The competition season is about to begin! Equisense would love to see their riders on the podium this summer so we have come up with 7 exercises to help you prepare effectively!
To prepare, we have identified 3 key things you should do:
- Be in perfect control (speed, rhythm, impulsion)
- Tight Turns
- Jump at an angle
These 7 exercises that follow are orientated around these key things so that you can practise.
Exercise #1 – The Vicious Circle 😱
The objective of this exercise is to give you control no matter the conditions, even in a forward canter.
Here’s how to perform the exercise:
- Canter on a 20m circle
- Start by doing 3 strides at right shoulder in. It will work on your horse’s leg response, flexibility and engagement.
- Continue to do the same exercise as before but for the left.
- Straighten your horse for 3 strides.
- Release your hands forward for 3 strides, your horse must maintain their balance and gait.
- Get your contact back and increase your canter speed until you’re at the start of your exercise, then repeat.
As you continue to do this exercise multiple times, try to increase your speed which will therefore increase difficulty. You will have to keep balanced and composed when the canter lengthens and your horse needs to remain supple, balanced and responsive to your aids, despite the speed.
This exercise is not easy so believe me, you and your horse will both sweat. Remember to do this exercise on both reins!
To read also: 4 exercices pour développer la propulsion
Exercise #2 – Vary your Speed in a Line ↔️
This second exercise is to gain control in a straight line. In competition you must be able to vary the speed of your canter to be able to add or remove a stride between 2 fences, therefore, that’s where this exercise comes in.
Set up a line of 3 fences at a small height ( each 20m apart or 16m depending on your terrain). The idea is that you can make mistakes without any big consequences.
The exercise consists of:
- First, doing the two lines in 5 strides then vary the speed by doing 4 and 4 strides then 6 and 6.
- Finally, vary the consistency by doing 5 and 4, 5 and 6, 4 and 6 and so on, you can choose whichever variation you like.
Be careful and try not to use your hands to shorten the strides, utilise your shoulders and back.
Variation to Start
You can start with ground poles first you ensure you have a good foundational understanding of the exercise before you raise them.
Exercise #3 – Tight Turns ↪️
This exercise relates to our second objective: knowing how to make tight turns. During the competition you will have to make very tight, hairpin turns, so you have to be prepared!
The exercise starts by having a big turn and then slowly wind the turn down so by the end it is a short, hairpin turn.
You can increase the difficulty by increasing your speed or adding an extension before and after you make the turn. You will therefore have to be very attentive to your control so that you can still have a balanced turn.
You can use cones to mark the points where you should turn if you want to be more precise.
The idea is to make perfect hairpin turns with a perfectly balanced and in control horse.
Exercise #4 – Jump in a Square ⏹
This exercise mixes up the first two objectives: gaining control and tight turns.
During a competition, you will sometimes have to make right-angle turns just before a jump. This exercise will prepare you for it.
Put 4 jumps on a square of about 16 to 20m. Start by linking the obstacles together by making quarter circles. As you continue to go through the exercise, focus more and more on the corners until you make perfect right angles between the obstacles. You can use cones to mark the points where you should turn if you want to be more precise.
Exercice #5 – Diagonal Jumps ↖️
Third objective: Jump at an angle.
It is common to have to jump at an angle when you are in competition because of the line you may have to take, saying that, it is advisable to practise for this situation!
I suggest this exercise: the bias line. It is in fact 4 obstacles which are offset from one another. Therefore, approach it from an angle and jump the 3 (or 4 or 5 …) obstacles at an angle. The more the obstacles are offset, the greater the bias will be. Increase it as you go!
Exercise #6 – Angles ◀️
This exercise mixes the last objective: jumping at a diagonal
Use a small block or wing with 2 poles fanning out on the side to set up the exercise.
The idea is to approach this jump in different ways:
- First on the narrower, left side. It will require you to jump very close to the wing.
- Then coming to the middle. This will require you to be very straight on your approach and your horse will have to make a little more effort as the jump is becoming wider.
- You will then approach the jump on its widest side. Therefore, you will be performing it at a diagonal so it is important to have a positive approach so that your horse is confident.
- Once you have completed all 3 angles, you can start to vary the distance between the 2 poles, start with a 4m gap and then you can make it wider as you go.
Exercise #7 – Staggered Jumps 🔀
This last exercise mixes up all the objectives: Control, tight turns and jumping at angles.
The exercise consists of placing 4 jumps staggered alternately and spaced 3m apart each.
This allows you to:
- Jump a double jumping sideways
- 4 bounce jumps jumping straight
- Jump at pace with a 1 stride double
The idea is to link the 3 lines together, turning as tight as possible between each to get onto the next line.
A little advice: use cubes instead of wings, especially in the middle, and 4m poles, it will be easier!
You can add a little height to the jumps, even put the poles at an angle, but in this case, slightly increase the distances!
We hope these exercises will help you prepare for the competition season! Note that these exercises are a complete program available on our Equisense App. It is free and you can even use it without a sensor!
We hope to see many of you out at competition proudly wearing your Equisense colors!
Send us your best photos and videos of you doing the exercises, we love seeing them all! 😍
See you soon and good luck,
R&D Manager at Equisense