Apr 16, 2020

One Grid, Four Exercises with Mary Schwentker

I use this layout a lot for clinics. The exercises can be made easy enough for the D1 pony clubber and challenging enough for the most advanced horse and rider. All exercises work with poles on the ground or small jumps. I usually keep the height of the jumps under 3 feet, even for the upper level horse and rider.

Exercise 1 - The Serpentine

  1. Work on riding well balanced turns, in a rhythmical canter. Ask for the new canter lead while the horse is in the air. School this until the exercise is smooth.
  2. To make it harder, add in a rollback turns for the top and bottom jumps.

Exercise 2 - Counting Strides and Adjustability

  1. Canter the 60’ distance on each lead until the number of strides is consistently the same. I call this “your homebase canter.”
  2. Create the same number of strides between the jumps on both the right lead and the left lead and make that number is consistent so that the canter is balanced in both directions.
  3. Now add a stride between the jumps. Be able to repeat the added stride on both leads. Be able to go back and forth from the homebase canter to the added stride.
  4. Now, from the homebase canter, leave a stride out to the next jump. Be able to go back to homebase canter between the jumps and then leave the stride out between the jumps.
  5. Work to be able to have all three canters available as desired.

Exercise 3 - The Wheels

  1. Canter top four jumps. Work on keeping the circle round and jumping in the center of each jump.
  2. Now work to have the same number of strides between each jump. Be able to switch from top wheel to bottom wheel, keeping the circles round and strides between jumps equal.
  3. Want to make it harder? Try to add a stride between the jumps. Want it harder? Do four strides, jump, then five strides, jump, then four, then five, working between your homebase canter and added stride canter.

Exercise 4 - The Slice

  1. Angle each jump on centerline staying inside of the other jumps.

About Mary Schwentker

Janet Gallay Photo.

Mary Schwentker has successfully competed at multiple international events including the Kentucky Three-Day Event. She has been an ICP Certified Instructor since 2003 at Level II, is an “A” level graduate of the Manada Creek Pony Club, and holds USDF bronze and silver medals. In 1999, Mary was short-listed for the United States Equestrian Team for the Pan American Games. She served on the USEA Board of Governors from 2010-2015. Mary graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science from Wilson College. She has served as the DC for Blue Ridge Hunt Pony Club since 2011. She has been a National Examiner for USPC for more than 10 years and is currently serving on the USEA membership committee, USPC show committee, and USPC national testing committee. She is married to Andrew Schwentker and has two sons, Nicholas and Drew.

Dec 08, 2023 Convention

If You’re Not Winning, You’re Learning: 2023 Pan Am Games Team Revisits Santiago

United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Dec 08, 2023 Convention

‘Test the Best Without Hurting the Rest:’ Barnard and Donovan Lead Show Jumping Seminar at USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

Dec 07, 2023 Convention

USEA Board of Governors Meet for the First Time During 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.

Dec 06, 2023 Convention

Fast Facts: 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA