Grid of the Month – March 2016

In this category of articles, I will suggest, every month, a jumping grid-type exercise. This can be useful to vary your work, to address a particular jumping problem or simply to perfect yours and your horse’s technique. If you have suggestions or if you have a specific problem, please let me know!

March 2016

Target : Get better turns when jumping

Set Up

GridOTM-Mar16

Place four jumps according to the image. You can put the number of strides you want between jumps 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, based on the size of your ring. I recommend to keep the height of the jumps at a level below your competition level.

Progression

  1. Begin by warming up on a single jump, both directions.
  2. Start by jumping 1 and 2, then circle after 2. Walk, pat your horse.
  3. From a left lead canter, jump 2 and 3, then circle after 3. Walk, pat your horse.
  4. Once the circles are easy on both directions, do the complete course, from jump 1 through jump 4.

You want to pay attention to where the rider is looking. We want to teach the horse to follow that indication, so he can easily rebalance after a jump and be ready to turn in the desired direction. You can start by doing bigger circles (15 meters), but your goal should be, in multiples work sessions, to do this exercise with 10 meters circles.

Enjoy!

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Grid of the Month – February 2016

In this new category of articles, I will suggest, every month, a jumping grid-type exercise. This can be useful to vary your work, to address a particular jumping problem or simply to perfect yours and your horse’s technique. If you have suggestions or if you have a specific problem, please let me know!

February 2016

Target : Improve straightness and accuracy over jumps

Set Up

GridOTM-Feb16

Start by setting up a crossrail in the middle of the ring along with four ground poles, at a 45° angle from the jump, one stride away.

Progression

  1. Start by jumping the crossrail on a straight line, going between the poles, from both direction.
  2. Once this is done, aim to jump the cross rail at an angle. To do that, go over one pole, then the jump and over the second pole, on a straight line. Do this from both leads and direction. At this stage, it is essential that the horse stays straight throughout the exercise, going over the middle of each element.
  3. When the exercise is easy on a straight line, we can start turning. Go over a pole and the jump, like in the previous step, then turn and go between the two poles after the jump. The horse must follow where your eyes are looking and turn easily before proceding to the next step.
  4. Finally, the last step is to go over a pole and the jump, then turn and go over the second pole in its center (for example, get the first pole on the right lead, then make a U shape over the exercise to finish on the right lead). Do it from both direction.

Some horses might need a few sessions to be able to do the whole exercise, especially the last step. For the first session, the first two steps might be enough or be used as a warm up before other exercises.

Enjoy!

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Grid of the Month – January 2016

In this new category of articles, I will suggest, every month, a jumping grid-type exercise. This can be useful to vary your work, to address a particular jumping problem or simply to perfect yours and your horse’s technique. If you have suggestions or if you have a specific problem, please let me know!

January 2016

Target : Maintain a quality canter over a long distance

Set Up

Begin by setting up a series of poles, in 9′ bounce and 18′ one stride. Once again, I suggest using the corners of your ring to keep working on the quality of the canter through the turns.

Progression

  1. Start by going over the poles at the trot, then at the canter. You want to keep the same rhythm throughout the entire exercise, with the rider being as quiet as possible. Don’t be afraid to let the horse do some mistakes and do the exercise again until he settles in a good quality canter.
  2. When the horse is successful over the poles, put some of them up to a little jump 12 to 18″ high and redo the exercise this way. The horse must work a little extra to get over the small jumps without getting faster or increasing the length of his stride.

Some horses may need a few schooling over this before they can do it in a calm and easygoing way, but you can do this both during flat work and jump schools and it is excellent to teach horses to balance themselves at the canter.

Enjoy!

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Grid of the Month – December 2015

In this new category of articles, I will suggest, every month, a jumping grid-type exercise. This can be useful to vary your work, to address a particular jumping problem or simply to perfect yours and your horse’s technique. If you have suggestions or if you have a specific problem, please let me know!

December 2015

Target: Maintain the pace and balance in the turn between two obstacles

Set Up

GridOTM-Dec15

Start by setting up three bounces in the width of the arena. Keep them at a low height (18 “) and angle them to follow your turn. Then, at least 3 or 4 strides away, place a jump of your choice in the length of the arena at a height at which you are comfortable.

Progression

  1. Start by going over the bounces at each hand, until you are completely comfortable with this exercise. It may take more than one session if you have never done something like this.
  2. Go over the bounces, then follow up with one of the jump on the side of the arena.
  3. Finally, do the complete exercise: jump, bounces on the turn and jump.

Keep in mind that the objective of this grid is to maintain an even pace throughout the exercise and keep the horse under him during the turn between the two jumps.

Enjoy!

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