Lunging with a vertical.

For the non-horsey people out there, I’ll just say that that jump that’s made by crossing the poles into an “X” is a crossrail. Once you put the poles straight across, in a horizontal way, the jump is called a “vertical.”

Once Bizzy was feeling confident about the crossrail, Lauren raised one of the poles to make a vertical. Now the horse needs to really think about picking up her feet so she can go over it and not crash into it. (Note: When she does crash into it, it’s not a big deal – the poles are made of a plastic composite and so they’re lightweight.)

In the second video, Lauren laid another pole on the ground ahead of the vertical. This is to help the horse “find her distance” – the distance from the jump where she should leave the ground. When a rider is on her back the rider partners with the horse to find the right distance before each jump. Watch in each video how she raises her head to get a look at it as she approaches.