Ex­er­cise 4: Three Ver­ti­cals With Ground Poles in Be­tween

Practical Horseman - - Cross Country -

the right, don’t let him,” he said, re­in­forc­ing his ear­lier les­son about re­pro­gram­ming the horse to go in the line the rider wants.

As Cait­lyn headed down the long side to Ex­er­cise 3, Kent again told her to use leg and a cluck so that her horse wouldn’t be “asleep on the back rail of the oxer.” When the horse made a lazy and slow ef­fort over the sec­ond oxer, Kent had her jump it again, in­struct­ing her to ac­cel­er­ate through the turn to teach the horse to move off the leg and to carry her bet­ter.

Ex­er­cise 4: Three Ver­ti­cals with Ground Poles In Be­tween

Set up: Three ver­ti­cals in a line, 21 feet (one stride) apart, with a ground pole ex­actly in the mid­dle of each jump

This time Kent told rid­ers to skip Ex­er­cise 1 and in­stead start with Ex­er­cise 2 off ei­ther lead, jump the oxer clos­est to the cen­ter of the ring in Ex­er­cise 3 then turn left, can­ter around the out­side of Ex­er­cise 3 to Ex­er­cise 4, three ver­ti­cals with ground poles in the mid­dle of each one. Rid­ers jumped the first ver­ti­cal, took a bounce step over the first ground pole to the sec­ond ver­ti­cal and then took an­other bounce step over the sec­ond ground pole to the third ver­ti­cal. Fi­nally, rid­ers turned right and can­tered down the long side again, rolling back to the oxer clos­est to the rail from Ex­er­cise 3.

A lot of Kent’s com­ments fo­cused on the rider’s po­si­tion through the ver­ti­cals. He re­peat­edly told rid­ers to keep their po­si­tions quiet and cen­tered through the line and ex­plained that while a lighter seat was nec­es­sary for ask­ing for a longer stride, rid­ers had to be care­ful not to pitch their up­per body for­ward.

“Make sure when com­ing through ver­ti­cals you aren’t jump­ing with your body,” he called to Kendra Dug­gleby, who leaned slightly at the fences with her shoul­ders. “Let the horse do the work at the fence.”

But the big­gest chal­lenge that seemed to face rid­ers in this ex­er­cise was not the ad­di­tion of the three ver­ti­cals with ground

Natalie Dean and Dy­lan­dra jump over the first ver­ti­cal of three. Just out of view is the first ground pole placed in the cen­ter of the ver­ti­cals.

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