Jessica’s suppling grid
Jessica has a particular favourite grid exercise that she uses at home to help improve the suppleness of all of her horses. She’s pictured riding the grid on NP Zelah (Zizi), a 10-year-old bay mare who is currently competing in 1.35m–1.40m internationals. Set up and ride the exercise as Jessica explains over the page. You’ll need to have a friend on hand to help you by adding more elements to the grid as you progress through the steps.
What does it achieve?
It’s a simple grid, yet it will help your horse use his body more effectively over fences. By the end of your jumping session he should feel lighter in the contact, more elastic in his body and more balanced in the carriage. The grid is also good for slowing down your horse’s pace after a fence and encouraging him to sit back on his haunches. It’s effective at encouraging your horse to think and listen to your aids, too — ideal if he gets keen and has a tendency to rush his fences.