Want more double clears? ReadySupp co-founder and show jumping trainer Didi Verdina explains how you can improve your jumping whatever your level. Keep these 6 top tips in your mind as a mental check list…
1. Always make sure the ‘engine is on’ first, ensure your horse is in front of your leg and responsive to your aids; a good way of obtaining this is by doing a lot of transitions. Don’t start jumping until you feel your horse is listening to you 100%.
2. Straightness is the essential. Make sure you sit up, with the horse’s neck in front of you, and not underneath you. Leaning forward is one of the most common reasons for not being able to keep your horse straight, push him forward and straight from your legs, keep his neck ‘channelled’ between your reins.
3. Riding your corners correctly is necessary to keep a good quality canter and straightness/direction. Make sure you support your horse with your outside aids so his shoulders won’t ‘fall out’ on the corner.
4. When approaching the fence, especially if you are a novice rider, don’t worry about the stride; if your horse has a good quality canter and he is straight the stride will be right, if not, the horse will help you out, provided you have helped him in between fences.
5. Don’t ever over ride your horse or pull back a few strides away from the fence. Once you have presented the fence to your horse it is too late for last minute adjustments. The best thing you can do is wait for the fence to come to you and help your horse by not moving on him, just keep your legs on.
6. Remember, your job is to ride your horse correctly in between fences and keep him straight and active, his job is jumping the jumps!
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