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When you are teaching, your beginner rider can be nervous and require simple guidance because they are experiencing:

  • Adrenalin
  • Breathlessness
  • Multiple thoughts

Many people new to a skill require instructions on one thing at a time.

When beginners start to learn a simple skills like rising trot, you may need to guide your riders through some very basic instructions like:

  • down, up, down

Followed with

  • keep the rhythm

As either you (as a rider) or your student become more experienced and comfortable and would like to improve jumping skills, or you would like to teach improvement within a jumping lesson – think about the five phases of jump.

The 5 Phases of Jump are;

  1. Approach
  2. Take off
  3. Flight
  4. Landing
  5. Departure (which becomes the approach to the next fence)

During these five phases you can group instructions/focus together:

  1. Forward going trot or canter (bouncy canter; ground covering
  2. Jump the fence in the middle;
  3. Approach the jump at right angles.

An experienced rider can listen to a group of three instructions together, whereas a beginner can only listen to
them individually.

As the rider is able to listen to three instructions together over the five phases, you can then group them within each phase.

Teaching the Beginner Rider

Remember that you may say to a beginner rider when they first start jumping ‘jump the middle of the jump, start here and circle before you approach the jump’.

You might even put some witches hats / cones up to help them and say ‘jump the middle of the jump’ and keep riding forward after the jump.

Teaching the Intermediate Rider

As your student becomes more experienced, you can start to bring in multiple things and consider grouping tasks/thoughts/instructions together in threes.

Take off, flight and landing occur quickly and close together. You may initially think about grouping only three instructions
through those three phrases:

    1. Approach

Look up;

  • Focus on your line;
  • Keep the rhythm


Teaching the More Experienced Rider

If you are teaching a more experienced rider you can group instructions together as:

  1. Wait (don’t get in front of the movement when you jump, wait for the fence to come to you);
  2. Follow the movement;
  3. Close your lower leg on the horse with the heel down.
Take off, flight and landing

Initially these three phases can be grouped together into three through take off, flight and landing. However, (as the rider is able to easily group three instructions together) you can split the individual instructions into groups such as
1) Lower body
a. close your legs around the horse;
b. Stretch down with your lower leg; and
c. keep the heels down.
2) Upper body
a. Follow the movement
b. Look up
c. Allow with your hands


The landing becomes the approach to the next jump, so we can return to three instructions for landing and group instructions together for the next phase

  1. Close the leg on to ride you horse forward and away from the fence
  2. Remember to have a quality canter
  3. Prepare the correct bend and flexion for the next corner
In Summary

Initially you will give your beginner rider an individual instruction, so they don’t become overwhelmed and in particular if they lack confidence or are not athletically able to
follow more than one instruction.

Then start to group your instructions together, usually in no more than three together.

After that you can group your instructions together for each of the five phases

  • Approach
  • Take off
  • Flight
  • Landing
  • Departure

Then for your very focused riders, you can group together in each of the phases

  • Instructions for improving quality of horse
  • Upper body
  • Lower body

You could easily end up with 15 or more instructions, but if you have a focused rider and introduce the way you give the instructions into the system above then you won’t overwhelm your rider!

Happy Riding 🙂