This exercise allows the rider to control the quality of the horse’s canter: . In 5 strides, he is cantering correctly . In 6 strides, the canter is too collected . In 4 strides, the strides are too long: work again on controlling the pace on the flat.
Young horses, of course, find it more difficult to shorten their canter. In this case the rider must be less demanding and should initially establish 4 strides as his objective.
The horse In all jumping exercises, the more the horse’s canter is round, elevated and obedient, the better the jump will be.
The rider What is important here is to be capable of maintaining a regular working canter while approaching, in between fences and after landing. To succeed in this, ride from a distance “as if” preparing to halt after the first fence. Thus, the horse will understand that the distance is a short one. When within the line, keep your basic seat and maintain the same pace at all costs. Certain horses tend to lengthen their stride when landing after the first cross-pole, and shorten when approaching the second one. Others will do the opposite. It is up to you to keep the canter regular at all times, obtaining stride lengths that are as constant as possible. Ride the exercise in both directions with a minimum of 3 strides in a straight line before the first fence and after landing after the second one. Once again remember your centred position!
Solving a few problems Riders who tend to turn quickly when landing after the second fence often “twist the horse” over the jump. Oblige your horse to remain on the line’s median axis and to jump in the middle of fences, and above all use your wide-angle vision.
If the strides are irregular, you can improve matters by using distance poles to mark each stride between the two cross-pole fences.
Cutting corners while approaching: place 2 skittles or poles forming a corridor in front of and behind the fence (10 metres before and 10 metres after the end of the line) to oblige the rider to approach and exit the exercise in a straight line.
Number of times the exercise should be ridden This line can be jumped between 10 and 15 times in the course of one session, on condition that the horse will not have to work very hard afterwards.
There is no progression in the height of the fences. One searches above all for progression in the quality of the canter and pace control.
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