Double up!

Posted 22nd September 2017

Getting in a muddle with doubles? Find out how to nail them every time with our handy guide

Doubles are two fences on a straight line that are either one or two strides apart. There’s normally at least one double in a showjumping course, so it’s important to jump them well to keep those poles up!

 
As there are two fences to jump one after the other, your accuracy and riding become even more important – if you make a mistake over the first fence, it’ll be trickier to clear the second. But don’t worry, there are a few simple things you can try to make sure you get it right every time!

First things first

Before you start jumping, it’s super-important to think about your canter. When it comes to jumping doubles, impulsion, not speed, is key. This means your pony needs to have a forward, bouncy canter and be in front of your leg. You can achieve this in a number of ways while you’re warming up by…

  • riding plenty of transitions to keep your pony focused and listening to your aids
  • lengthening and shortening his canter stride to make sure he’s forward off your leg
  • riding half-halts to keep him balanced and prevent him rushing

Once you’ve achieved a bouncy canter with plenty of impulsion, your pony’s less likely to land from the first fence and run out of energy before the second, which normally results in a refusal or run-out. Keep his impulsion to jump clear through the double.

 

Eyes on the prize

Looking down at the fence as you jump is an easy habit to get in to, but it’s especially important when you’re riding doubles to remember to keep your eyes up. Look at the first fence on approach and, as soon as your pony starts to take off, look up at the second part of the double.

 
As well as letting your pony know where you plan to go, it’ll keep you straight and balanced through the double for a good jump out. Looking down means you’ll risk a wobbly line and be more likely to have the second part down.

 

Read more advice on jumping doubles like a pro in December PONY magazine – on sale now!

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