Video Series – Loose Jumping with Ellen Terray Part 3

Video Series - Loose Jumping with Ellen Terray Part 3

Video Series – Loose Jumping with Ellen Terray Part 3

So far, in this exciting video series from professional trainer Ellen Terray, we have focused on ground work. Part 1 looked at the basic movements that can be executed from the ground including leading in hand, circles, way of going and bending. Part 2 moved on from this with turn on the forehand, leg yield and mounting.

In this, part 3 of our video series with Ellen Terray, she moves her attention to loose jumping and includes the lessons that loose jumping can teach the horse, how beneficial it can be as well as some great ‘how to’ pointers to help you along the way.

About Ellen

Ellen Terray is a professional trainer from Malmesbury in Wiltshire. She specialises in producing horses of all ages and abilities for dressage and eventing and uses a system that combines her classical training with aspects of natural horsemanship to produce well mannered, happy athletes.  More information about Ellen can be found here:


Horse – Darcy, the horse used in this video is a young dressage horse belonging to Tessa Thorne and Nicky Hand and ridden by Abbie Newbury. Here is the first time she had jumped loose. The pony is Mrs Potts who came from Blue Cross.

Loose Jumping:

The video below demonstrates Darcy loose schooling over a grid of poles that’s gradually built up, as she becomes more confident. Note the even use of rein, she is asked to attempt each side an even number of times, without ‘over doing’ the amount of work.


Loose jumping can be really fun for you and your horse, especially in the winter months.

It gives the horse a chance to move freely when turnout is restricted and gives you a chance to observe a freely moving horse and learn about its movement, temperament, abilities to learn and progress in it’s training.

– Your horse will learn without pressure to go over whatever is in put in front of him/her.

–  It gives them chance to learn how to adjust their stride over various distances.

– Most important – the horse learns in playful way and becomes confident to efficiently use it’s body, adjust it’s stride and think for itself when faced with an obstacle. That is in all makes life a lot easier when the rider is on board.

– Especially helpful tool for training and exercising children’s ponies. They learn to look after the children

The set up:

1. Safe enclosed arena or indoor with relatively firm (not too loose surface).

2. In smaller arenas two people holding a lunge whips is plenty, in longer ones you might need to add one more person in the middle.

3. Small simple grids are better for learning than one big jump.

3. When setting the grid try to keep it as simple as possible otherwise it will take too long to adjust every time.

4. It’s better to build the grid which horse can approach from either direction without you having to change it.

5. Use poles or visible rope to create a tunnel. If using the rope make sure it can be undone easily if needed.


1. Start by leading the horse through it a few times in each direction with few poles on the ground.

2. Let it go on it’s own; look out for horse moving around consistently, confidently and in nice rhythm.

3. Gradually start putting up the fences; one or couple of small ones depending on how your horse reacting.

4. Be careful not to over face! Try to keep it small, simple and enjoyable.

5. Put the grid back down to poles to wind down and finish.

6. Make sure to send horse equally in either direction at each stage of exercise.

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