It’s super-frustrating if your pony regularly stops at fences or knocks them down, but it’s something you can improve with a few simple exercises. Practise them regularly, and you’ll be jumping more clear rounds in no time!
Figure it out
There are loads of reasons why your pony might stop at a fence or knock it down, and often these issues have similar causes, such as…
- he’s inexperienced or lacks confidence when jumping
- you didn’t approach the fence with enough energy, or you were going too fast
- your approach wasn’t straight
- you’re holding the reins too tightly
- he feels uncomfy when he jumps
- the height’s out of his comfort zone
Exercise: an awesome approach
To clear a fence your pony needs an energetic canter that’ll allow him to spring off the ground and soar up and over the poles. However, you don’t want him to be too speedy, because you’ll lack control and his body will flatten over the fence, rather than making a graceful curve. Using canter poles can help you nail the perfect pace.
How to ride it
- Go large and ride your pony forward in a positive canter – you need to feel like he’s really taking you somewhere!
- Turn into the line of poles, aiming for the middle of each one. Let the poles do the work and encourage your pony into a rhythm.
- Ride through the poles and over the fence two or three times, thinking about the pace the poles are helping you create.
- Remove the poles one at a time, starting with the one closest to the fence, until you’ve got one left. Now try to keep the same rhythm. Remember, if you started with four poles, you should fit in four strides between the pole and fence.
For more great jumping exercises, pick up a copy of December PONY, on sale 23 October.