Badminton winner Sam Griffiths shares his tips for jumping success
A competitive showjumping round is the result of correct training from the most basic level onwards. Last month, I showed you how to improve your balance and straightness, and how to establish a forward-going jumping canter. With this foundation firmly in place, you can build and refine your skills and your horse’s performance. The next step is to start thinking about more advanced ringcraft, including adjusting your horse’s stride between fences, working on maintaining balance through your turns and developing more hindleg activity for a cleaner jump.
Set three canter poles on a straight line. They should each be four strides – around 13 metres – apart. Canter through the line in a normal canter first, then try fitting five strides between the second and third poles. After, make it three. You can raise the difficulty level by adding a stride between the first two poles and removing
a stride between the second, and vice versa.
Why it works:
Practising changing your horse’s stride over poles on the ground is a great introduction to making adjustments on a course, but without the pressure of fences to think about. It’s especially helpful if your horse tends to anticipate a fence and rush towards it or fall on the forehand. This exercise can also be easily modified – you can change the distances between the poles or place the poles on a curved line to test your balance through a turn, while also making adjustments to your horse’s strides.
For more exercises to improve your horse’s adjustibility to create a better jump, get your copy of February Horse&Rider here, on sale 15 December.