Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event 2018

training your three day event horse to jump banks and ditches
  • User AvatarJim Wofford
  • 31 May, 2018
  • 3 Mins Read

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event 2018

Featured Image Credit (CC): rayand on Flickr

Submitted by member: Alisa

What are your takeaways from the 2018 Kentucky 3-Day Event?

Answer by Jim Wofford

If you like horses, the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event really is the “Best Weekend All Year.” It is also a time for coaches to check out the competition and to see what the new trends are in dressage, show jumping, and especially cross-country design. While cross-country courses have become more complex in recent years, they have also become more mechanical. In the past, it has been common for coaches tell their riders, “this first part will ride in a four and then a three to the last jump.” Good designers hate this, because it reduces the course to an exercise in counting numbers, rather than the riders’ feeling and reacting to their horses’ strides.

For example, in Kentucky this year, it was still quite common to see obstacles in relation to each other, but those combinations also contained curves on terrain, which increases the complexity of the designs exponentially. I am now calling these problems “reactive distances,” rather than “related distances.” By this I mean that it is the new normal that a rider must jump into the distance in order to know how many strides to take in order to jump out successfully. I view this as a good thing, because it places the emphasis on feel and good horsemanship, rather than on mechanical recitation of predetermined strides. We are supposed to be riders, not mathematicians.

More Learning

Click on the links below for blog topics on similar issues:

How to Train an OTTB On the Flat for Three-Day Eventing by Jim Wofford

Training an Eventing Horse to get Comfortable with Water Drop Jumps by Denny Emerson and Olivia Loiacono

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training your three day event horse to jump angle and narrow jumps

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In this video, Gina describes her system of introducing horses to banks & drops. As with all new concepts, the key to building the horseʼs confidence in the face of a new challenge, is to go slowly. The riderʼs drop position is highlighted, focusing on appropriate balance, leg position and contact with the horseʼs mouth for safety and stability in the tack.
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