Selwood’s Ask the Experts with NZ Eventer – Jonelle Price

This time, Selwood’s ‘Ask the Experts‘ series is based on Eventing.

Our sponsored New Zealand Event Rider, Jonelle Price pursued her dream of eventing at the highest level. She was a reserve for both the Athens Olympics and Aachen World Championships with the extraordinary Mazetto. Jonelle is currently listed on the NZ squad and took home a team bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics with Flintstar.

Riders, young or old, experience or just starting off with their riding career, have had the opportunity to send us in a question relating to eventing, which Jonelle Price will be answering.

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The first question was from Nina Young:  (Nina is 14 and rides a 5 year old dutch warm blood, who was broken last October. Nina is hoping to attend more BE events in the near future!)
 ‘Hi, I would like to ask a question.
When schooling a youngster, how do you get them to jump ditches, corners and waters without too much of a fuss?
Also, how do you keep a youngster from running through your hand while jumping?
Our dutch warmblood gets very excited while jumping and picks up more and more speed round the courses, so I need help with that!’

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Jonelle’s response was:
‘Hi Nina,Introducing horses to cross country varies greatly depending on the horses nature and attitude. For example, if they are a spooky horse by nature, they might take longer than a horse that is naturally brave and forward.It is best to start with small and simple questions and then work your way up as the horse becomes more confident. Try to avoid getting in to problems. For instance, if they are unsure going into the water or over a ditch for the first time, get a lead from another horse and then come on your own on the third or fourth time. When jumping skinnies or corners, use poles as wings before attempting without. These principles will create good habits and give them good experiences which is important in the early stages.Regarding the picking up speed element, this is something that can be addressed at home on the arena. It is often through enthusiasm that they will do this, but he must also have manners and stay on your aids. You can help him to do this with the use of poles on the ground before or after the fence, ie a pole at one stride before the fence, another at 2 strides and a third at 3 strides. This will regulate his length of stride. You can do the same afterwards if he is rushing on landing.

He is only young and hasn’t been broken in very long, so take your time.

Good luck!
Jonelle x’

Thank you to Jonelle for the great advice and Nina for the question!
If anybody else has any questions that they would like Jonelle to answer, please email leanne@selwood.com
If your question is selected to be put forward, you too could have it published online.
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