The use of stop watches on the XC phase

The use of a timing device is to help you judge your pace whilst riding cross country but this will only come with experience and practice at that speed. Firstly your top priority needs to be on achieving a good balance, rhythm and obedience from your horse through the various...

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20 top tips to help achieve a clean jump

1. You can help address crookedness in the horse by focusing on gymnastic exercises that help raise the withers, and encourage the scapular to rotate backwards in a circle – it is then the rider’s job to keep the withers central over fences. To download the pdf of this article, written by...

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Polework to develop straightness and focus

The key factors for a balanced jump, whether across country or when showjumping, are obedience and power and softness; the latter two go hand in hand, as power can create tension, and the rider must then soften. To download the pdf of this article, written by Kathy Carter, from the Horses...

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Winter Pre-Season Top Training Tips for U18s

1. Make some training plans.... Work with your coach and develop some exercises, and work to improve little weak areas for the oncoming season. Keep the work varied but structured, with small, achievable goals and make sure that you keep an account of all the work in a training journal....

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Training The Canter

It's very important to develop a feel for jumping out of the three different canters that you would use xc. Again for the experienced rider this will often come naturally, however for the less experienced rider I feel that it needs to be practiced along with the 'gear changes' that...

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Corners

It is so important that horses and riders are well trained over corner fences initially otherwise confidence issues can manifest. To start with the building blocks need putting in place which consists of the horse staying straight on a line and being confident over an angled rail and the rider...

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Developing The Rider To Think Ahead

The course designer will often design fences that are affected by the previous fence, for example a serpentine line or a distance followed by a turn to a skinny fence. Experienced riders are used to thinking and planning ahead and will do it naturally but less experienced riders need to...

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‘Locking On’ To More Than One Fence

When training the younger horse in xc skills it is important that you educate them to read two or three fences at once. It is essential for the less experienced rider to learn also to give horses an extra 'thinking' stride when there is more than one fence to negotiate.

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Narrow Fences Or Skinnies

Teaching the horse and rider to develop their eye and confidence for narrow fences is absolutely essential as at least 10% of most tracks are made up of either single skinnies, combinations of skinnies, skinnies on angles, skinnies out of water, etc. For me a horse has to almost look...

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Holding A Line

This is one of the first things I will establish with a partnership. It involves straightness, landing in the corresponding spot from where you take off (not drifting left or right), quick reactions from the rider to prevent an inexperienced horse going off line...

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