Video Clinic: Exercises to Improve Your Eye

John French is famed for his mad hunter skillz. He’s been named Professional World Championship Hunter Rider—twice. He was the inaugural winner of the $100,000 USHJA Hunter Derby. And he was the 2010 PCHA Hunter Rider of the Year.

But, French is not your average hunter rider.

He grew up field hunting with his mother. He jumped 3’6″ chicken coops on 12 HH Shetland pony. He dabbled in eventing. And he rode on the US Show Jumping Team at the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. And at Falsterbo, Sweden. And Royan, France. And Cummen, Belgium. AND…you get the picture.

Long introduction short: French is a really, really good rider. And the one thing he does better than most is find the perfect distance to the jump. He’s so accurate he can find a distance 17 strides away, riding backwards. With a blindfold. On a rhinoceros. (Probably.)

In this video, French shares a few of his trade secrets for developing a winning eye. He does not mention how he got his horse’s mane and tail so sparkly white. Perhaps they’ll cover that in the next video.

Go riding!

Carley Sparks covers show jumping and related ridiculousness at


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