Today, we would like to present you with another exercise to keep away the boredom and to offer you a chance to challenge yourself a bit!
The position of the jumps is similar to our previous cavaletti workout, which you may remember. This new exercise can be a good follow-up for it! However, there are two main differences: you are now working with fences and not mere poles, and the obstacles in the distances are slightly oblique. If you look at the scheme below, you see one of the lines being longer than the other. The “upper“ distance is 29 meters long, while the “lower“ line counts 25 meters.
You want to keep a nice, forward rhythm through this exercise. It means that if you have a horse with a small stride, you might have to shorten the distances a bit. This kind of workout also improves the elasticity of your horse and forces you to engage your inner leg. It works great for maintaining and enhancing overall control and synchronicity. Ready? Let’s do it!
THE MIDDLE FENCE
The middle fence presents a way of a warm-up if you canter over it several times. Pay attention to the relaxation of both you and your horse.
If you have cantered over the middle pole and feel like your horse is warmed-up, focus on three fences, which you will jump as a circle. Of course, the loop will not be precise and will look more like a triangle because of the tilt of the fences. But precisely because of that, it will force you to use more of an inner leg before and after the middle vertical. It is also a good practice for the horse to stay in the right canter and not go over to the counter canter after a jump.
This part can be challenging because it requires you to actively use your inner shank in the turn to the middle vertical, then do a lead change over the fence and use the other leg in the following turn. It is a good practice, though, because it forces you and your horse to react quickly, and it helps to improve the elasticity of your horse.
The distances require good, forward pace. The “upper“ line is for seven strides; the “lower“ one fits for six strides. Especially in the beginning, treat yourself with a circle after each line (preferably over the middle fence) before continuing to the next one. The circle will allow you to adjust your rhythm and to relax. The goal is to jump the fences precisely in the middle because jumping too left or too right changes the distance a little. Some horses may need a bit of leg at first because they will have to approach the verticals from an angle, which is unconventional, especially for a young horse.
The final version combines several previous parts. Start with the “upper“ distance and continue to a circle over the middle fence. Then do the tilde and a circle again, this time on the other side of the arena. End with the “lower“ distance. Bear in mind that this exercise is not about the height of the fences, and even small obstacles will do. We hope you enjoyed it!