Training Tuesday - Part 3 Chris Bartle's training tips

Advice and exercises from Great Britain’s World Class Performance Coach Chris Bartle for you to try at home. Part three looks at controlling the drift.

  • Build two oxers on an acute, dog-leg line. The striding is not set, but the fences are roughly four or five strides apart if ridden on a moderate curve. 
  • Ride from the inside of the midline of the first fence to the inside of the midline of the second fence. 

As soon as you have your line, look at the second fence rather than the first. Often when I say: ‘look right’ or ‘look left’, the rider inadvertently allows the horse to drift in this direction. Control the horse’s line through engaging your core muscles and using your inside leg to keep him out.

Turning should be done with the body and legs, but a single rein bridge can help. Gather up the spare bit of rein to create a ‘bridge’ between your two hands so you are turning the horse in one movement. If you just use your inside rein, you will likely lose the outside shoulder.

Make sure you establish your canter before you approach, so that your only focus is on riding an accurate line – the horse can make the judgement about striding.
Part 1 - Improving accuracy on a line

Part 2 - Securing your landing position

Find BE Accredited training in your region HERE.

Don’t forget the warm-up:

  • Relaxation – “The more you can give the rein to encourage the horse to take his nose out, the better, and keep your seat light in the beginning to encourage him to relax and use his back.”

  • Control of direction – “The inside and outside reins have different jobs. The outside rein is the disciplining rein, whereas the inside rein is more giving – I sometimes call it the horse’s friend. Support them with your inside leg and wait for them to accept the outside rein, then they will start to drop the neck and relax the muscles, and you can allow the neck to straighten.”