Looking to improve your horse’s balance whilst jumping? This exercise will help you do just that. It’s made up of three parts and incorporates angles and diagonals to hone in your horse’s focus and get them looking ahead.

Set it up: Build three uprights down the right-hand side of your school, with a distance of 6m-6.5m between each, depending on your horse’s stride length. The two end jumps should be parallel, whilst the middle jump should be placed to the inside of the other two.

Make sure to warm up on both reins in walk, trot and canter before you start jumping.

Part 1 

The exercise starts with you jumping an angle. This gets your horse listening to you to follow the line that you want to ride. The take-off will be different to riding on a straight line – their inside shoulder will be closer to the jump, so they’ll need to compensate for that, which helps to improve their balance.

  1. Canter around the outside of your school on the left rein in an even rhythm.
  2. Look ahead for your first jump and turn down the diagonal towards it.
  3. Jump the first and second jump of the exercise on the diagonal.
  4. Canter straight towards the track and change to the right rein.
  5. Repeat on the opposite rein (your third fence will become the first).

Part 2

Now, it’s time to focus on going straight and being bold. This part helps to keep your horse listening to you and your aids.

  1. Pick up canter on the right rein.
  2. Look ahead for the jumps and ride straight towards the centre of the first jump.
  3. Jump the first and canter three strides towards the third jump.
  4. Once over the third fence, canter straight back towards the track, changing to the left rein.

Part 3

Finally, it’s time to ride all three fences together. This will test your horse’s responsiveness and balance, as well as their confidence of looking through gaps and keeping jumping which are key skills when navigating a course.

  1. On the left rein, establish your bouncy canter and look ahead for the jumps.
  2. Look down the jumps at a line that will take you over all three (use the wing of your last fence to act as a wing for your middle jump).
  3. Canter straight towards the first fence and jump this – you’ll be slightly off centre to line you up for the second.
  4. Jump the second and third fences with one stride of canter between each.
  5. Ride straight back towards the track.

Once you’ve practised the three parts on their own, try bringing them all together and riding as one exercise.

Receive six issues of Your Horse magazine for just £15!

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Get the latest issue