How can I stop my horse adding in an extra stride before a jump?


Does your horse add in a stride before a fence? Event rider, Jodie Amos, explains the simple exercise you can try. 

Q: My horse always adds in an extra stride before a fence. What can I do?

A: I'd start with working on the quality of the canter. 

If your horse tends to pop in an extra stride, you need to work on being able to lengthen his stride, as well as shorten it. 

One exercise I like is to set up two poles on the ground with 22 paces between them (or five of your horse's walking strides). 

Using this, I can play with the canter, eventually working my way up from seven strides to four, developing the elasticity and adjustability within his pace. 

Have a strong canter 

When approaching a fence on a horse that adds a stride in, it's important to make sure you have enough canter around the turn, enough 'engine' as well as having your leg on at all times, especially at the base of the fence to avoid him dropping behind you at the last minute.

It's also really important to ride forward in your related distances.

As soon as you land, ride away from your fence with your leg on.

The more you cover the distance early on, the less likely you are to leave a big gap in front of the next element, allowing him to put down another stride. 

You need to ride positively at all times.