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The negotiating of a corner cross country

  1.       The fastest route, but risking a runout to the left. You’ll need to be very accurate as jumping a little to the right of the route shown may mean the spread is too much. Rhythm, balance and straightness required in bucket loads to make it worthwhile as if the pace is reduced by checking too much then there’ll be no advantage in taking this option as it could take the same amount of time as the other routes. A brave option taking this route.
  2.       The sensible option. The horse should flow nicely through the trees, over the corner fence without risking too much spread, and inside the trees afterwards. Ensuring that the line that dissects the angle of the corner is being jumped at 90 degrees. A small variation to the left or to the right of the fence will not risk a runout overly, nor will it risk making the spread too much. It’s an easier option to maintain the flow and by keeping the rhythm the fence should not take too much time to negotiate.
  3.      This option reduces the risk of a run out to the left the most as the first part is being jumped virtually at 90 degrees. If the line is not accurate though, and you drift a little to the right, then the spread may be too much. I’ve first hand experience of this unfortunately and resulted in a broken wrist back in 1990. It’s also the longest route so is likely to take the longest of the 3 options to negotiate.

Training for corner fences

Corners are rider fences. They can be practiced at home with show jumps and a barrel and as they are not fixed they’re safer. Adjust the angle, the height and vary the speed of the approach, but always keep the horse balanced straight and connected with obvious forward desire and impulsion. Practice both left and right hand corners. You can use a placing pole or a jump with a related distance before the corner to ensure you get to it on a good stride, and when you get really confident you can try a corner to a corner!

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