Well its our final August Monthly exercise and I have to say, I’m kind of sad to see this month end. To finish off, we decided again to ask our followers what they wanted to see and once again jumping won out (I’m starting to see a trend here). So the exercise we went with is a fun one that can, as usual, be ridden just on the flat. Check it out and be sure to let us know if you give it a go yourself.
What is this exercise good for?
- Maintaining a rhythm
- Landing on the correct lead
- Teaching your horse to listen and wait
- Developing the rider’s eye for a stride
How to Set it Up?
For this exercise you’ll need 14 poles and 14 wings. I used the letters of the arena to help position each jump. I put the jump in the middle at X, between B and E, and a jump at both A and C. From there you can find your placing for your remaining fences. See the image for reference.
How to Ride It
The best way to ride this exercise is to start from the ground up. Keep everything but the jump at X as poles on the ground to begin with until you and your horse get to grips with the layout.
- Starting over the middle jump, ride a circle left to the poles at A and finish off the circle over the middle jump
- Next add in the set of poles on the circle after the poles at A so you do all 3 together.
- Finally add in the set of poles after the middle jump. At this point you should be doing a full circle with all four sets poles.
- Repeat this process on the other circle.
- Once you’re happy with how your horse rides both circles with all fences, raise all the poles to jumps. I definitely recommend keeping them small, no higher than 70cm as, depending on the size of your arena, you could be doing some pretty tight turns.
The most important thing you need to do this exercise well is a good, even rhythm. And what makes this exercise so great is that with the jumps placed as they are, if your horse starts anticipating the circles and getting lazy (which is what happened with Coco), you can mix it up by jumping a combination of different fences off different reins. This makes your horse sit and wait for you to tell them what they’re doing, instead of them trying to guess it.
Speaking for both myself and Darielle, we really enjoyed coming up with some fun new exercises to try out this month and its been great seeing some of our followers giving them a go for themselves. Next month we’ll be back to our normal Monthly Exercise format so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
As always, thanks for reading!