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Miles cantering on Course at Delaware

Forward, Forward, Forward

When Trainer asked what I wanted to work on in the lesson last night, my answer was immediate: “pace.” Ever since I moved up to the Intermediate Adult Hunter division, I’ve been adding an extra stride into each line of jumps. I’m much more comfortable with this slower pace, but my next goal is to be competitive… which means I need to go forward, pick up the pace and do the correct number of strides. It went mostly as I expected: tough. I really struggled to get enough pace to the first jump and my four stride line was more of a gallop and pray than a nice, easy flowing line of jumps. But there is progress: I really made it work, instead of just settling for the extra stride. Miles is a smart cookie and I think he knows the pace we’ve been using in the show ring really well too and that’s how he’s trained right now. So we need to do a little bit of re-training over the winter, but we’ll get there.

Miles trotting

We also did some more complicated jumper-type courses with tighter turns and less related distances in the lesson. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather all week, so remembering lots of turns wasn’t my forte last night. I occasionally forgot where I was going, but Miles was a good sport about it. What showed up in these trips was again our lack of pace. The tighter turns really sucked us down, and we kept losing momentum. So even though I felt like my trips were a bit lackluster, it was nice to do something different and it really gave me some good things to work on.

I’m looking forward to our show this weekend — make sure to follow me on instagram [@flyonovereq] for real-time updates!


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

8 thoughts on “Forward, Forward, Forward

  1. I think B’s stride is why we’d work so well in the hunters. Jumpers in the other hand… We’ve got the turns down but I don’t think getting him to pick up his stride would work too well. That’s when he rushes the jump and tends to refuse as if to say, “DON’T RUSH ME WOMAN!” It’s good that you find a nice pace for the two of you and I think you have a good goal set. Getting around the course safely I think is the best priority. Hope you’re feeling better!

  2. i’m with you on the pace issues – and for me it’s about confidence. i *think* the tight distances are the safer bet, but then the horse has to work harder over the fence and we land in a heap… but when i actually do get that feeling of a forward jump out of stride – that’s a good feeling. so good luck! hopefully once Miles figures out what you’re asking he’ll start clicking right into gear!

  3. Hemie was in that slow phase for a while (which I loved – it felt safe), and we’re finally on the other side and Hemie is completely adjustable – willing to move up or hold back, which is really awesome. You’ll get there soon!

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