Training Tips from the Top – Jennifer Wood
The first of our training tips from the professionals comes from Jennifer Wood. Jen is an accomplished rider and coach and was a valued member of the Emcee Apparel Team in the 2019 Australian Jumping Teams League (AJTL), which finished the season in third place overall. Last year, Jen also competed for the first time in the Australian World Cup Qualifying Series, riding and placing at the Gatton event. Jen is based in Cudal in the central west of NSW and conducts lessons and clinics at her property. Click HERE to learn more about the services provided by Boree Equine.
See below as Jen describes one of her favourite training exercises:
Cantering into 3 bounces, 4 strides to a vertical that can be changed to an oxer during the lesson/ training session.
“This exercise would have to be one of my most commonly used exercises in training at home, and when I travel teaching clinics. It’s also something that I can leave set up and use for experienced horses and riders, young horses, green riders and also kids when teaching a variety of levels in the one day. By keeping the heights of the fences suitable to each horse rider combination. The exercise can teach the horse and rider so much all in one. For the rider- position, rhythm, and straightness being the main focus. Also it’s a great exercise to encourage the riders to feel confident when feeling a little nervous at the beginning of the lesson. For the horse, this exercise can do so much. Athleticism, sharpness, keeping the horse confident, ensuring the horse learns to jump straight and to use their body correctly over the fence. The bounce can be altered and changed to each horses level.”
“For younger horses I keep the rails on the ground to begin with, and always leave a trot place rail to help the horse read the exercise. For the older more experienced horses I find cantering into the bounce helps them with their strength and encourages them to think about it more. The vertical at the end of the exercise can always be changed to an oxer, really encouraging the horse to think about the back rail. When I jump my horses at home and when I teach I’m very passionate about keeping a soft contact at the fence to really promote the horse to think about the fence on their own. I like to keep things simple and less is more when teaching horses and riders through exercises.”