Off-Season Tune-Up

When it comes to stadium jumping for eventers – or navigating a hunter course or a dressage test for that matter – speed and straightness are the rider’s biggest challenges, says veteran riding coach Sally Sainsbury of Bond Head, ON. The ability to steer accurately, thus achieving straightness, and to regulate your rhythm to the question at hand, are keys to success. Those are the rider’s responsibilities, while the horse’s is to jump the jumps. Here is a series of exercises Sally recommends to help develop those necessary skills over the winter in the indoor arena. She prefers exercises over very small obstacles that are simple to set up and non-taxing for the horse. The objective of these exercises is to maintain rhythm and promote awareness of the outside rein and leg while having the horse go forward. These can be done indoor or outdoors and with any level of…

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