View Full Version : exercises to improve canter and jum

29-04-06, 12:47 PM
Does anyone have any good exercises to strengthen the canter and improve jumping technique?

30-04-06, 10:35 AM
For the jumping, with my last TB I found that to get him jumping straight and tucking under the best thing I could do was use guide rails. Position them on an angle, propped up on the jump and not very far apart at the top. Possibly a terrible explanation. Just ask if you're confused.

01-05-06, 03:43 AM
Ok, to improve the canter on the flat...
Lots of shortening and lengthening of stride (with or without canter poles).

Get the horse to really use its hindquaters on a small circle then ride in a strsight line and gradually lengthen stride.
Also lots of transitions, walk to canter gets the horse using its back end. If you are up to it also start doing flying changes (with or without a pole)

Even try doing turns on the haunches in the walk, trot and canter. It gets the horse using its hindquarters.

You can also set up canter poles that ride similar to a bounce, (aprox 12ft apart) to create the 12ft canter that you need in a sj course.

Over jumps to improve technique

Lots of trot in grid work, this teaches the horse power not pace.
Bounces are great to get your horse jumping round and getting to use themselves.

A gird that gets the horse thinking and lengthening and shortening. Its a trot in, vertical ( 1 stride) oxer (1 stride) vertical (1 stride) oxer. Basically the horse has to lengthen to the oxer then shorten when it comes to the vertical. Its great to get a horse careful. Start with the oxers rising, and after a few times make them square.

01-05-06, 08:38 AM
Transitions! (Sung to the rhythm of Tradition from Fiddler)

02-05-06, 12:52 AM
I'll go with tranitions too. Transtions within the pace (working to med. etc.)as well as out of.
I like spirals - opening the canter out on a big circle to med and bringing down to a small in working (and gradually then, tiny for collecting). Then spiral out again.
The more engaged canter you create on the small circle, you try to maintain as you spiral out to the big circle.

Add 3 poles where you can curve off your circle to them, in a slight 'fan' shape - the distance in the center at 12 feet. the inside shorter and the outside, further apart. Take your circle out to the poles at times and start with the center line (12 ft) and focus on maintaining the rythm. In successive turns over the poles, take the inner or outer lines, where you shorten or lengthen the strides without altering the rythm.

Then add asmall grid to peel off to.
Say, 4 elements smallest first and increasing, straight the increasing spread. 18' between the 1st & 2nd elements, then 19' between 2nd & 3rd and 20', 3rd to 4th. A pole on the ground before the first fence at about 8' works well too.
When coming of your circles, just feel for the rythm coming in and let the horse do the rest. First time or 2 thru, he may show up bad habits, but leave him alone and just think of that rythm coming in and he will start to hit the first fence correctly and bascule beautifully.

02-05-06, 02:29 PM
excellent! Thanks everyone i cant wait to get out there and school him.
Its always great to get some fresh ideas, especially when you always train alone...
Any one else got any favourite exercises??

03-05-06, 03:46 AM
Also try doing long and low at a mediem, working and collected pace in the canter. Make sure that your horses isnt leaning down on the bit though.

Also differentiate your canter from collected canter to a forward canter.

Another excersize that that you can do to get a horse reading poles and careful is: build a jump where the pole is on the very lowest height, and place a pole before and after the jump at about 2 steps distance. Then proced to walk over the jump, turn around and walk over it from the other direction...The idea is that the horse will probably knock the pole several times before going over it and will learn to be careful with all 4 feet!
* note you will need someone on the ground to help.

Another excersize that you can do is set up about 4 trotting poles and 4 jump wings. ( have a single jump wing on one side of each of the poles).

EG a jump wing would be on the left side of the 1st pole, then the right side of the 2nd and so on. What you do is you put each of the poles up to the lowest height on its respective the jump wing. So when you trot over the poles the horse has to lift its feet up just that little higher. Not sure if that all made sence...

its just another excercise to get them careful, also helps with horses that rush.

03-05-06, 06:53 AM
I just did a fantastic one with my instructor yesterday to improve the jump in the canter transition and challenge them a little.

Leg yield off the center line to the sideline before the corner, pick up canter, ride to the opposite side of the arena and do a 10-15m circle.