Understanding your horse’s jumping mechanics can make you a better rider and trainer–and help him stay sounder.
All great jumpers have two qualities. First is the physical ability to get their bodies up into the air. Second is the mental combination of courage and a great desire to be careful—reluctant to touch, let alone wallop, a rail. In this article, I’ll address the first of these two qualities, but this is not meant to diminish the second. No matter how much physical ability a horse has, if he is not careful and brave, he’ll have little success in the show ring. As six-time Olympic show jumper Frank Chapot says, there is a delicate balance between being chicken and being brave, which all good trainers have to solve.
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