May 26, 2019

Ride Between the Flags with Madison Temkin

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
The A element of the coffin. You can see the flags of the B and C elements lined up with just a slight right bend to the final element. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Ever wonder what the pros see when they're out walking cross-country? In the Ride Between the Flags series, riders walk us through their approach to tackling different cross-country questions. North American Youth Championship (NAYC) medalist and Eventing 25 Training List rider Madison Temkin rode three horses at the Preliminary level at the Twin Rivers Spring Horse Trials and talks us through 15ABC, the coffin.

The Twin Rivers Spring CCI and Horse Trials offered something for everyone, with YEH and FEH divisions as well as Beginner Novice through Advanced horse trial divisions and FEI CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S classes. Madison Temkin, a NAYC medalist and USEF Eventing 25 Training List rider, rode three horses at the Preliminary level and shared her tips for riding the coffin.

“The coffin was towards the end of the Preliminary course and the horses have gone over a little bit of terrain by that point,” Temkin explained. “They’ve galloped at some fences leading up to this and that encourages them to open up their step and be bold. The three horses that I rode this weekend were all fairly green horses – they’re all great jumpers, but they don’t have as much experience.”

Standing on the landing side of the A element, horse and rider can see a straight line out over the corner. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Riders had a long gallop stretch to a table at fence 14 before approaching the coffin at 15ABC. “The biggest thing for me jumping a coffin like this coming off a gallop fence is that it’s important to encourage them to keep coming so you stay up on your time,” Temkin stressed. “Then, as you get about 10 strides out, I like to check in a bit and package them back together so I can make a nice square turn to the coffin.”

“This one is a fairly straight line – there’s a bit of a right bend – but it’s important to come out [in the turn] so you can see all three elements of it,” she continued. “I like to bring the horse back a little bit early so that I can ride them nice and forward to the first fence and have a good jump in so they get up underneath it.”

The C element of the coffin is a corner, set on just the slightest right bend. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

After jumping in over the A element, horse and rider take three strides to the B element, the ditch, followed by two strides out over the corner at C. “They have a little bit of time to think,” Temkin elaborated. “As they see the ditch they tend to land a little bit steep, so that helps back them off with the similar idea as you had coming to A. That way, you can ride them up to B and then encourage them to jump up and over the ditch so you can ride forward to with just the slightest bend to the corner.”

After the coffin, horses and riders had a nice long gallop stretch to the final water combination at fence 16. “It’s nice to have a bit of a gallop stretch after the coffin so that you can ride them forward again and instill that they did it right and put some confidence into them,” Temkin concluded.

Watch Madison Temkin and Ruth Bley's Clinograaf tackle the coffin!

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