When schooling for jumping, it’s important to bear in mind that it should be made safe and easy for your horse, but most importantly it should be fun.
The whole ethos of British Showjumping coach Fred Bergendorff centres on these aspects.
He suggests that you should think of the following six things as you’re jumping:
- Maintaining a good position.
- Having the right kind of energy in the canter on the approach to each fence.
- Balancing your horse though the turns.
- Riding an even rhythm to the fence.
- Controlling your upper body as you land from each fence – make sure that you don’t tip forwards or back.
- Looking up and ahead where you’re going – “Take the importance away from seeing a stride and put the focus onto what really helps,” says Fred. By doing this you’ll find that you arrive at each fence in the right place.
When you start putting a course of fences together, it’s about being organised and prepared. Focusing on these things will mean that you’ll arrive at each fence in the right place.
“Make sure that your canter is forward enough on the turns,” advises Fred. “This will help to create a good amount of energy before the fence so that you don’t have to accelerate as you get closer to the jump.”
He goes on to explain that if you start to use speed, you’ll lose the quality of your pace and your horse will find it difficult to keep his hocks underneath him.
The end result may be that he knocks the fence down.
Fred concludes that with the correct canter and a good position from the rider, jumping fences becomes so much easier for your horse.
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now.