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Improving the Front End Over Fences

A good front end begins with the head and neck, creating a bascule that allows the hind end to finish high and tidy. While natural jumping style and ability cannot be taught, Bobbie Reber suggests the use of gymnastics to help improve minor jumping flaws and help a horse develop a more consistent form over fences. “The most important thing to accomplish through the use of gymnastics is that the horse learn to drop its head down,” explains Reber. “My motto is: “Head down, knees up”. If a horse jumps with its head up, it's not using its back and is jumping inverted. Everything is connected.” What influences a good front end? There are many factors that influence the jumping style of a horse, and conformation, along with the rider's position, will affect how well a horse jumps with its front end. Reber stresses that in order to allow the…

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