Tova Ottosson’s Exercise:

Bounce Jumps on a Curved Line

Horse gymnastics? Yes please! Here’s team rider Tova Ottosson’s best riding exercise that turns out to be a full body workout for your horse.


Mon 8 Jul - 24

“This is a gymnastic exercise for your horse /…/ The horse has to think harder and be a bit quicker, and you work all parts of its body.”

– Tova Ottosson
Tova explains – this is how you do it:

“Put six obstacles on a curved line inside a 20-meter circle, keeping 3.2 meters between each obstacle. (Editor’s note: See distances adjusted for your horse’s stride length at the end of the article). The line shouldn’t be too curved, just slightly. The obstacles shouldn’t be too high, keep the maximum height at 1 meter. But you can vary the height between obstacles, maybe keeping some in the middle higher than the others.

The bounce jumps can be done in both directions a couple of times – you shouldn’t be going in just one direction for ten laps. 

This is a gymnastic exercise for your horse, where you need to remember to have the horse around the inner leg. Oftentimes, they’ll drift inwards or outwards a bit during one of the laps, so then that’s something to work on. As the rider, you should be in three-point position, and then be in two-point position when you’re going over a jump. Be still, keep looking straight ahead, and drop your weight into your stirrups. Don’t disturb your horse – let it do its gymnastic job. Also remember to keep gentle contact on the rein. 

It’s a bit more difficult for the horse when the bounce jumps are done on a curved line rather than on a straight one. The horse has to think harder and be a bit quicker, and you work all parts of its body. To make it easier, you can lower one end of the top pole so it’s touching the ground, making the obstacles crooked.”

Recommended distances for different horses:

12’2  /  128 cm ponies                              2.25 - 2.50 m

13’2  /  138 cm ponies                              2.50 - 2.75 m

14’2  /  148 cm ponies                              2.75 – 3.00 m

Horses                                                      3.00 – 3.25 m


For more showjumping distances, see our Cheat Sheet.  

Good luck! 🤞

We Think You'd Like These👇