Grid Exercises with Gina Miles

Grid Exercises with Gina Miles
Click the image above to download a diagram of these grid exercises.

Olympic eventer Gina Miles provides tips on how to use grids to correct specific problems. Read more details on these exercises here.

1. If your horse has never jumped a grid, start very simply and keep the fences low.

Place to jumps 30 feet apart and trot in. This will give you two canter strides between the jumps plus take off and landing. Once your horse is easily handling that exercise, you can add a third jump 33 feet (two strides) from the second one.

2. Once your horse is comfortable with that exercise, try a more difficult one-stride grid.

Make the distance 18 feet between jumps two and three [to account for the longer canter stride as you progress through the grid]. A your horse gains more experience, you can canter into the grid, but inexperienced horses and riders should plan to trot in.

3. For horses that rush, use rails on the take off and landing. Miles recommends placing a take off rail 9 to 10 feet before the first jump, in the middle of the first and second jumps, in the middle of the second and third jumps, and again 10 to 11 feet after the last jump.

4. To help horses improve their jumping style and power if they tend to be flat and careless is to set three low, wide oxers.

Keep the distances a little shorter to encourage your hrose to get to the base of the oxers and jump up and round over them. An example exercise would be trotting in to a cross-rail set 18 feet (one stride) from the first oxer, then 20 feet (one stride) to the second oxer and 21 feet (one stride) to the third oxer.

Click here for more grid exercises.

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Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider since 2007, and in August 2019, she took over as head editor. She’s been instrumental in the production of both magazines and helped Horse Illustrated win a 2018 American Horse Publications Media Award in the General Excellence Self-Supported Publication (circulation 15,000 and over) category. Before getting involved in the editorial side of print media, she worked as an award-winning ad copywriter for Thoroughbred Times magazine. Caccamise has her MS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, where she studied equine nutrition and exercise physiology, and her Bachelor’s from UCLA in Biology. Caccamise has also worked as a research assistant, horse camp counselor teaching riding and vaulting, and as a top-level show groom in the eventing world, where she continues to compete her horse, Artie, at the lower levels.


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