Horse Exercises, Jumping Courses to Improve Your Hunter Jumper

Use these simple horse exercises to improve your hunter jumper rounds.

Horse Exercises – Parts of a Hunter Jumper Course

When you break down the elements of a hunter jumper course you will see that the jumping course is made up of:

  • straight lines

    The show hunter and rider formally turned out ...

    The Hunter-Jumper Course is Made of Straight Lines, Turns and Jumps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • turns
  • jumps

Each time you ride, include elements of a hunter jumper course in your schooling program. So often as we ride and school our horses, we aimlessly circle around without considering how this applies to our showing and competitions.

Include Elements of a Hunter Jumper Course In Your Daily Horse Exercises

Horse Riding

The Horse Must Be Straight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Riding a straight line on a jumping course is the same as riding a straight line in any other exercise. The horse must be straight – that is the horse’s hind legs must be following in the path that the front feet makes – and the horse has to be ‘packaged’.

The horse should be stepping up from each hind leg equally into each rein. Keep your legs on the horse’s sides to keep the horse stepping up equally into each rein. Your contact has to be steady and supple. Rather than riding around the outside of the arena, try riding up the center line, the quarter line or a straight line in an open field. You will be surprised how much more ‘riding’ is required when you ride without a wall, fence or structure to help support you.

Straight  lines are important because a correctly ridden straight line will help horses maintain their balance and direct their strength/power.

Try this exercise – place 2 jump rails about 6 feet apart on the center line of the ring. Turn onto the center line and ride through the middle between the rails. The rails should be placed parallel to the center line or long side of the riding area.

Each time your ride through them have some one roll them closer together. Keep doing this untill they are about 2 feet apart. You will see how accurate you can ride if the rails are this close together.

Horse Exercises – Practice your turns – Next installment

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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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