Corners require accurate riding and can be daunting for both horse and rider. There are several ingredients that make up a good jump over a corner. Here we list the things you need to check off before you take off.

Speed and control

Firstly make sure you don’t approach the corner too fast. Keep it controlled and show the corner some respect as they are often upright, unforgiving fences. The canter needs to be active and have quality without being fast.

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Find your line

Focus on the centre of the back of the corner right in the middle of the flags. It’s very important that you don’t try to jump the widest part of the corner as this can make the fence almost impossible as you move up the levels. So when training in the early stages, train yourself and your horse to jump near to the flag on the narrowest part of the corner. This means that your horse will be used to jumping the tricky narrow part when faced with a corner fence at competition. Whichever line you pick, stay on it and don’t allow your horse to drift. Keep your shoulders square onto the fence (and the horse’s too.).

Balance

Ensure your horse is between your leg and hand. Think of creating a funnel between your two reins to channel your horse on exactly the line you want to jump the corner on.

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Start small

Once horses learn to run out it’s very hard to stop them from doing it in the future. Even genuine horses will run out if they can’t see their way through. So in order to build up confidence and to help minimise the chances of your horse learning to run out, start training over small corners. You can easily build your own corner to train over at home, using plastic blocks or small barrels with poles. You can use a guide pole at the side of the fence to help keep your horse on his line if you find him struggling with the question. Don’t build it too wide to begin with – you can open it up later when you gain confidence and know your line.

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