Finding a good rhythm

Position the pole around 45cm (18in) in front of the jump. As the fence gets higher you can pull it out a little bit further.

Learning points

  • Your horse needs to work forward with impulsion if he’s slow to react to your leg aids, back them up with the whip. If it doesn’t have the effect you want, you should consider using spurs. You need to generate impulsion in order to achieve the collection you want for show jumping.

  • On the approach to a fence, aim for a contained canter but don’t confuse this with holding your horse back.

  • Soften forward on take off so you don’t get left behind or run the risk of pulling on the horse’s mouth. If your horse tends to jump to one side, for example to the right, aim for the middle and use a strong left rein and right leg.

  • Lean a jump pole on the side of the fence to guide you into the centre.

  • Introduce fillers and different types of fences into your schooling work at home to add variety and so you’re prepared for when you go to competitions.