TEST YOUR­SELF ON A CLOCK FACE

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

This fi­nal ex­er­cise re­quires you to ne­go­ti­ate a se­ries of jumps in the shape of a clock face. Once your horse has landed, he needs to be think­ing about the next fence, which will keep his brain en­gaged and stop him from switch­ing off. “Don’t worry too much about the dis­tance be­tween each jump,” says Willa. “Fo­cus on rid­ing a good can­ter and learn to adapt your dis­tance for each fence — this will en­sure your horse is re­ally lis­ten­ing to you.”

How to ride it

SET IT UP: Place four ver­ti­cal fences at a height you’re com­fort­able with at equal points around your arena, on the in­side track at A, C, B and E. If you pre­fer, have all four poles on the floor to be­gin with, so that you get a feel for the shape first. Go large around the track in an ac­tive, bouncy can­ter. Look ahead for your first jump. The first time around, only jump the fences at A and C. Re­peat. Change the rein and jump the fences at A and C in the other di­rec­tion. Now jump the two fences at B and E. Change the rein and jump them in the other di­rec­tion. Once you’ve got the hang of jump­ing two fences in a row, it’s time to tackle all four fences to­gether. Re­mem­ber to ride to the mid­dle of each fence and try not to fid­dle with your horse’s rhythm too much; al­low the can­ter to keep com­ing, so he has to think about his foot­work in front of each fence. It might not feel com­fort­able at first, but don’t give up — it’s all part of the learn­ing process. If you need to, jump threeee three fences (so you’re do­ing a semi-cir­cle shape) as a step­ping stone to tack­ling all four. Change the rein and re­peat.

Be­low: Look ahead for your first jump and aim for the mid­dleBe­low right: Turn the up­right fences into ox­ers — but only when you and your horse feel ready

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