Ex­er­cise 5: Triple Ox­ers

Practical Horseman - - Cross Country -

poles, but the ap­proach to Ex­er­cise 3’s sec­ond oxer, where rid­ers had to re­ally work to keep the tempo, en­cour­age the horses to move around the in­side leg and not al­low them to slow down through the turn on the ap­proach.

Ex­er­cise 5: Triple Ox­ers

Set up: Three ox­ers in a line, 21 feet (one stride) apart

Lastly, Kent had rid­ers jump the ex­er­cises in the same or­der— Ex­er­cise 2 off ei­ther lead, then the oxer clos­est to the cen­ter of the ring in Ex­er­cise 3, turn left, can­ter around the out­side of Ex­er­cise 3 to Ex­er­cise 4, then turn right and can­ter down the long side to roll back to the sec­ond oxer in Ex­er­cise 3, turn right again and then jump Ex­er­cise 5, a line of three ox­ers spaced 21 feet apart. Rid­ers jumped the first oxer, put in one stride to the sec­ond oxer and then put in an­other stride to the third oxer. Fi­nally, rid­ers turned left to fin­ish over Ex­er­cise 2.

Ev­ery piece of the gym­nas­tic course should be used to im­prove the horse, Kent re­it­er­ated as rid­ers pre­pared to put the ex­er­cises to­gether. He en­cour­aged the rid­ers to con­tinue to think about what was best for the horses and to use the train­ing ex­er­cises with as few jumps as pos­si­ble to achieve the re­sult.

“Each of you can start how you want,” he called. “Use the whole course how­ever you like to im­prove your horse for to­mor­row, think­ing about the horse’s weak­ness and what you can im­prove. Use each op­por­tu­nity that you can to make the horse bet­ter, whether he drifts or he needs to open his can­ter more or he gets hot and needs to slow down. You can break apart the whole ex­er­cise any way you like.”

Each round was dif­fer­ent as the rid­ers zoned in on their in­di­vid­ual horses, tak­ing charge to im­prove what was dif­fi­cult for their mounts and un­com­fort­able for them­selves.

Com­ing next month: McLain Ward’s com­men­tary on the mock Na­tions Cup.

McKayla Lang­meier and Bon Vi­vant jump the fi­nal ex­er­cise of the day, three ox­ers placed 21 feet apart.

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