Harry Meade helps one reader improve her horse's jumping technique

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Earlier this year, in partnership with feed manufacturer Dodson and Horrell two Your Horse magazine readers won our Goal Getter competition. 

One of winners, Charlotte Witcombe travelled from Southampton to Wiltshire with her horse Princess for their lesson with event rider Harry Meade. 

Harry, Charlotte and Princess at the end of their jumping lesson

Harry, Charlotte and Princess at the end of their jumping lesson

Charlotte has her eyes firmly fixed on qualifying for the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton with her horse Princess. 

The focus of their lesson was to help the ex-racehorse make a better shape over her fences. 

Harry uses several different exercises during the lesson to help both horse and rider to concentrate and ride accurately. 

By the end of the lesson there was a clear improvement and Harry's exercises could help your horse too.

Want to learn more about what the exercises Harry suggested? Check out the new issue of Your Horse magazine - on sale Thursday 28 June. 

Training programme to build a strong horse

Tailoring your horse's work will help him to build muscle safely, avoid repetitive strain and help to ensure that he has the right level of fitness for his work load.

To create a training programme for a strong horse you'll need to combine schooling and jumping with hacking. Plus, you'll need to allow time for him to recover between sessions.

Different types of training can be categorised like this:

Jumping can be considered to be strength training

Jumping can be considered to be strength training

  • Cardiovascular training: Using trot, canter or gallop for periods of at least twenty minutes, depending on your horse’s fitness
  • Skills training: Riding lateral work or pole work for example
  • Strength training: Jumping, hill work and exercises which require your horse to work in collection, such as piaffe

Your horse’s muscles are most at risk during strength training (this may include hill work or jumping). So, to help prevent injury, you need to gradually increase the intensity of this type of work. Use the plan, below, as a rough guide as to what to do with your horse, when.

As a rule, allow at least two days between strength training sessions to give your horse’s muscles time to repair.

An example training plan