International eventer, John-Paul Sheffield, reveals his top exercises to beat common jumping problems…
Why the problem?
You and your horse may have problems with run outs and refusals because…
• You’re approaching the jump too fast or too slow and not in rhythm.
• There’s not enough contact/support from the rider.
• You’re not riding the horse between leg and hand.
• The approach isn’t straight.
• The horse/rider isn’t confident jumping at that level.
How to help…
• Keep your basic pole exercise but place two poles on each side of the jump. Place the poles at the very edge nearest the wing on each side, leaving as much jump in the middle as possible, so not to put off your horse isn’t put off. The poles need to be straight, not at an angle, to invite your horse in and funnel him into the jump.
• Make sure you keep your line straight into the jump and support your horse with your seat and legs. Don’t drop your contact and look up and ahead. Be confident that you’re going to go straight over the jump. The poles help guide your horse into the jump and prevent him thinking he can run out.
TIP: Give yourself confidence by training at a higher level at home but jumping a bit smaller at an event. For example, get used to jumping 80cms at home, but enter a 50cms competition. Jumping smaller gives you confidence.