Fed up with your horse drifting over a fence or falling so far off his line that he runs out?
The following handy exercise from international showjumper Daniel Moseley will help iron out this problem. By teaching a horse to stay straight when jumping at home, he will be ready to record a clear round on competition day.
1 Place two single fillers on a line five strides apart. Daniel measures this as 20 yards, making it a short five-stride distance.
2 Begin with guide poles resting on the edges of the fillers to help funnel your horse over them.
3 As you become more confident, place the poles on the floor, before taking them away completely.
“Don’t get too hooked up on the distance in between the fillers,” says Daniel. “The main focus is how straight your horse is from filler to filler, and keeping him between your leg and hand.”
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4 Daniel prefers to approach the fillers in a short, bouncy canter. Green horses, or less experienced riders, might prefer to trot.
“Slowing the canter as much as possible means I can control where the horse is going and make sure he isn’t drifting out through the shoulders before jumping,” adds Daniel.
5 The primary aim is to keep the horse straight, resulting in five even strides between the fillers.
“It really doesn’t matter if he goes on five or six strides, as long as he is straight.”
6 Young horses, particularly those who are tall, are likely to be wobbly at first. As a result, it is easy to lose the shoulders and allow them to drift.
“Keeping the horse between leg and hand, maintaining a good rhythm and an even stride, should iron out this problem,” concludes Daniel.
For more easy-to-follow jumping exercises that can be done at home, don’t miss the current issue of H&H Ask The Trainer, on sale now