XC - Jumping ditches and light into dark

Jumping ditches:

  1. When starting to train your horse to jump ditches start with narrow and shallow ones.

  2. Make sure you have a confident horse with you incase you need a lead.

  3. Repeat this many times and you will feel your horse relax and become more confident.

  4. Build this up to trot and canter as appropriate.

  5. Keep your eyes looking ahead and body centrally balanced not leaning forward. If you look down you may end up in the ditch!

  6. When your horse becomes very confident you can start jumping fences before and after but with plenty of distance between them.

  7. When first jumping combinations in training jump the ditch on it’s own first, then introduce the away fence next and then the front fence into the other 2.

Light into Dark:

  1. This is very difficult to train for but if the light is right at a training session then take the opportunity to practice this. This may even be in the arena where a tree is providing an area of shade. Set the first fence in the light and the second fence in the shade. Don’t forget repetition builds confidence.

  2. If you are at an overnight competition try to walk the course at the time you will be riding so that you can see what the light will roughly be like when you to through.

  3. Give the horses time to read the fence but keep your leg on and think forward with the appropriate canter depending on the fence and combination.