Nail curv­ing lines

Sweep­ing lines on vary­ing dis­tances are com­monly found on a course and can eas­ily catch you out. Nail them at home with event rider

Your Horse (UK) - - You Horse's Training - Franky Reid-War­rilow

FENCES ON A BEND are com­mon in a course and it’s im­per­a­tive that you’re able to jump the right line. This el­e­ment of jump­ing is a pro­gres­sion from dres­sage where you use your lat­eral work, such as ser­pen­tines, so that you’re able to change di­rec­tion eas­ily. Rid­ing on a curve is a lot harder than rid­ing on a straight line, as there is more chance for er­ror in your stride pat­tern. The fol­low­ing ex­er­cises from CCI4* even­ter Franky Reid-War­rilow are all about jump­ing on a curv­ing line and chang­ing di­rec­tion, which will help you iden­tify whether you and your horse find it eas­ier to turn one way than the other. They’re suit­able for any level and can be set up us­ing ground poles, showjumps or move­able cross-coun­try fences.


Be­gin with poles on the ground. Place one pole hor­i­zon­tally across the cen­tre line with a left curve to the next pole (see di­a­gram). Place an­other pole on the other side, on a right curve from the first pole. Both curves should be five strides from the cen­tre pole. 2 Start in trot and prac­tise on both reins so that you’re turn­ing both ways. 3 Once you are con­fi­dent, can­ter. There’s no jump here to change your line or speed, so just fo­cus on your rhythm. 4 Make sure you ride over the cen­tre of each pole ev­ery time. 5 You should be­gin to feel whether you and your horse have a stronger rein. 6 Use your eyes: when you’re two strides away from the first pole, look to the mid­dle of the sec­ond. 7 Con­tinue to ride for­wards af­ter the sec­ond pole. This will help you progress to­wards ex­er­cise three.


1 Turn the poles in ex­er­cise one into small fences. If you aren’t feel­ing con­fi­dent yet, start with a cross pole. 2 Your left and right turns should be a mir­ror im­age of each other. This will give you a clear idea of your strengths and weak­nesses on each rein. 3 Us­ing your in­side leg and out­side rein is really im­por­tant here to meet the right line. If you’re jump­ing on the right-hand curve and your horse is fall­ing in to make the five strides short, this means your horse is fall­ing in against your right leg, so you need to be able to push the horse out with that leg. 4 Re­mem­ber your pro­cesses. When you’re two strides away from fence one, look to fence two. This will help you de­cide what line you’re on and what ad­just­ments you need to make. 5 Al­ways imag­ine that there is a third el­e­ment and con­tinue rid­ing so your horse doesn’t learn to stop af­ter the fi­nal jump. Prac­tise turn­ing both right and left af­ter fence two.


1 Build an ‘S’ shape with your poles on the ground/small fences so that you’re go­ing from a left turn straight into a right turn and vice versa. 2 Think of rid­ing a ser­pen­tine, in­cor­po­rat­ing changes of di­rec­tion. 3 Re­mem­ber to use your eyes. While you’re go­ing over the mid­dle pole/jump, move your line of sight to your next fence. 4 To ride the ‘S bend’ per­fectly you must stay on your line. To do this, you need to be able to stop your horse fall­ing in, us­ing the aids you learnt in ex­er­cise two.

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