Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden is one of the top riders competing this week in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington at the CP Palm Beach Masters CSI***-W presented by Sovaro in Florida. Here she shares a favorite gymnastic exercise that increases rideability while saving wear and tear on your horse.
Set up three cavaletti 57 feet apart. Start by cantering over them, putting a nice four strides between the obstacles. Once your horse is doing that smoothly, do five and five strides. Then do variations of that, five strides to four strides, four strides to five strides. If you can do that really well, you can do six strides to four strides and four strides to six strides. You can do this exercise in either direction.
If your horse is getting too aggressive and you can’t fit in whatever striding you want to do, halt before the next cavalletti, circle and start again. You can also jump the first two and stop. Generally, the forward stride to the shorter is the hardest part of the variations for the horses.
This is basically flatwork, putting some “fences” in the form of cavalletti in the flatwork so horses have to learn to lengthen and shorten without fighting or getting distracted by the rider. Using cavalletti instead of jumps also allows you to practice while prevents excessive concussion on your horse’s legs.
When you get good at four strides and all of the other variations, you can make almost a whole little course by adding more cavalletti to the layout in your ring so you can practice adjustability without jumping fences.
This is the twelfth competition in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League for riders vying for points for a spot at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, April 10–15, 2018 in Paris, France.
Follow our coverage of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington and the CP Palm Beach Masters CSI3***-W presented by Sovaro. We’ll bring you videos and photos of your favorite horses and riders, along with the latest news and results.
BONUS: Enter to win a trip for two to the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France, April 10–15, 2018. To earn an additional 10 extra bonus entries, send a selfie that you take while you are at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington and upload it to the entry page.