Top tips for showjumping course walks from Mia Palles-Clark (Korenika)
Course walking tips..
*Be in good time to walk the course so you’re not rushed round.
*Make sure you know what table the class is being run under (A4 speed, A7 jump off, single phase or two phase, A8 3 rounds, A10 jump off, table C speed, etc, etc!)
*If A7, A10 or A8 make sure you know the jump off (s) and take a look whilst walking the first round (you won’t get another chance)
*If single or two phase know where the start and finish of the jump off are in order to walk and calculate the lines you want to take and not miss a crucial turn.
*Walk the course where you want to ride it (centre to centre of fences and walk the lines and turns)
*Check where you will ride the best approach to the first fence and where you will get away from your last fence, both in the best lines and most balanced canter you can.
*Walk your distances (double, combination and related distances up to 6 or 7 strides)
*If you’re not sure on anything or have a query speak to the course builder. The design is his baby so he will be able to explain to you want he means.
*If you are unhappy with something in the course talk to the course designer and the judges, they will try to accommodate if they agree with you. Be polite and respectful about how you approach this though!
*Concentrate when walking the course (not too much chatting!)
*Know your horses’ strengths and ride to emphasise them and help each other jump a clear round.
*When you’ve walked recall it to yourself using the colours and types of fence, then close your eyes and do this again, then visualise your round as you want to ride it.. this should commit the course well to your memory.
*When watching other riders remember to stick to your plan that YOU made for YOUR horse, watching is great and necessary tool but don’t be distracted from your plan.
*Event riders.. make every effort to be at the ring in order to walk your course at your allocated time! No one can be expected to put in their best performance without knowing the intricacies the course builder has set for you.
*An experienced rider or coach that may be in the same class as you will usually be more than happy to talk you round it and help with any questions you may have, so don’t be afraid to ask.
*Good luck, enjoy and go jump that clear round!
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