The Magazine March 2024

Showjumping solutions

Posted 16th January 2024

Check out our ideas for solving some of the most common showjumping problems


Balance, control, rhythm, straightness and strength are five of the building blocks that – when working in harmony – help produce a successful showjumping round. But a breakdown in any one of these key elements can lead to a multitude of problems. So, if you’re looking to refine your skills or you’re having a little trouble, here are five ideas to help you fix them in your training.

Top tip

Before you address anything in your training sessions, it’s important to get your horse checked over by your vet and bodyworker for any underlying problems that could be causing the issues you’re facing.


How you set up your horse to each fence can greatly impact the outcome of the jump, and a wonky approach can lead to dropped poles, run outs and even a poor getaway.

How to fix it

Poles are your friend when it comes to improving straightness and there are some really simple ways to set them out that will do wonders for improving your approach. Try building a channel of parallel poles into the fence, approximately 1m apart, then position two poles on the fence as V-poles. This will help make your approach straight and encourage your horse to jump the middle of the fence, too.

Did you know?

You can test your horse’s straightness – and find out how much he relies on the fence – by riding slightly off the outside track. Doing this can help highlight which rein is weaker.


Does your horse clip poles with the tips of his hind hooves as he lands from a fence? You might think this problem is due to poor technique in the air, but it could be stemming from a lack of strength in your horse’s hindquarters. This is because if he’s not pushing at the point of take-off with both of his hindlegs in line and at the same time, the trailing leg will often clip the back rail.

How to fix it

Think about adjusting your horse’s exercise routine to focus on building strength in his hindquarters. Hillwork, hacking, polework and gymnastic jumping exercises, such as bounces and grids, will all help increase muscle tone. In addition, placing poles will encourage his feet into the correct position as he takes off.

Learn more about how to solve common showjumping problems in March Horse&Rider. Get your copy today!

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