Improve your position
Predicting where your horse will take off for a jump is a skill in itself. Thinking he’s going to take off before he does can actually give him the opportunity to refuse. “If you see a stride a long way from a fence and fold too early, you risk a run-out or refusal,” says Jemma. “To fix this, you need to be braver. Sit up and ride deeper into the fence and wait for your horse to take you into the jumping position.”
How to ride it
SET IT UP: Place two jumps – a cross-pole and an upright at a height you’re comfortable with – 10 yards (9m) apart in the centre of your arena. Place a ground pole three yards in front of the cross-pole. a) Go large around your school or paddock in trot on the left rein. b) Look ahead for your first fence and trot to the ground pole. c) Pick up canter over the pole and keep your body upright. d) As your horse leaves the ground for the cross-pole, fold into your jumping position. e) After the fence, sit up quickly and ride straight to the upright. f) Jump it and return to the track. g) Repeat on the other rein.
BACK TO BASICS: Start with the second fence as a cross-pole too, and change it into an upright when you feel confident.
Above: approaching in trot gives you more time to think Keep your body upright and let your horse guide you into your jumping position – avoid folding too early Above: jump the cross-pole and sit up afterwards, ready to look for the next fence