Jumping’s one of my fave things to do, and gridwork’s a super-fun way to practise. It’s perfect for my young horse, Bella, because it helps her learn to see a stride and feel confident over fences. It’s a great activity to introduce your pony to jumping if he’s had a break, too. So, here are my fave gridwork exercises for you to try at home.
Get loads more advice on how to build fences so they’re the perfect striding here
Exercise: Command central
This exercise will help you stay straight when you’re jumping. The tram lines will guide you to the centre of the cross-pole and it’s a good way to practise jumping over a single fence.
Set it up
Build a low cross-pole, with two poles on each side along the approach.
How to ride it
- Pick up a forward trot or canter while riding large around the arena.
- Looking up and ahead towards the cross-pole, ride a smooth turn round the corner then go through the tramline poles. Keep your legs pressed against your pony’s sides and widen the reins to help channel him to the middle of the fence.
- Look ahead and stay upright in your position, while allowing your pony to find the perfect stride for take-off.
- Once you’ve jumped the fence, ride straight for a few strides then canter large around the arena.
- Ride the exercise twice more, then change the rein and have a go the other way. Having the tramlines after the fence will help you stay straight when you land, but make sure your approach is straight, too.
Grab your copy of June PONY, on sale 5 May 2021, for more great gridwork ideas from Pony Nuts.