Say no to spook­ing

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

When you’re rid­ing a young­ster or a horse who’s less ex­pe­ri­enced, spook­ing at fences is a com­mon is­sue. “When you’re at­tempt­ing some­thing new with your horse, re­mem­ber learn­ing is a slow process,” ad­vises Jemma. “Do ev­ery­thing grad­u­ally and don’t be afraid to take a step back if needed. ”We’ll do an ex­am­ple here with fillers and show you how to get your horse used to jump­ing them.”

How to ride it

SET IT UP: Place an up­right in the cen­tre of your school. Find two fillers – Jemma chooses bar­rels – and place them ei­ther side of your fence. a) Go large and es­tab­lish a good can­ter with plenty of en­ergy, just as you did in ex­er­cise one. b) Turn up the cen­tre line and look ahead for your jump, aim­ing for the mid­dle. c) Jump the fence. d) Ride straight to­wards the out­side track. e) Go large and ask a friend to pull the fillers slightly closer to­wards the cen­tre of the jump. f) Jump the fence as be­fore.

THE NEXT LEVEL: Grad­u­ally move the fillers closer to­wards the cen­tre of the jump un­til your horse feels con­fi­dent clear­ing them. If he’s ever un­sure, take things back a step by mov­ing them out to­wards the sides again. If needed, use guide poles on top of the jump to help your horse fo­cus and stay straight.

Start with the fillers at the edge of the jump so your horse can see them and has time to grow in con­fi­dence Grad­u­ally move the fillers closer to the cen­tre as you both gain con­fi­dence

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