A TUBE OF YOUR LEGS
Ditches are the final task. To build confidence, Allison begins by walking over the smallest one she can find. “It never feels nice walking over a ditch. If it does, it’s because you’ve got in front of the horse,” says Lucinda. She explains that walking forces the horse to look at the task. Any faster and he can avoid the question by rushing. “Everyone can do a ditch in trot. Walking is harder, but it sets up confidence for future ditches.” Feeling confident, Allison introduces her pony to a slightly bigger ditch, before progressing to jump a log, ditch, log. In canter for the first time, Brooks puts in a big leap, unbalancing Allison. “The time you most need your horse to be straight after a fence is when you’ve nearly fallen off. If he’d kinked then, you’d have fallen,” says Lucinda. “When you were only walking over the ditch you weren’t gripping. Then you did the same in canter and got a big leap, which easily unbalances anyone. Think of it as having your horse in a tube of your legs, especially when you’re unsure about a fence.” Allison and Brooks finish on a positive note, clearing the log-ditch-log combination seamlessly.
Patience is key to Brooks popping a bigger ditch with ease
Don’t r ush d itches: time t o build confidence i s v ital