Strides for success

Posted 13th December 2017

Can’t seem to meet the fence at the right spot? Find out how to get the perfect stride every time!

It takes practice when it comes to finding the perfect take-off spot for a fence. Some riders find it comes to them naturally, while others concentrate so much on trying to see a stride that it affects how they ride to a fence, which can create a sticky situation.

Whichever group you fall into, you’ll feel much more confident about jumping and be more ready to move up a level if you ace your striding into a fence every time. Luckily, practice really does make perfect and there are a few exercises you can use to help you along the way, too.

Exercise 1: Canter poles

Getting a good approach and stride into a fence is all about having an active and rhythmical canter. Canter poles are a really useful way to help you achieve this, as they encourage your pony to take bouncy, even-sized strides and stay balanced.

What you need: Four canter poles set 2.7m apart down the long side of the arena.

What to do: In canter, ride over the poles, aiming to stay straight through the middle. Ride over them a couple of times, approaching from both reins.

Think about: Keeping your leg on to maintain the impulsion, while keeping a soft contact to allow your pony forward. Look up and ahead, rather than down at the poles.

Check out all the other exercises and how to ride them in February PONY magazine, on sale now!

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