From Flatwork to Jumping - Anne-Katrin Hagen - ebook

From Flatwork to Jumping ebook

Anne-Katrin Hagen



Working over poles is the first stage in starting your horse to jump, as well as being the ideal way to train your horse to be obedient and supple in his flatwork. Horses will become more attentive and eager to learn; at the same time, they will be strengthening their back muscles. Schooling over poles will help both horse and rider in equal measure. This book offers practical advice to ensure that the first steps in jumping are successful ones.

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Anne-Katrin Hagen





From Flatwork to Jumping

Schooling over Poles






Copyright of original edition © 2004 by Cadmos Verlag GmbH, Brunsbek


Copyright of English edition © 2004 by Cadmos Verlag GmbH, Brunsbek


Translated by: Claire Williams

Project management: Editmaster Co Ltd, Northampton

Design and setting of the print edition: Ravenstein, Verden.

Photography: Chr. Krumm, Andreas Blast

Cover Photos: Chr. Krumm

Illustrations: Ester von Hacht

E-Book conversion: Print Web Software GmbH

All rights reserved

Copying or storage in electronic media is permitted only with the prior written permission of the publishers.


ISBN 978-0-85788-704-7


Why school over poles?

How well do you need to ride?

What type of horse is suitable?

What equipment does the rider need?

How should the horse be tacked up?

What are cavalletti?

The forward position

What is the forward position?

The aids in the forward position

Your position over the jump

Basic exercises over poles

Riding over cavalletti on a circle

Variations to cavalletti grids

Canter work

Working over cavalleti in canter

Starting to jump

Jumping single fences

What you need to know to jump a small course

What is a distance and what is a combination?

The different types of jump

What do the flags signify?

When does the bell ring?

Ring etiquette

Your first round

How is a style class judged?


Why school over poles?

A rider needs a balanced seat and must be able to use her hands independently from the movement of the horse.

Schooling over poles is important for horses, whether the horse is going to be used for dressage, eventing or show jumping. Working over poles exercises the horse and strengthens its muscles, especially those of the back. It en­courages suppleness and elasticity and will help to improve the horse’s rhythm. Work over cavalletti is also a good preparation for show jumping. Working over varied low jumping grids will help to secure a rider’s seat as well as develop a better feeling for the rhythm in canter and through a grid. It also helps a rider to learn to judge distances to and between jumps.

Working over cavalletti and poles is enjoyable for both horse and rider. It brings variety to everyday training, especially in wintertime when it is not always possible to hack out as often.

How well do you need to ride?

Anyone who can hack out confidently, is not ­scared of a brisk canter and does not grip with their legs or hang onto the reins should have few problems starting to school over poles.

Hacking out is the easiest way to learn how your horse is going to react to the unknown. You have to expect the unexpected, so a sudden shy or a small pop over tree roots won’t unseat you. However you should only start jumping when you have developed an independent seat.

This means that you are able to use all of the aids independently of the others. You must have a balanced seat and be able to use the aids through the reins without being affected by the movement of the horse.

What type of horse is suitable?

If you have never jumped at all then it is best to use an experienced, well-trained horse that jumps willingly and safely when starting out. But even a horse that knows its job should be ridden regularly by a more experienced rider, to keep up its level of training and to stop it getting stale. Even the safest of jumpers will easily lose confidence if he doesn’t get the right information from his rider before and after the jump. If a learner bumps back down on his back, or hangs onto his mouth over the jump if he jumps too big because the stride was off, or if he hurts himself by hitting a rail, it is all too easy for a reliable jumper to turn into a frequent refuser. This shouldn’t put anyone off starting to ride over small obstacles, but it is important to understand that you need to approach the enjoyment of jumping with a sense of responsibility. You can do more damage to your horse over jumps than by just working on the flat. Once a horse becomes ”soured” it is very hard to sweeten him to jumping again.


Here both are properly equipped for jumping. The rider is wearing a hard hat, body protector, gloves and riding boots and the horse is tacked up with bridle and martingale, ­jumping saddle and brushing boots.

What equipment does the rider need?