Jumping wire and tape
e lowered wires on this farm have all been widened in preparation for Hunt season, so Sarah gets Lily to point out the section of fence she’d like to jump. Lily points to a part where the top two wires have been combined, and Sarah agrees this is a good place, because the fence looks slightly more substantial and will be easier for Gri n to sight.
Once again, she warns Lily to be con dent in her ride and this time Gri n jumps beautifully without a second glance (above). “ at was absolutely sensational!” says Sarah. Lily turns around and jumps the wire back the other way, and Sarah is very happy with their form. “You can see Gri n really balancing his stride and Lily is keeping her heels down well when she lands, which is taking all the concussion.”
Although Sarah encourages Lily to ride forward to her fences, she says that approaching a hunt fence isn’t so di erent to show jumping as you might think – these days most hunt riders are generally reasonably cautious. “Only occasionally do people really gallop in, and logically you have to have ride at the speed of the person in front of you. Di erent Hunts jump at di erent speeds though – Pakuranga Hunt, for example, is a really free-going hunt.”
Next on Sarah’s checklist is jumping a wire tape. Although some Hunts jump tape, others frown upon it, so it’s best to ask the locals. Lily is quite happy to give it go, however, so Sarah points out the best part for her to jump. “When you’re jumping tape, you want to be heading for a vertical standard,” she explains. “Luckily this pony is very good at keeping his line.”
As expected, Lily and Gri n have no problems with the tape and go sailing over (above). Jumping tape isn’t as risky as you might expect, says Sarah. “Of course, there is a risk with jumping any sort of wire or tape. Jumping number eight wire is the least risk, and surprisingly jumping barbed wire is also considered to be a low risk because it snaps really easily. But jumping high-tensile wire is a high risk, as it slices like a knife; it is horrible. Riding con dently to your fences with real commitment is the single biggest thing that will keep you safe.”