Be smooth and con­fi­dent over a fence with Willa Newton’s easy-to-fol­low ex­er­cises

Strug­gling to see a stride and get­ting your take-off wrong on a reg­u­lar ba­sis? Per­fect­ing your ap­proach will help you judge that elu­sive dis­tance, says Willa Newton

Your Horse (UK) - - Contents -

HOW MANY TIMES has your horse taken a leap of faith me­tres away from the fence, or chipped in an ex­tra stride when you weren’t ex­pect­ing it? If the an­swer is too many, it’s time to get to work. One woman who can spot a good stride is four-star event rider Willa Newton. Hav­ing rid­den around tough cour­ses like Burgh­ley, Bel­ton and Blen­heim, Willa knows that see­ing a stride is para­mount to get­ting over fences smoothly, safely and, most im­por­tantly, suc­cess­fully, so that you ride away feel­ing con­fi­dent. “The best way to see a stride is just to keep prac­tis­ing,” says Willa. “One ex­er­cise that I like to use is to place three poles ahead of a jump. You can fo­cus on your stride to the first pole and then the rest of the poles take you up to the fence, with­out you hav­ing to think about the stride. It trains your eye and you nat­u­rally get used to see­ing a stride. “Keep the jump small so you can con­cen­trate on your tech­nique, with­out wor­ry­ing about the height of the jump.” Sound good? Find out more about this and more over the page, where Willa reveals the ex­er­cises that she prac­tises with her horses at home to help them be foot-per­fect into fences ev­ery time.

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