How do you jump accuracy fences in the cross-country phase ?
Accuracy fences can be found on many cross-country courses and they require a lot of precision from the rider and forwardness from the horse. With enough training, these fences become natural and the horses don’t hesitate anymore.
Start by warming-up your horse. Ask for a few canter – walk – canter transitions to make sure your horse is responsive. Focus on control. When you move your fingers, your horse must respond; it will be a great advantage in front of accuracy fences.
Start your jumping warm-up on a single vertical, and then, you will jump narrower precision fences. Remember to use ground lines to control the jump and reassure the horse. Your first narrow fence will ideally consist of two large wings and two poles. Don’t use fillers yet.
Once your horse jumps the simple narrow fence calmly, lead him over a small cross-country style fence: an arrowhead with a brush. Still very easy with wing poles and jump stands. This is an ascending obstacle of the “triple brush” type, with a brush of branches to give more volume.
To jump precision fences, you still need a lot of balance to control the pace and make sure you fit in the right number of strides, and also maintain the line into each fence. You must therefore control your horse and he must wait for you: he should be balanced and not rush.
If your horse jumps the previous accuracy fences well, then you can begin working on combinations. Indeed, on cross-country courses, precision fences are not only isolated jumps but also and especially in combinations. Try the accuracy fence with and then without the wing poles in order to test your horse’s forwardness.
The approach phase of a precision fence in cross-country is not just a matter of speed but also a question of balance and control. You must make sure that your horse has enough impulsion (this is often the case on the cross-country). You must have the gallop pace that you like, the one you feel comfortable with.
Finally, on horses that are a little more inexperienced, you should remember to slow down and regain control by rebalancing your horse on his hind quarters before jumping.
Do you have difficulty jumping accuracy fences on the cross-country course? What do you think of this email? Leave me a comment here.