An excercise using transitions to improve your jumping canter

The last exercise – ‘improving the jumping canter’ – gave the rider a way to achieve the balance and feel for the proper stride patterns required for jumping a track of fences.

As you know, the canter is king to perform these kind of exercises correctly, so at this time of the year we work a lot with our students on improving that canter. The exercise below is one of my favourites. It’s really simple and combines so many different ingredients for success, the most vital one being the number of transitions, both upwards and downwards, it requires.

Not only do these transitions help the horse’s balance and engagement, but they also check how responsive your horse is and help make sure he’s really ‘on your aids’.

Place four or five cavaletti, set 1.40m apart (an average horse’s trot stride), then leave as long a distance as your school allows before placing another four or five cavaletti the same distance apart as above – 1.40m.

To perform the exercise, trot to the first set of cavaletti then make an instant transition to canter. A horse’s length before the second set of cavaletti make a transition to trot and trot over the cavaletti. Once again make a transition to canter after the second set of cavaletti and proceed right or left around school before turning back to the first set of cavaletti in canter. A horse’s length again before the first cavaletti you transition to trot and perform the exercise again ……


Try it and see how you get on.

Liam Buckley

Trot-poles exercise for jumping



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