My horse is afraid of jump wings.


New Member
I have been having trouble getting my horse to jump. He is fine over trotting poles but as soon as he has to go through jump wings (even when there is no pole) he backs away and no amount of impulsion or leg will get him to go through them. As far as i know he has never jumped before, and definitely hasnt had a jumping accident. So is there a way to gradually get him used to the wings, as i do eventually want to jump him? I was thinking about putting a pole on the ground with the jump wings far apart and each time he walks over the pole i should slowly bringing the wings closer together, is this a stupid idea?


Well-known Member
Approach and retreat works really well, as does being willing to get off and lead. Horses like to be able to see someone to follow when they're afraid.

My jumps just get put in the paddock with the horses. They live with them. The jump wings and jumps themselves [I'm lazy and leave them set up] very quickly become "part of the scenery" and no longer pose an issue. [our girls are just 3 so not jumped yet, but they still live with jumps in the paddock]

It is also possible that your horse is taking the mickey. Mum's filly does that - puts on this massive act of "OMG I'M SCARED!" when really she just doesn't want to do whatever it is she's being asked to do and has worked out a way of getting out of having to do it. She is a very intelligent pony and a right stubborn witch!


New Member
Making jumps part of the scenery could definitely help but passing between the wings may still be a problem unless you directly tackle the issue. I would suggest doing some groundwork to build trust and establish yourself as the leader. Horses never argue with their herd leader! You should be able to move the horse in any direction and to lead it or send it wherever you want. Do some groundwork exercises away from the jumps until your horse is totally obedient and then work around the wings and then between the wings. It'll be good for both of you and it'll be fun!


New Member
Have you tried lifting the pole with something other than a jump wing? Maybe a few cavalletties to get his confidence of lift off up? How does he go with solid fill, like a barrel on its side or a log, or tyres?

I had a pony who was freaked out by the whistle of the wind through the wings. She actually loved to jump. We were great over cross country, or over jumps at home mounted on barrels, logs or milk crates, but when it came to showjumping in competition she was a nutjob due to the whistling of the strong wind through the wings in my region. I was a kid jumping 85cms tops so didn't pursue showjumping with her seriously. We had a ball at cross country and that was enough for me at PC not to get frustrated with her silly showjumping freak outs.

I never tried ear muffs/covers with her, but if I was to have a similar pony now it would certainly be something I would consider.
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