Gridwork and gymastics exercises are the stuff of nightmares for some riders, but overcoming that fear can open up a great new tool for combinations looking to tweak something in their partnership.
Whether they strike fear into you or you revel in the thrilling bounce of a line of tests, Guy Williams’ instruction in this quick video will give you something new to explore.
Ground pole, small bounce (18 in.), medium bounce, medium bounce, ground pole. (Medium bounces are around 2′ to 2’6″ here and should not exceed 3′.)
This simple bounce grid design is specifically designed to help the horse think about his forward to back centering and balance – The bounce forces the horse to stay light in front and not fall on the forehand because he’s got to pick himself right up to move forward and complete the bounce.
Because the grid is setting the question, it allows the horse to make his own choices about how to proceed, how to use his body and get himself to the other side – giving horses these opportunities to think for themselves greatly improves confidence and decision making in course work later.
Finally, because the rider tends to have to stay out of the way in gymnastics, it encourages a softer and more trusting connection which too will translate to the open ring and make for a stronger partnership.
Make sure gridwork is part of your healthy workout diet with your horse (Guy says once or twice a week is plenty), and Go Jumping!