June Jumping Exercise #2 – “The Mercedes”

For anyone who follows us on Instagram, you may have seen this picture a few weeks ago. Well I have finally gotten around to writing this post to explain what this exercise is all about so check it out…

WHAT IS THIS EXERCISE GOOD FOR?

  • Jump-off practice
  • Maintaining a rhythm
  • Practicing lead changes over fences
  • Having a bit of fun!

HOW TO SET IT UP

Depending on what selection of jumps you have you can set this exercise up using

  • 4 x jumping blocks OR 5 x wings
  • 6 x poles (you’d get away with 3 poles if you don’t use ground poles)

Start by laying out 3 poles as per the diagram, ensuring that they are equidistant from each other. Next place your blocks/wings at the end of each pole. When setting the height, I decided to keep them relatively small so we could focus on doing the exercise right.

HOW TO RIDE IT

Once your horse is warmed up on the flat, give them a quick pop over one of the jumps on each rein by itself to get their head in the jumping game. Once this is done, you can get started with the exercise…

To make it a bit easier to explain, I have numbered the jumps and added arrows to help you follow the diagrams.

Step 1: Starting on the right rein, ride a large circle by jumping from jump 1 to 3 to 2. Do this two or three times or until you feel that you’ve been able to achieve a steady and consistent rhythm between each fence. Ensure you give it a go on each rein before moving onto the next stage.

Step 1 – Ride a full circle over each jump

Step 2: Next, you can start changing direction over each fence. Starting on the right rein over fence 1 and changing direction to ride left over number 2 and changing again to rider right back over fence 1. This incorporates your change of rein while keeping the loops relatively big so you have time to prepare for the next fence.

Step 2 – Start changing direction

Step 3: Lastly, it’s time to put you and your horse to the test by putting it all together. Start off on the right rein over number 1, changing the rein to go left over number 3, staying left ride a turnback to number 2. Change to the right rein over number 2 and turnback to number 3. Land left and finish over number 1.

Step 3 – Put it all together

This isn’t an overly complicated exercise to do but it can take a few attempts to get yourself and your horse settled into the rhythm of it. Here are some things to remember as you ride it:

  • Know where you’re going after you land – some of these turns are tight so you need to give yourself and your horse time to prepare
  • Remember to look up and around at where you’re going
  • Your horse may lose its momentum on the turn so make sure not to let your canter die by riding your horse through the turn
  • Before starting the exercise make sure you have a good consistent canter and you maintain that rhythm throughout the exercise. If you start to rush, you’re guaranteed to run into trouble
  • Don’t just use your hands when turning – make sure to turn your entire body – head, shoulders & torso – giving back-up with your outside leg to bring your horse’s whole body around on the turn
  • Have fun!! This is actually super fun to play around with and try some different combination of turns. It can really bring the fun back to jumping if you find your training is always quite serious.

Check out the video below of me and Coco giving a few different layouts a go! Coco was seriously enjoying herself with this exercise. By the end she really got into the swing of it and found her rhythm!

‘The Mercedes’

I hope you guys give this one a go and have some fun! If you do, make sure to tag us in your videos so we can see how you got on 😀

As always, thanks for reading,

Orla


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