The majority of cross country courses that you will come across will have a water jump of some description, which can range from a stream crossing to a water complex with jumps into and out of water as well jumps located within the water as well.
For lower levels of eventing the water jumps are often inviting and ask the horse to enter the water and jump out. As the level increases , so does the difficulty with horses being asked to jump over a jump directly into water often with a jump out of the water as well. In more advanced classes the horse may also be required to jump a fence positioned in the water as well adding to the stamina and athleticism required.
Riding A Water Jump
Maintaining an even rhythm with plenty of impulsion whilst keeping your horse firmly between leg and hand is essential in order to keep your horse moving confidently through the water jump. Young inexperienced horses may hesitate before entering a water complex so you need to ensure that they remain in front of your leg and encourage them to keep moving forward.
Practice Water Jumps
If you have a young or inexperienced horse the best way to introduce water is by using a stream or a water jump that you can paddle into, have an experienced water horse with you to give your horse a lead in as this can prove invaluable in giving a young horse confidence. Once the horse is walking into and out of water confidently you can practice trotting in and out and later on cantering through the water.
When the horse is ready you can then start adding jumps as well. If possible start off by jumping up a low step to leave the water or jump a low step to enter the water. Some horses take longer than others do to gain confidence with water jumps so be patient and progress at your horses pace as it will pay off in the long run.