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Jumping IN STYLE

Use these three exercises to help your horse jump better.

Most horses can be trained to jump. But many need help learning to jump well. A horse that jumps in the correct style is not only a safer mount, but he also drops fewer rails and earns higher scores in competition.

Ideally, a horse’s jump should include a defi - nite arc, referred to as a bascule, which begins when he rocks back onto his hocks. This frees up his front end so he can arch his neck, roll his shoulder and lift his front legs to clear the jump. Ultimately, the horse should jump with an impression of effortlessness, and he should exude an air of confi dence in his athleticism.

If you’d like to fi nesse your horse’s jumping style, here are three basic exercises. Before trying them, be sure your horse is adequately schooled on the fl at. He should maintain a steady trot and canter with minimal half-halts and corrections. Also, when setting up these exercises, adjust the fence heights according to your horse’s level of training. Remember that the goal isn’t for your horse to jump higher, it’s for him to jump better.

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Horse Illustrated April 2020, Horse Shopping : Adoption Vs. Auction, World Cup Preview, 4 Steps to tidy up your tack room, And more..