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Jumping Crossrails: Mastering the Basics and Progressing Safely

Introduction to Jumping Crossrails

As a beginner rider, jumping crossrails can seem intimidating and overwhelming. However, with a solid foundation, careful observation of advanced riders, and the use of online resources, this skill can be mastered in no time.

In this article, we will define crossrail jumps, emphasize the importance of building a strong foundation, explore ways to learn from advanced riders, and discuss the benefits of watching videos of jumping. Whether you are a new rider or a seasoned equestrian, this article will provide valuable insights on how to jump crossrails with confidence.

Definition of Crossrail Jump

A crossrail jump is a type of jump that consists of two small fences. These fences are placed on opposite sides of the arena and form a X shape in the middle.

Crossrails are typically set at a low height, making them perfect for beginner riders who are just learning how to jump. Crossrails are also used in advanced riding to work on rider position, striding, distances, and overall technique.

Importance of Building a Solid Foundation

One of the most important aspects of jumping crossrails is building a strong foundation. Having a solid foundation includes mastering the basics such as having a correct position, a steady leg, and good balance.

Without a strong foundation, it’s difficult to progress to more advanced jumping techniques. Having a good lower leg position is critical for a solid foundation.

Your leg should remain in constant contact with your horse’s side, providing a steady base for the rest of your body. This allows you to maintain balance and control throughout the jump.

Timing is also a crucial aspect of a solid foundation. Your timing should be spot on during the approach, jump, and landing.

A well-timed jump results in a smooth and flowing ride.

Observing Advanced Riders

Watching advanced riders is an excellent way to learn how to jump crossrails. Observing advanced riders and how they approach jumps will give you a better understanding of how to ride your own horse over jumps.

You will also learn how different riders position themselves during the approach, takeoff, and landing of the jump. Pay attention to their position, leg, and balance throughout the jump.

Observing experienced riders will also give you insights into striding and distances. Proper striding is critical to achieving a successful jump.

The approach and takeoff stride should be consistent to avoid knocking down the crossrail. Advanced riders have a honed sense of distance, which allows them to successfully clear each jump.

By observing advanced riders, you will begin to develop your own sense of striding and distances.

Benefits of Watching Videos of Jumping

The internet is full of equestrian vlogs, online resources, tutorials, and lesson videos that can help you improve your jump. Watching videos of jumping can give you a visual understanding of how it should be done.

You can observe different riders and how they approach the jump, from beginner level to highly advanced. One benefit of watching videos of jumping is that you can pause, rewind and slow down the video.

This allows you to watch and understand every moment of the jump, from the approach to landing. Rewatching sections of the video will help you pick up on the details that advanced riders use to perform a successful jump.

Watching lesson or tutorial videos will also give you insights into what an instructor might focus on during a jumping lesson. You can see how they position their students, work through different exercises, and give feedback on technique.

This will also help you identify areas where you may need to focus on improving.


Jumping crossrails is an exciting and thrilling experience that every rider should put effort into mastering. Building a solid foundation, observing advanced riders, and watching videos of jumping are all valuable ways to improve your technique and confidence.

With consistent practice and dedication, you can develop your own sense of timing and striding that will elevate your jumping skills and take you to the next level. However, always remember to prioritize safety and work with an experienced instructor.

Happy jumping!

Safety Considerations

Jumping crossrails can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety. Wearing protective equipment and having eyes on the ground are crucial safety considerations.

Wearing Protective Equipment

When jumping, it’s always important to wear appropriate protective equipment. A properly fitting helmet is essential to protect your head in case of a fall.

Boots with heels are also recommended as they give you more control and stability in the stirrups. It is vital to ensure that your boots and helmet are in good condition and meet safety standards to provide adequate protection.

The Importance of Having Eyes on the Ground

Having a trainer or an advanced rider on the ground is a critical safety consideration when jumping. The guidance of someone experienced can provide valuable feedback on your technique and help you identify any areas that may need improvement.

It’s important to listen to their advice because jumping can be dangerous if done incorrectly. An experienced rider or trainer can help you focus on areas such as timing, striding, balance, and overall technique to improve your safety and confidence.

Jumping Techniques

When jumping crossrails, there are several techniques to keep in mind to ensure accuracy, precision, and safety.

Approaching the Crossrail

Approaching the crossrail can be done in a trot or canter, depending on your horse’s level of impulsion. A good approach means your horse maintains a steady, rhythmic pace, ensuring the correct striding and timing for the jump.

A correctly timed takeoff will help you and your horse successfully clear the fence.

Staying Straight Before and After the Fence

Keeping a straight line when approaching and exiting the jump is crucial. Failure to do this can result in your horse running out or being off-balance, which increases the risk of injury.

Keeping your horse straight before and after the fence is essential for a smooth ride.

Maintaining the Two-Point Position

The two-point position is essential to maintaining balance and stability during the jump. Your legs should remain in constant contact with your horse’s sides, while your upper body is slightly forward and your seat is out of the saddle.

Maintaining this position helps absorb the impact of the landing and maintain your balance over the jump.

Looking Up and Focusing on the Fence

Focusing on the fence can help you maintain your confidence, stride, and timing. You should look at the fence precisely at eye level, never hesitating and keeping your focus on the target.

This helps prevent you from unintentionally pulling on the reins, which can interfere with your horse’s jump.

The Benefits of Grabbing Mane

Many riders find grabbing mane or using a neck strap helpful for stability during the jump. Grabbing a handful of mane can provide stability and help you maintain your position.

It’s important to practice this technique in a controlled environment, such as with a trainer or advanced rider on the ground.

The Fold and Release Technique

After takeoff, riders should practice the fold and release technique. As your horse leaves the ground, fold your upper body forward, bringing your hands towards your horse’s withers.

As your horse starts to land, release your hands and return to a sitting position. This technique will help you maintain your balance and ensure you do not interfere with your horse’s jump.

Riding Away Confidently

After landing from the jump, continue in a straight line at a trot or canter to avoid developing any bad habits, such as slowing down abruptly or changing direction. Focus on maintaining your balance, position, and keeping your horse engaged, ensuring a smooth and confident ride.


Jumping crossrails requires attention to detail, timing, coordination, and skill. By prioritizing safety with appropriate protective equipment and guidance, and mastering essential techniques, you can progress and develop your jumping skills.

Remember to always keep yourself and your horse safe while jumping. Happy riding!

Advancing to More Difficult Jumps

Once you have mastered the basics of jumping crossrails, it’s natural to want to progress to more challenging jumps. This is where you can start increasing the height and variety of jumps to improve your overall skill and versatility.

Increasing the Height and Variety of Jumps

As you progress, you can start increasing the height of jumps gradually. This allows you and your horse to become comfortable with the increased height and adjust to the new challenges.

The goal is to develop your confidence, coordination, and overall technique while working at a safe and appropriate pace. Once you feel comfortable with increased height, you can start introducing more variety in the types of jumps you attempt.

Variations include oxers, verticals, and combinations that challenge you and your horses ability to adjust and maintain balance. Remember to always prioritize your safety when attempting variations, and start slowly and carefully.

Continuing to Learn and Improve

Jumping is a continuous learning process. Even expert riders who have been in the sport for years still take courses and lessons to improve their technique and skill.

It’s important to never become complacent and continue to seek improvement. Working with a trainer is an excellent way to develop your skills and progress to more difficult jumps safely.

Trainers can identify areas for improvement and provide guidance and feedback to help you develop a strong technical foundation. They can also design training programs tailored to your needs that allow you to work on your strengths and tackle your weaknesses.

Attending clinics or courses given by experienced riders or trainers is also a great way to improve your jumping skills. These events provide an opportunity to learn new techniques and strategies, watch top-level riders in action, and network with like-minded equestrians.

Clinics and courses offer riders a chance to receive guidance from experienced mentors who can help them advance to the next level. Another great resource is online learning.

You can find a wide range of videos and tutorials online, with expert riders sharing their knowledge and techniques. There are also virtual courses and webinars available that offer a comprehensive, interactive learning experience to improve overall technique and enhance the riders abilities.


Advancing to more challenging jumps is an exciting step forward for any rider. To do so safely, however, its important to remember to progress gradually and always prioritize your safety.

Work with trainers and mentors, continuously learn and improve, and remember to always put your safety and that of your horse first. With dedication, practice, and patience, you can become the skilled and confident rider youve always wanted to be.

Happy jumping!

In summary, jumping crossrails requires a solid foundation, careful observation of advanced riders, and a commitment to safety. To advance to more challenging jumps, it is important to increase the height and variety of jumps gradually, continuously improve through training or courses, and always prioritize safety.

Remember to work with an experienced trainer, take advantage of online learning resources, and never become complacent in your learning and improvement. Happy jumping!


Q: What protective gear should I wear when jumping crossrails?

A: It’s important to wear a properly fitting helmet and boots with heels. Q: How can I progress to more challenging jumps safely?

A: Progress gradually, increase the height and variety of your jumps slowly, and continue learning through training, courses, and online resources. Q: Why is having a strong foundation important when jumping crossrails?

A: A strong foundation helps maintain balance and correct timing, which are crucial to safe and successful jumping. Q: What are the benefits of watching videos of jumping?

A: Watching videos can help you observe advanced riders and improve your technique by focusing on details such as timing, striding, and balance. Q: How can I maintain my balance and stability during a jump?

A: Maintaining the two-point position and grabbing the mane can both help provide balance and stability during a jump.

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