Jumping exercises with Gemma Tattersall

During our visit to Gemma’s Horsham base we were able to witness her schooling a range of horses, from an inexperienced four year old to her stalwart Badminton specialist Arctic Soul; observing each horse’s tailored training based on the  stage of their career. Gemma uses an array of exercises to improve her horses’ ability to think for themselves as well as increasing elasticity through fun sessions.

Riding eight year old advanced horse Chilli Knight, Gemma ran through an exercise useful for encouraging a horse to think for themselves and get up in the air over a fence.

Set up this exercise yourself
- Set up five canter poles at three and a bit yards apart with a small upright fence at the end
- Make the distance between the last pole and the upright slightly shorter (approximately two and a half feet) to encourage the horse to come up in front and over the fence

Try for yourself

- Once you have warmed up, start by cantering down the poles and over the fence trying not to interfere and letting the horse think for himself
- If your horse is not too fizzy, keep cantering to increase his fitness
- Put the last fence up slightly  -  height isn’t the key aim of this exercise
- Once you are happy that your horse is making a nice shape over the upright, change the fence to a spread (this will make him stretch over the fence)
- Put the fence up slightly.
- Once you have repeated this a few times, cool down.

Watch Arctic Soul jumping this exercise HERE

Tailoring this exercise for a young horse

- Keep the first pole in place and remove those up to the fence.
- Place a ground line in front of the fence
- If your horse is especially green, use V poles on the ground in the middle, to set the horse back from the fence.
- Repeat this exercise as you would with a more experienced horse, cantering down to the fence and changing to a small spread once you are happy.

Watch this exercise with a young horse HERE