Posted by: rstor | November 19, 2014

Higher and Higher; Jumping Bigger Fences

CR higher fences


Riding confidence comes with preparation and mutual trust, whatever the fence height. Are you planning on introducing higher fences to your horse’s jumping regime? Of course, this takes a great deal of confidence – but you will know when you are ready.

Seven top tips for safely jumping higher fences:

  1. If your horse doesn’t respond quickly to your leg on the flat, you will get into difficulties when you start jumping higher fences.
  2. Make sure your flatwork is consistent first!
  3. Don’t panic about ‘seeing a stride’; this will take your eye-line down.
  4. For higher fences, don’t rush; just maintain a forward rhythm.
  5. You can approach a fence from trot when schooling – this helps keep the horse focussed. Taking sitting trot on the approach encourages the horse to use its hocks.
  6. Get closer to a fence for take off rather than further away to avoid a ‘stand off’ jump which often occurs because the pace was too forward going and ‘flat’, and dents rider confidence.
  7. Use an RS-tor rider safety aid – its strap has a ‘bungee’ element that helps prevents rider falls by ‘absorbing’ the velocity of being unseated. The RS-tor’s fall prevention aspect comes into effect when the horse spooks, bucks, rears, cat-leaps or stumbles, although its confidence-boosting benefits are always experienced!

Remember, you must build confidence over fences safely. As Jane Myer of the Confident Rider website advises, everyone that rides wants to be a confident rider, but many find this a difficult goal. “A loss of confidence has many implications as to how well and how safely you ride. It is important that you build up slowly but securely and recognise that like a building, your confidence needs secure foundations,” she advises.

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