Improve your pony’s jump with Robert Whitaker!

Posted 26th June 2017

A good jump means you’re more likely to leave those fences up and ride a clear round. Check out Robert Whitaker’s top tips for improving your pony’s jump.

The shape your pony makes over a fence is called a bascule. A good bascule is a rounded arc – similar to the shape a dolphin makes as it jumps out of the water.

A poor bascule is when your pony jumps flat, often with his head in the air and a hollow back. This means he can’t jump as high, so he’s more likely to knock down poles. Improving your pony’s bascule produces a better jump, which helps leave the fences up and allows you to move up the levels!


Best foot forward

The foundation of a good jump is flatwork. If your pony isn’t balanced and in a rhythm on the approach to a fence, he won’t be able to take off well. It’s super- important to focus on how well your pony moves on the flat before you think about jumping!

Rounding his jump

Some ponies naturally have a better bascule over fences than others, but there are lots of exercises you can do to improve it. V-poles resting on
a fence encourage your pony to pick up his front legs and round his back over the fence. If he normally rushes and jumps at, this is also a great exercise to get him to wait, as he’s more likely to look at the fence and pay attention to your aids.

Find out how to use V-poles and more exercises to improve his jump in August PONY magazine, on sale now!

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