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!
Target : Maintain a quality canter over a long distance
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.
- 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.
- 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.