Cross Country With Jim Wofford

Cross Country With Jim Winter 2020

Pandemic Report: Improved Sport but Worrisome Trends

Many riders got back to basics during quarantine, but Jim has some concerns about the bigger picture.


The End of the Cavalry

In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Jim Wofford shares stories of growing up in a horse-crazy family that had military icons and Olympians at the breakfast table.

Valegro Charlotte Dujardin

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Do you have the tools you need for competition this year … and do any need sharpening?

Joy Slater Carrier Maryland Hunt Cup

In Search of the Complete Horseman

Hunter/jumper, eventing or dressage—remember, they’re all parts of a whole.


When the Best Riders Meet Great Course Design

Jim Wofford explores how Derek di Grazia, designer of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event cross-country course, still stays a step ahead of elite competitors


Jim Wofford: A Tribute to Caprilli

Jim contemplates the continuing influence of the Italian cavalryman who originated the forward seat.

Single Bride or Single Cross Rein

Gone Away! Techniques for Galloping Safely

Jim Wofford shares his “slow and safe” approach to learning to ride your horse at the gallop.


Cross Country with Jim Wofford: One ‘Yeah, but …’ Leads to Another

Thought-provoking questions leave Jim contemplating the future of eventing.

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Perfect Riding Position: A Moving Target

Your horse’s motion is the real determinant of your riding position at any time. Jim Wofford explains.

If you study every aspect of your sport while you are on the ground watching others ride, chances are you will be a better rider when you are back in the saddle. At first, you will have a hard time focusing. Improve by watching only one small part of the overall picture. For instance, sit by the warm-up ring during a jumping competition and watch the horses’ faces as they approach an obstacle. With practice, you will find that eventually you will be able to notice several things at once about the performance. | © Amy K. Dragoo

Learn from the Other Guy's Mistakes

Jim Wofford explains how to make the most of the time when you’re watching instead of riding.

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Are You With Me? Moving with Your Horse

Jim Wofford explains how to follow your horse's motion correctly in any discipline and in different scenarios.

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Harmony Through Self-Carriage

Jim Wofford explains how to work toward self-carriage with our horses.

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Points to Consider: Jump with the Motion of Your Horse

Jim Wofford discusses two positions needed to ride in eventing's jumping phases, show jumping and cross country.

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Beginning Gymnastics with Jim Wofford

Learn to introduce your horse to basic jumping exercises in this excerpt adapted from Jim Wofford's new book, Modern Gymnastics.

Louis Paddy Neilson Maryland Hunt Cup

Cross-Country Speed Magnifies Mistakes

Jim Wofford's third "Back to Basics" column explains why a correct cross-country position is critical.

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A Leg To Stand On

Jumping safety resides in the details. Jim Wofford explains.

Rider Position Jim Wofford

What We Mean When We Say 'Back to Basics'

Jim Wofford means no stirrups and no reins ... no joke.

The weight of Tiger in my arms is substantial, but that weight is ?nothing compared to the weight of responsibility that settles on my shoulders when I take a new animal into my life. | ? Jim Wofford

I Owe It All to Labradors

Jim Wofford acknowledges his debt to working with training subjects of the canine kind.

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Horses and War

Jim Wofford reflects on the horse's role in human conflict.

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Simplify Your Riding

Jim Wofford explains how to simplify, not stack, aids to improve your riding.

Modern scientific research has described the galloping position we should use cross country. I like the feeling of poise and focus that Sharon White and ?Inspiration (Bounce) give me in this photo. Bounce is secretly taking a bit of a grip on the reins, and Sharon has closed her hands against the neck to stabilize her speed. Notice she is using her hands against the neck to control her horse, rather than to control her upper body. In a perfect world, I would like Sharon's seat a little closer to the saddle, with her knee bent a little more. From this ?position, Sharon's weight will correctly rise and sink into her knees and ankles. This position absorbs the shock of galloping and reduces Bounce's workload. Besides being scientifically flawed, standing straight-legged in the stirrups at the gallop is unstable and potentially dangerous.

Design a Horse Fitness Plan for Eventing

Help your horse feel as good at the end of cross country as he does at the beginning with a solid horse fitness plan.

Horse Tack Equipment

A Safe, Successful Eventing Season Starts in the Barn

You don't need to be riding to improve your chances of success in the coming season, Jim Wofford explains.

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Great Riders Have Told You Something About Training Horses

Why some of the oldest recorded techniques for training horses are still the best.

Jim Wofford coaches a cross-country rider. | ? Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore

Are You Qualified or Are You Ready for the Next Eventing Level?

You've qualified to move up a level in eventing, but are you ready?