How to Make XC Jumping a Positive Experience for Your Horse – Freckles’ First Go at XC!

Taking Freckles cross-country for the first time, I wanted it to be an experience he enjoyed and that boosted his confidence and our relationship.

It can be so easy to overface our horse or expect too much of them and end up in a bit of a battle. My approach is always to take it slow, work at the right level for my horse and prioritise our joy throughout. This does mean that there isn’t much drama or impressive jumping in this video!

If you want to find out more about how I use positive reinforcement to introduce my horses to new environments and obstacles, this video is for you. I clicker train my horses and you’ll see me marking and rewarding frequently in this video. Of course, prior to this, freckles had plenty of preparation.

These are some things I trained before attempting xc fences:

– Balanced groundwork and riding at walk, trot and canter plus basic lateral exercises.

– Calm and connected riding and cantering in open spaces.

– Plenty of polework and jumping in an arena.

– Relaxed and confident travelling to new environments.

When you put all the building blocks in place, each step should feel achievable and fun for both of you. This is always my aim in training.

I went on this trip with my friend, Sophie, and her mare, Elfine at the wonderful Escrick Park Rideways.

➣ If you’d like to find out more about my horse training approach and learn how to train your horse this way, please check out the Connection Training Club. The CT Club is an online membership site where you can get access to hundreds of step-by-step training videos on training your horse using positive reinforcement. You can learn and see exactly how I train my horses and how to train yours using rewards, from starting off with a fantastic foundation to effective and practical techniques for despooking, loading, riding and more. You can find out more and sign up here.We look forward to seeing you there 🙂

➤ You can also find out more in the #1 bestselling Connection Training BOOK 📖 Get it on Amazon (search for ‘Connection Training’) or download Chapter 1 free here for a preview 👀

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