Gymnastic jumping is meant to teach the horse to better solve problems over fences. They teach the horse to think about their timing, develop their eye and accurate judgement, and to teach them to be clever with their footwork. To then go out and squelch the horse's initiative at fences by picking each spot for them in training is like throwing all that gymnastic work right out the window.
When jumping fences with a related distance between them, make any needed adjustment early on in the line, and then focus on riding the rhythm and quality of the canter, while patiently waiting for the jump to come to you.
"The freedom of the shoulders in all gaits is always only the result of elevation, and this in turn is the result of the hindquarters carrying the correct weight." Gustav Steinbrecht It is never about trying to "lift" the horse's shoulders! It is about increasing hind end engagement and lowering the quarters. Only then can the front end elevate.
"If the rider encounters a problem, he must first look for the cause in himself. Most of the time, the rider is the cause of the problem. Only someone who looks at his own riding critically and is willing to improve constantly and learn more will be a good rider." ~ Ernst Hoyos
"The motto of instructor and rider must always be forward. Forward in the movement of the horse instructed to his care. Forward in order to achieve his aim in the art of training. Forward whenever difficulties appear." ~ Alois Podhajsky
"Leg yielding is a loosening exercise for the horse – they pull up the leg, fold the joints, push the leg to one side. It is far easier for the horse to leg yield from the centre line to the wall. He wants to go to the wall for help, but never let a young horse go all the way to the wall. The wall is like a magnet, stop him short of the wall." ~ Kyra Kyrklund
Many riders bend in the middle of their body as they jump over a fence. But this means their hip joint will not work as it is supposed to. You need to keep your back flat to let your hip angle close naturally with your horse's jumping motion.
Riding with stirrups that are too long mightseemeasier to you when you are jumping, but they are actually making it much more difficult for you to naturally follow your horse's jumping motion. Shorter stirrups (within reason, of course) will make you a better rider over fences.
"The cavalletti help you stay in the rhythm, because sometimes horses make one stride a little bit bigger than the other and that means loss of rhythm, it must be stride, stride, stride, all in rhythm, and not one stride small, one big." ~ Ingrid Klimke
If you don’t know where you want to go, just about any road will take you there. The more specific your goals, the more accurately specific your plans and actions need to be. True in riding, and in life.
One of the most important things for riders to remember is that we do this for FUN! Make sure that you remind yourself of this often. If you access more of the fun in your riding, your horse will usually go better.
"From half-halt to half-halt, you have to own the rhythm of the horse's footfalls in each of the three gaits and the tempo or how fast they are going over every meter of ground in that gait." ~ Robert Dover
To create a more uphill feeling when spiraling in on a circle, imagine that you are going UP a spiral staircase. With each stride inward on the spiral, grow taller and think about going up an imaginary step.
"When something goes wrong, 99% of the time it's because there is a breakdown in communication between you and your horse, and he no longer understands what you're asking at that moment." ~ Laura Tomlinson
"Many horses today have no contact with other animals. It is important to realize that the horse is not born for the stable, the horse wants to be cantering in the fields. It is not good if the horse is alone, horses need contact with other horses. What is perfect is if the horse can go outside in a group of two or three horses, like when he was growing up." ~ Christoph Hess