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Maintaining a Consistent Rhythm to the Fence to Choose Better Distances

Submitted by member: Beth

I am interested in information and exercises to help address taking back in front of fences; also exercises to help establish a balanced and forward pace at the canter.

Answer by: Natasha

Hi Beth,

It sounds like you are having trouble staying on a consistent rhythm to the fence that allows you to choose better distances. Continuously picking shorter and shorter distances and adding strides can become a very difficult habit to break. I find that this issue typically arises out of a poor canter and rhythm; consequently, your eye develops a habit of picking or always seeing the add. Below are some videos that will be useful to you.

Help for the Habitual Circler presented by Bernie Traurig. This video topic will provide you with an exercise that can tremendously help you break the bad habit of picking to the fence or circling when indecision overwhelms you. It’s a very easy and effective exercise to implement into your daily training to improve your eye and reaction.

Watch Help For The Habitual Circler

I also suggest taking a look at Exercises to Develop a Better Eye parts 1A and 1B, and the Advanced Exercises To Develop A Better Eye in part 2.

Watch Exercises to Develop a Better Eye: Part 1-A Watch Exercises to Develop a Better Eye: Part 1-B Advanced Exercises To Develop A Better Eye: Part 2

Additionally, Looking for a Distance, Winning Eye Exercises, and Eye Exercise Tips are also videos for you to explore more tips and tricks to improve your eye for a distance and help you overcome the habit of picking too many strides to the fence.

Watch Looking for the Distance Watch Winning Eye Exercises Watch Eye Exercise Tips

To improve your flatwork and your horse’s gaits, I suggest taking a look at our series, Fundamentals of Flatwork, with Bernie Traurig. This is a great series that covers training techniques to improve your horse’s performance and quality of gaits.

Watch Fundamentals of Flatwork

Sometimes, pulling to the fence and picking too many distances can be a habit built from poor hands. Practicing with a driving rein can be a useful tool for you to improve your hands as well as your distance choices, diminishing the habit of unnecessary pulling to the fence. Check out Developing Good Hands.

Watch Developing Good Hands

Last, but not least, check out Denny Emerson’s topic, The Right Canter. Denny will explain exactly what the ‘right canter’ means, and demonstrate how to get to the proper take-off point out of a rhythmical, balanced canter with impulsion and the right speed.

Watch The Right Canter

I think this collection of videos will greatly help you establish a better canter and break the habit of picking to the fence.

– Natasha

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Natasha Traurig Ferrara

Raised in the barn, Natasha Traurig Ferrara developed her riding career under the tutelage of her parents, Christine and Bernie Traurig, establishing an esteemed foundation in horsemanship at a very young age. At the age of 18, Natasha claimed her “professional” status and continued her education and career under the direction of prominent riders like Mandy Porter, Simon Nizri, and Michelle Parker, and running the sales and development of horses for Neil Jones Equestrian. She now operates Traurig Tradition Inc., specializing in the development and training of young horses to Grand Prix Show Jumpers, and is based in Parker, Colorado.

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