This jumping work session with Nenuphar is a preparation to combinations. This horse is usually quite anxious while on course, so the goal is to jump calmly and relaxed to encourage him to break-down his movements and to stay in perfect connection with the rider.
The session starts with some flat work combined with a succession of a few ground poles and cavalettis. These preliminary exercises are particularly profitable especially for riders who have a tendency to get worried in front of fences. During this warm-up, Michel focuses on the steadiness of the canter and the precision of a set-path. Nenuphar must keep the same behaviour on the flat and over fences. Michel tries hard to maintain the same relaxation and to keep a steady connection at each canter stride with his horse. Even though the reins are slightly long in order to allow the horse a maximum of freedom in his movements, every lead-change, every turn, every jump have been well prepared in the rider’s mind. The session continues in the same mind-frame with small verticals, and easy and low fences combinations. After each landing Michel reorganises the canter to come back to calm. As soon as he feels Nenuphar getting tensed, he stops him and let the pressure go down.
While jumping more technical lines and combinations, Michel maintains the same priorities: calm and steadiness. The idea is to let Nenuphar break-down his jumps with some freedom in his neck, especially during the take-off stride.
The session ends by jumping a triple with higher fences. Michel is satisfied with the result: Nenuphar stayed in control with a minimum demands from the rider.