NZ Horse & Pony - - Training Masterclass -

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.”

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