July 19, 2002, Newsletter Issue #82: Teaching Horses to Jump Correctly

Tip of the Week

Continue with last week`s exercises throughout this week as well. Add another fence, exactly three medium strides apart, set on the diagonal to the fences on the track (rail). Set this fence as Barrels (if it is possible). Place your "box" on the "A" side of the fences. When jumping this fence, your horse will take into consideration the angle to be jumped, and the height and width of the oxer, then the striding towards the barrels, and then you will notice that for barrels or tires, a horse will relax more than for rails. Set the strides in-between fences as close to "X" as possible, but so that the striding is on the angle to all of the fences that are located on track.

Now jump a line, through the middle, then the other line, and then through the middle again. When walking alongside of your fences observing the horses take off point, do you see any difference in the placement of your horses rear hooves? It is most helpful, to record your findings at the beginning of each exercise.

Only practice these beginning courses three times each, three times per the week and next week we will add new perspectives to your schooling.

If you find your horse at any time becoming anxious, or tense, or rushing fences, then go back to only jumping one line at a time; and lower the height of ALL OF YOUR FENCES IMMEDIATELY!

Spend the rest of your Riding Time either Trail Riding, or on Flat Work, but no longer on the fences! YOU DO NOT WANT TO BURN OUT YOUR HORSE ON ELEMENTARY FENCES!

Now, practice this exercise for the next week, and next week we will discuss alternating the fences that you already have to work with in formulating courses.

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