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How to correctly jump spooky fences on course
(...) On any course, there are fences that are more worrying than others: water jumps, fillers, liverpools… It is important to have previously found a solution, to eliminate all negative thoughts while walking the course and during mental preparation. Imagining a successful jump over the water or the planks before setting off is an excellent way of managing to eliminate problems. As you enter the arena, do not hesitate to ride past the fence that’s worrying you, while patting your horse. When jumping the course, it is precisely while approaching these kinds of fences, that it is necessary to resort to the basis of all your work: keep your legs close to the horse and exaggerate your wide-angle vision. The legs are in contact but not tightened, ready to act to ensure that the same speed is maintained come what may.
Whatever happens, bear in mind that horses need to understand and learn. We have mentioned this previously; it is not when competing that one should present a horse, which has never even jumped a plain liverpool, with a 4-metre-wide water jump. Ideally, one should train over all the types of fences one might come across when show jumping. For those who do not necessarily have everything available, one can create a water jump using a simple blue plastic sheet placed on the ground.
As far as jumping the course is concerned, one fence down must not destroy all the rest. On the contrary, pretend it never happened, maintain your concentration for the rest of the course and use this opportunity to work on your horse and finish with no additional faults. This is important for competing calmly in future classes; the horse must remain confident (...)
Extract of the book "Secrets and method of a great champion"