Teaching Young Horses to Jump
The Manège is deep in sand with a railed in interior and exterior, the manège has three obstacles to a circuit and is 200m in circumference (1 furlong). On the inside of the manège we have poles and baby tyres; this is where the horses start their first contact with obstacles and allows them to find their footing when being ridden over the jumps.
On successful completion of jumping the smaller obstacles on the inside of the manège the horses then progress to the exterior part of the ménage where the obstacles are bigger.
The obstacles in the manège at James Ewart Racing are our own design and are a variation on Guillaume Macaires (French Champion Trainer). There are three different sizes; small, medium and large, with approximately 8 inches difference in size from small to large. The obstacles in the manège have no take off boards, no eye line and are suspended on mid air; allowing us to teach the horse judgement of where to take off when jumping.
The obstacles are made of steel drum and frame, with tyres threaded on, they are very solid however when hit or brushed the tyres rotate thus causing less friction and injury to the horses legs.
The jumping obstacles are set at different places on the track in order to determine two different stride patterns; short and long and horses are worked on both reins (directions) for balanced and consistent results.
To us the manège is just as important as our gallop, as it is here where the foundation work of schooling and teaching young horses to jump takes place.