A horse’s stride is approx 12 ft – SJ tracks laid out on this basis. Teach yourself to walk out your distances in yards (3ft to a yard) then striding distances can be relatively accurate: 4 of your strides to one horse stride. Ensure when striding your distances you takes account of take off and landing – 6ft (2 yards or 2 of your paces) for take off and the same for landing. So, for a 1 stride double you would walk 8 yards (24 ft) in total: 2 yards for landing, 4 yards for the one stride and 2 yards for take off over the second element.
For a horse that rushes, put placing poles on the ground before the jump – at 3 horse strides between each (space permitting), then play with strides between the poles – taking 3 or 4 horse strides to get the horse listening and attentive.
Control: Do not turn after the fence until you are in control – Tim had all of his horses halting at the arena wall rather than turning after the jump.
Suppleness and flexibility is important – work on stretching the horse’s neck in both directions whilst travelling straight forward. Also key to get the back end underneath to help the horse spring over the fence – this can be done in all paces.
Counter canter used to help balance and suppleness.