Riding Bending Lines

Hunter, jumper and equitation courses often include bending lines between jumps because they test the accuracy and partnership of the rider and horse. It takes good balance, impulsion, accuracy and planning ahead to ride bending lines successfully and smoothly. And, the rider must ride the whole horse in order to take the best track and maintain the right pace to get the right distance and desired number of strides between the jumps. Any loss of balance, direction, rhythm or communication will make it difficult to recover between jumps, resulting in an awkward take-off or leaving out or adding in a stride. Before riding bending lines, you must be able to use your hands, legs and seat independently of one another, canter a designated track without significantly drifting right or left, and be able to adjust your horse’s canter stride. You need to be comfortable riding lines set on standard 12-foot-stride…

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