A jump off is fast and you can't always guarantee you'll get the stride you planned when you walked the course, so its essential to learn to adapt your horse's stride between fences. "You want your horse to react quickly to your leg," says Yazmin. "Sometimes it doesn't go to plan, but being able to shorten or lengthen your horse's stride whenever you need to helps you stay on track."
Try this exercise:
- Go large round the school in canter and settle into an even rhythm
- Down the long side of the school lengthen your horse's stride
- Keep your leg on and your body upright
- Along the short side of the school, collect the canter
- Raise your hands slightly and push into your heels, lightening your seat and keeping your body upright
- Repeat the exercise around the school, lengthening on the long side and collecting on the short
- Change the rein and repeat on the other side
To move this exercise on a step, place two poles down the middle of the school with seven horse strides between. Initially canter through the poles and ride the seven strides in a relaxed, comfortable way. The next time round, lengthen your horse's stride and aim for six strides between the poles instead of seven. After this, collect the canter and see if you can get eight in. With each repetition, alter the number of strides between the fences. Once you and your horse are confident with this, make the poles into small jumps and repeat.
Read the full jump-off training feature, including more advice from popular international show jumper Yazmin Pinchen plus much more in the July issue of Your Horse magazine, on sale now. Find out what's in the latest issue here