Jumping Done Right: Esme's Winning Riding Routine

Esme is a horse rider who shares her riding routine for jumping in her latest article. Her routine is designed to help riders improve their skills and prepare their horses for successful jumps.

To start with, Esme emphasizes the importance of warm-up exercises to loosen up both the rider and the horse's muscles. She suggests beginning with a five-minute walk to allow the horse to stretch its legs and loosen any stiffness. After the walk, Esme recommends performing various exercises such as leg stretches, circles, and bending to further warm up the horse's muscles and improve its flexibility, which is crucial for jumping.

Once the horse is warmed up, Esme moves on to trotting exercises. She advises starting trot work on a large circle to encourage the horse to engage its hindquarters and maintain balance. Esme explains that a well-balanced horse is better equipped to jump efficiently and safely. She then introduces trot poles, which are placed on the ground to encourage the horse to focus on correct foot placement and rhythm. This exercise helps the horse develop the necessary coordination for successful jumping.

Next, Esme incorporates canter work into her routine. Canter transitions, both upward and downward, are essential to improve the horse's adjustability and responsiveness. Esme suggests practicing canter strides between poles to enhance the horse's rhythm and suppleness. She also recommends incorporating small fences into the canter work, gradually increasing the height and difficulty to challenge both the rider and the horse.

In addition to the physical aspects, Esme stresses the importance of mental preparation. She suggests visualizing success and focusing on positive thoughts to build confidence both in the rider and the horse. Esme advises riders to trust their instincts and always maintain a positive mindset, as negativity can hinder progress and affect the horse's performance.

Finally, Esme concludes her routine with a cool-down phase. This phase involves gradually reducing the intensity of the exercises, allowing the horse to recover and relax after the jumping session. Esme highlights the significance of cooling down properly to prevent muscle soreness and injury.

Overall, Esme's riding routine for jumping emphasizes the importance of proper warm-up and cool-down exercises, as well as incorporating trot and canter work with poles and small jumps. By following this routine, riders can improve their skills, enhance their horse's performance, and ultimately become more successful in jumping competitions.