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Top event rider Alex Bragg explains gymnastic jumping exercises that you can do with your horse.
SET IT UP: In the middle of your school, set up three fences, with 3m in between. The first and last fences are upright, while the middle fence is a cross-pole.
- Ride a bouncy canter in an even rhythm around your school. This canter should feel like it has lots of energy without being rushed.
- Look ahead towards your jump and turn towards it, making sure you’re as straight as possible.
- Keep your body upright and your hands soft, while looking ahead.
- Jump the fences, maintaining an upright position with your body and letting your horse come up to you, so that you’re ready for each part of the bounce.
- Once complete, canter back to the track and repeat on the other rein.
- On the left rein, establish your bouncy canter and look ahead for the jumps.
- Look down the jumps at a line that will take you over all three (Alex says use the wing of your last fence to act as a wing for your middle jump).
- Canter straight towards the first fence and jump this – you’ll be slightly off centre to line you up for the second.
- Jump the second and third fences with one stride of canter between each.
- Ride straight back towards the track.
- Canter around the outside of your school on the left rein in an even rhythm.
- Look ahead for your first jump and turn down the diagonal towards it.
- Jump the first and second jump of the exercise on the diagonal.
- Canter straight towards the track and change to the right rein.
- Repeat on the opposite rein (your third fence will become the first).
- Pick up canter on the right rein.
- Look ahead for the jumps and ride straight towards the centre of the first jump.
- Jump the first and canter three strides towards the third jump.
- Once over the third fence, canter straight back towards the track, changing to the left rein.
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