Planning to go cross-country schooling? The following 10 golden rules will help you get maximum enjoyment and lessons learned from your session.

1. Practise at home first.

Your session should be cementing homework.

2. Don’t go alone.

Having a pair of eyes on the ground can give you tips and advice that you may not otherwise think of. Having a companion with you on a horse means you have a lead, which may be handy.

3. Go with an instructor if you can.

They will help you remain focused and give you confidence.

4. Think about the pace.

Practice riding in between fences and in a straight line.

5. Warm up wisely.

Warm up over small fences and only progress as you feel confident.

6. String fences together.

Think about schooling over a short course, rather than stopping and starting after each fence. Cross-country schooling is as much about practicing riding in between fences and over different terrain as it is about getting used to all the different fence types.

7. Vary your lines.

Tackle simple fences at an angle and off a turn — this is great practice for combinations and tricky lines.

8. Vary the fences.

Negotiate a variety of different fence types, so your horse sees and learns.

9. Have a plan of action.

Have an action plan but don’t overdo it. You may not achieve everything in one day.

10. Don’t panic.

If you have a problem, stay calm, assess what happened and try again.