Selwood’s ‘Ask the Experts’ with show jumper Trevor Breen

Once again, Selwood’s ‘Ask the Experts’ series has proved incredibly popular and we have had numerous emails come in with questions relating to show jumping, which is our featured discipline for this month. Trevor Breen is our expert on hand this time and aside from being a well known name in Ireland, has had a great deal of success to date both competing on the National and International circuit as well as sourcing, producing and selling some top international horses both for Breen Sport Horses and for clients of his. Trevor is a familiar face on the showjumping circuit and many of you may know him for the notable success he has had with his one eyed wonder horse Adventure de Kannan or Addy as he is known to his stable mates! He had his eye removed after suffering from a long term eye condition, but it hasnt made any difference to his jumping – Trevor tells us he has gone from strength to strength and his cheeky character is as big as ever!


Niamh O’Brien sent her question in to us for Trevor to answer:
“My horse puts in a very short stride in front of jumps, more like a hop and ends up too close to the fence. How do I stop her from doing this? Thank you”.
Niamh is 16 years old and from Ireland. Her mare is a 16.1hh eight year old Irish Sports Horse called Jodie.


They have been doing some hunter trials and her long term plan is to do some intermediate eventing with her local pony club this summer if her training goes to plan. With show jumping being one of the three phases in eventing, it is important for Niamh to train in all three disciplines. Lets see what Trevor advises……

Trevor advises….
“I would use canter poles in front of the fence to offset this problem. Firstly start with one pole three yards from the fence and approach in trot so she must go over this pole also meaning that there is a defined take off point for her. As she gets more confident on the exercise, canter to the same exercise and eventually add more canter poles each one three yards away from the other. Build this exercise gradually to build confidence and to train the horse as well. As the horse gets more confident lengthen each pole to three and a half yards distance each”.

Canter poles are a great way to develop your horses balance, rhythm and co-ordination. They are also a great way to establish consistency and correctness in the horses stride. They encourage plenty of energy and flexion from the horses hind quarters as well as adding an element of interest for the horse in the training session.


Thanks to Trevor for his great advice and also to Niamh for her question – if anyone else wants to email in a question for Trevor to answer, please email and if your question is selected to be put forward you too could have it published online!

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