Best of JN: Clinic With Jane Ehrhart & River Hill Farm

This week our sister site Jumper Nation brings you another great exercise you can do at home. 

Jumper Nation Clinic continues with a new exercise to try at home. Jumper Nation has teamed up with top, respected riders who we love for both their horsemanship and their creativity with exercises they use at home. Each week, we’ll be bringing you a new grid or exercise to try at home. You’ll be primed and ready for the show ring when we are able to get out there again!

This week’s featured grid is courtesy of Jane Ehrhart and River Hill Farm.

Jane Ehrhart is an accomplished hunter/jumper professional who previously trained under many top professionals, including Scott Stewart and Andre Dignelli.

Diagram courtesy Jane Ehrhart.

This exercise consists of:

  • 3 cavalettis or bigger cross rails spaced 46’ apart on a long side (ground lines are optional)
  • 4 bounces of bigger cross rails spaced 11’ apart followed by one Swedish oxer (with ground lines) 68’-70’ on a bend to the left, and one Swedish oxer (with ground lines) 68’-70’ on a bend to the right (distances depend on height and desired degree of difficulty)
  • 3 oxers with ground lines spaced 34’ apart on a long side (more distance as the height increases)
  • Jumps can be as large or small as needed, based on the horse/rider combination

Jane Ehrhart explains: “I like to do two of the three exercises on one day followed by another two on a different day. For example, I like to start with the three cavaletti and work on adjustability. I will do four strides to four strides, three to three, three to four, and four to three. These should be completed in both directions. I like doing this combination of exercises to make sure my horses are listening to my legs and my hands while staying in the center of the jumps.”

Regarding the bounces and the oxers, Jane adds: “I will then move on to the bounces. I usually rehearse the bounces once off each lead going in the direction toward the oxers. I will then start incorporating the oxers in five strides after the bounces, alternating leads so my horses start following my eyes and hand aids to the next fence. The cross rails encourage straight horses and the bending line encourages my horses to follow my eyes and hands while looking for the next jump. I like a Swedish oxer on the out of the bending lines so my horses are encouraged to approach the center of the jump.”

Photo by Jump Media.

For the next school, this “might incorporate the cavaletti line and the two-stride combination. I use the two stride to encourage the horses to open up and stay straight in more of a normal “combination” setting. I usually start with ramped oxers for the greener horses,” she explains.

“I use a combination of these exercises for almost all of my students and horses. Some of the greener horses need to learn adjustability and following the rider’s eyes and reins, while some of the veterans need to be reminded of adjustability and straightness in a combination before a big class. These are also great exercises to help riders build confidence while working on balance and position. The jumps can be as big or little as needed based on the horse-and-rider combination.”

Additional tips from Jane include:

  • Add guide rails and lanes to keep the horses straight
  • For greener horses, start with smaller cross rails and low jumps to give them confidence
  • A veteran horse might need “V” poles in the two strides to encourage straightness

Jane’s challenge for you:

  • Link two exercises together  and ride them a couple of times as a course!

Photo by Jump Media.

About River Hill Farm
River Hill Farm is a private training facility based in Wellington, FL. Led by rider and trainer Jane Ehrhart, River Hill Farm is a place where riders can reach their goals, find success with their horses, and enjoy their passion for horse sport in a positive environment. Find River Hill Farm on Facebook and Instagram for a look into Jane’s boutique training business, as well as behind-the-scenes updates from her horses and riders. Learn more about River Hill Farm and Jane Ehrhart here.

Missed previous weeks’ grids?  Check out them out here:

Go Jumping!