the bounce

Get supple with a bounce

A bounce exercise aiming to get horse and rider supple. How to get it set up.
A parallel oxer, a bounce and a triple bounce. All jumpable from both directions.

This bounce exercise aims to get your horse supple. It will also help you feel the stride, to feel the length of the stride and your eye. To be able to assess how many strides remain until the horse jump and where it will jump. Done correctly this exercise will also get an over excited horse to back off.


Put a bounce, a triple bounce and a parallel oxer next to each other as shown in schedule. Cross poles for the bounce and the middle fence of the triple bounce.


For a horse the distance in the bounce is 2,80 – 3-20 in trot and 3m – 3.5m in canter. For ponies the distance is shorter.

A good long measuring tape can be very handy to double check the distance

Get going

 Start off with jumping the bounce in trot. Try to keep a loose almost slack connection through the reins. Keep the trot engaged and try to keep the same pace throughout. If your horse is excitable turn earlier to get a shorter approach to the fence.

What to think of:
  • Sit up and look straight ahead. If you feel this is a weak spot, you can put a marker in the wall to focus on.
  • Let the horse find its stride whilst you focus on your balance.
  • Also focus on where the horse jumps. Try to remember the feeling of where your horse jumps.

Once you feel secure with the bounce you can move on to the triple bounce. Why 3? The reasoning behind 3 bounces is that if the horse comes in wrong at the first fence, it will correct itself on the second and get it right on the third fence. All the time try to follow your horse and analyse your seat. If you have someone who can video you from the side. This can be a fabulous help. It is often the detail that makes it perfect.

 Attempt the triple bounce in trot at first. Then move onto canter. Try to set a canter and keep the pace focusing on:

  • Seat
  • Aiming for the middle of the fence
  • Balance
  • Try not to control your horse too heavily – no exercise should become a war. It it does move down a notch, even if this means trotting poles on the ground instead.
  • Attempt the bounce and triple bounce from both directions.
Can you do it?

As a final twist incorporate the parallel oxer. Ride onto this fence the same way. Let the horse find the stride, sit up and feel the strides. Jump the oxer from both directions with a bounce or two inbetween.


 At the end of this exercise your horse should feel more supple, the exercise will also strengthen your horse on a more long term scale. You should have gained some confidence in finding the point where the horse jumps. You should also feel a little more confident in not being too controlling.

More exercises…

Bendy, bendy!

Which way?


Rushing the fences


Written by @StinaHarvidsson with inspiration from Eddy Andersson.


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