump"?

Apr. 22, 2009, 08:05 PM
I was lunging/free-jumping my girl (greenbean 10 yr old, OTTB) and I was surprised by what a nice jump she seems to have. It really isn't that important to me since she is just a project horse and I don't plan on showing her much, she is just my baby.

I am curious those who free-jump their horses how different is it from their U/S jump? :)

I think this is good form but I am very biased so I could be blind. :D

Here is my little girl - http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y201/chichirme/100_6420.jpg

Dapple Dawn Farm
Apr. 23, 2009, 05:43 PM
What a CUTIE!!! I've been wondering the same myself for my OTTB.

Apr. 23, 2009, 06:55 PM
She looks very cute. :)

Apr. 23, 2009, 07:12 PM
She looks very cute, and like she has a good attitude towards it all. :)

Free jumping is the best way to get a look at a horse's natural form and scope, and attitude, without influence or interference from the rider.

Free jumping done right can help improve a horse's confidence and balance, let it learn how to use its body, and teach it how to get itself into and out of a jump -- and into and out of trouble. The horse will eventually need to learn to adjust to the rider's weight and interference/influence, but it will have some idea of what a jump is and what to do with its body.

A rider may improve or completely screw up the horse's natural form. Of course, the goal is to get the horse jumping its best under saddle, since we don't exactly have free jumping competitions outside of WB breeding inspections. :) But free jumping can be a good start.

Apr. 23, 2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks, for the imput. My mare is currently at the "x-rail" stage of her jump training and lots of flat work. She seems pretty willing but is more nervious u/s, she is a good girl and tries.

Here is a pic u/s from her first show last summer, she had a bit of relapse this winter (chilly weather + over-faced = lost confidence) so we have stopped course work and are back at single fences and trot-in/trot-out lines. She is improving steadily and is much easier to work with now that the weather is getting nicer.


Apr. 24, 2009, 12:21 AM
he doesn't chip :lol:

Apr. 24, 2009, 08:17 AM
I free jump ALL my horses on a regular bases.
It helps them find their own balance before introducing a rider into the equation.
Those who jump well free, jump well under tack, and some who jump badly free, jump better under tack.
But there are those who just jump bad regardless, usually conformation dictates if they can't pull w/ the shoulders and get the forearms up.
But its a great tool to analyze your horse before putting under tack.

Apr. 24, 2009, 09:03 PM
IMO, a good free jumper will be a good jumper u/s. But a bad free jumper may be helped immensely by a good ride and good exercises to improve his form. So, I wouldn't necessarily write off a horse with less than perfect form free jumping.

Having said that, I don't think it is overly valuable.

Apr. 24, 2009, 11:24 PM
I like free jumping a lot as a way of letting the horse figure things out for himself sans rider interference.

HOWEVER, I don't think it is really a great predictor of a horse's jumping ability. Most horses can manage to scrape over a 4' fence while free jumping, but that does not mean the horse will have the ability to jump a course that high under saddle. Too many people go "OMG! My horse jumped out of his paddock! He MUST be a Grand Prix prospect!" And we all know how often they are wrong.

I use free jumping as a way of evaluating a young horse who is not yet jumping under saddle, because I do think it tells a rider about a horse's natural form and attitude to fences. Just not necessarily his scope or ability to negotiate a course.

Apr. 25, 2009, 02:15 PM
Slightly OT but I have a question...is it rude to ask to see a young horse free jumped before you buy?

I usually buy TB's & I've almost never had a bad jumping TB but I just came across a very cute WB/Arab cross that I am considering for a hunter prospect. However, I haven't known too many arabs that jumped well at all so I am a little leery of buying without seeing some sort of indication of what the horse might do over a fence.


Apr. 25, 2009, 06:20 PM
I would ask - for exactly the reason you state.

Apr. 25, 2009, 11:06 PM
To the OP. In both pictures, you horse looks like she does three things right-- rocks back on her hind end, creates a nice bascule (with plenty of scope) and raises her knees high and even.

All you need to do is continue working on her flat work and getting her quiet to the fences. When she is thinking and relaxed, which both help her get to an optimal distance, she'll tend to jump as you have seen her loose or in her baby year. It can only get better from here. Just don't hurry her.

Apr. 26, 2009, 12:35 AM
Slightly OT but I have a question...is it rude to ask to see a young horse free jumped before you buy?

We have regularly had clients ask for free jumping footage of youngsters for sale. Doesn't bother me a bit, and I'd guess most sellers try to be as helpful as possible for their clients.

Apr. 26, 2009, 02:32 AM
I agree with Gretchen. Most breeders seem willing to pop a youngster over something small. I definitely want to see them jump before I would buy. Some of the best movers turn out to be THE worst jumpers!!