An excellent exercise to encourage the rider to rehearse her routine to get ready for a competition. Practising repeatedly exercises that are close to what is encountered during a show, will help the rider to build the right habits regarding the position, the mental behaviour and the ability to anticipate and to meet the objectives.
In this session, Michel teaches Alice and her mare Quiria. He arranged a cavaletti set-up representing all the questions the rider may encounter on a course: skinny fences, combinations with short distances, tight turns, “scary” looking fences (wall, brush…). This set-up requires the rider to be fully aware and in control of each of her actions to direct the horse with precision. The short distances between fences require the rider to stay in control of the canter rhythm while guiding the shoulders of the horse to jump in the centre of these skinny fences. This is another example where the rider has to focus and stay centred on her horse. The slightest loss of concentration or the slightest fault in the rider’s position disturbs the communication with the horse which will make it impossible to stay on the track.
Alice completes the exercise successfully thanks to her centred position. The slow motion parts of the video will help you visualise the correct position over each part of the exercise.
Riders who don’t have access to an area large enough to set up this exercise can modify the distances between the fences to make it fit their arena. The important thing is to create these technical difficulties that will not give the rider the possibility to improvise.