July 5, 2002, Newsletter Issue #80: Teaching Horses to Jump Correctly

Tip of the Week

Now, before we begin this next exercise, rather than making a new florescent box infront of each fence, move the standards and the poles first as the exercises change. Allowing your "marker boxes" to stay in one place throughout the course as it progresses.

On the Long Side, "K-E-H" set up a Cross Pole at a height of 2`3" with a ground pole, exactly three TROTTING strides (4`6" per stride at the usual horse trot) from the corner on the track. Set up another Cross Pole at a height of 2`9" (taken at the center of the cross), exactly three EASY CANTER strides from the first cross pole. Place a Ground Pole at 12" from the center base of the fence.

Now, on the long side "M-B-F" set up a vertical at 2`6", exactly three EASY CANTER strides from the corner, on track; with no ground pole. Now, exactly four COLLECTED CANTER strides from that fence, set up a 2`9" vertical with a ground pole at 18" from the base of the fence.

Now, make your "boxes" infront of each of these fences.

Only jump one line at a time. Stop the horse completely at the end of the line before turning the corner to the left or to the right. Make the horse stand for a minute, or two, or three before allowing the horse to walk on. Return along the inside of the track to see where your horse`s hind feet made impressions during his take off. At what position within the box? Towards the 3` or towards the 6`?

Cross Poles are considered to be the least difficult to jump. A ground pole only makes the determination of the best take off point easy for a horse to judge. No ground pole, makes the horse have to figure the best distance for himself.

Can you see the difference between cross poles and verticals? Can you see the difference between using a Ground Pole and not. Now practice this exercise every day for the next week at least three times per day.

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 two weeks, and next week we will discuss adding alternating the fences that you already have to work with.

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