How many times do you get to a show, the first round goes well, you’re in the jump off and you and your horse has an argument about which way to turn! Kim Barzilay of Kimba Stud offers advice on getting it right at a show. Watch the video below.
Obedience when asking for a change of direction is an exercise that needs to be worked on at home. It’s too late to wait until you get to a show in the jump off and expect your horse to know where it’s going.
Try setting up a small course of jumps at home and mix up the way you ask your horse to jump. For example we may set up a double at home and mix up the direction you go after landing from the jump.
It’s important that the jockey doesn’t do anything in the air. Leave the horse to finish off the jump. If your horse starts thinking what’s happening up there half way over the jump, the horse has lost concentration. It’s when you land that the direction is given.
Don’t do anything until the horse has landed. When riding through a double or a single fence, the horse must think that it’s going straight on. That’s right up until the horse has four feet on the ground.
If you try turning in the air you’ll unbalance the horse. You can jump across a fence but don’t try and turn after the horse has picked up.
If you do try to turn suddenly, you’ll always get one leg down and you’ll have pole.
When you ask for the turn you need the horse to be obedient and wrap itself around the rider’s leg. You’re then ready to put your leg on and move forward to the next fence.
At the Show
If you haven’t done some good directional change exercises at home you may be having your arguments at the show!
When coping with change of direction in a class, it’s a case of being hands on at the time. The hours of work you’ve put in at home will now pay off.
When you have a good horse and you’ve put in the hours of training at home they will be obedient to you. With a good solid partnership and the horse is very receptive, you may only have to think turn and the horse will turn. In this case, for a jump off you may have to pretend in your head that there is another jump straight ahead so that the horse doesn’t anticipate the way it’s going.
Work on obedience at home so the horse wraps itself around the rider’s leg. This would be something that we practice a lot at home. It’s the way we win classes.
Emma Jo Slater rides a 7 year old Mare by Up to Date out of a Heartbreaker Mare. Emma say’s, “She’s a lovely mare, careful and neat jumper. She’s qualified for National Finals in British Novice and Discovery. She’s jumped double clears for Newcomers for next year and she’s currently jumping Foxhunters.”