If ridden and worked on correctly this can be a fantastic training aid for both horse and rider.
The serpentine exercise can be used over and over again, daily if necessary and will improve your horses balance and rhythm, as well as his straightness, suppleness and bend.
There are clear benfits to you and your horse
- -Lead changes
- -Easy to set up
- -Doesn’t require a lot of equipment
Control, rhythm, collection and lead changes are all very important tools that contribute to success in the show jumping ring.
3 loop serpentine with fences is an effective yet simple exercise you can use with your horse and is beneficial to people of all abilities.
Set your 2 fences out over the centre line of the loops of your serpentines.
To begin with leave poles on the floor.
1. Begin by walking or trotting (whichever you are more comfortable with) your 3 loop serpentine. Using your poles as guidelines and aiming to hit the middle of your pole each time.
2. When you have mastered the exercise in trot it is time to move onto canter.
The exercise now becomes a little more complicated. It is important to keep your horse on the correct canter lead so this means you must begin to use your pole to change your canter lead.
If this is too hard, you can bring your horse into trot and then back into canter on the correct lead, just as you would when changing the rein.
This is where you will begin to notice your level of control and collection. Keeping your horse balanced and controlled over this exercise takes time and patience, but continue to put the work in and you will master it.
3. Once you and your horse are maintaining a constant and are totally comfortable with cantering the exercise you can add a fence.
To begin with it might be easier to put your first fence up and leave the second part of the exercise as a pole, this allows for a margin for error.
Don’t be surprised at how fast the fences come up, but eventually you will find changing lead over fences a lot easier than poles.
4. When you add your second fence it is really time to put to the test your control, collection, balance and rhythm!
Things to remember:
- This exercise is designed to benefit people of all abilities, so make sure to master each step before moving on to the next as well as doing the exercise on both reins.
katy Thomas - Newfield Livery