Advanced Gymnastics

This progressive series of 13 gymnastics will help you and your horse develop flexibility, control and skill over jumps.

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im Wofford’s Jumping Academy
Course 2: Advanced Gymnastics
Once you and your horse have worked your way through all the gymnastics in Course 1, 6 Weeks to Better Jumping, you are ready for more complex challenges. This set of exercises will help you both continue to develop your flexibility, control and skill.
The Signs of a Well-Trained Horse
Having a well-trained horse comes down to this: If you soften your hands and close your legs and your horse surges forward, that is a good sign. When you soften your legs and squeeze your hands and your horse slows down, that is also a good sign. If you press with one leg against your horse’s body and he steps away from the pressure, that is also a good sign. If you soften one hand and squeeze the other and your horse turns toward the firmer hand, that is a very good sign.
When your horse does all these things calmly and consistently, and can jump obstacles that are suitable in size and type for you both without losing his mental or physical balance, then he is well-trained.
The gymnastics that follow will help you and your horse achieve these objectives.
What’s Included
Through videos, text, detailed exercise instruction, downloadable PDFs and assessments, Jim will cover:
  • How to combine skills practiced individually in Course 1 into a connected series of obstacles
  • Developing flexibility in your horse’s stride and his ability to react quickly to obstacles of different size and shape
  • Changing direction in a gymnastic, which aids in jumping courses
  • Jumping on curves
  • Keeping your horse’s balance while he jumps
  • Improving your horse’s head and neck carriage over jumps
  • Teaching your horse to use his back while jumping
  • Teaching your horse to adjust his jumping efforts relevant to the next obstacle
  • Increasing flexibility in jumping with bounce gymnastics
  • Teaching horses to jump calmly and not rush their progression over obstacles
  • Jumping up and down slopes and over banks, ditches and into water
  • Jumping narrows and corners

How It Works

You may complete the learning units at your own pace, using a Wi-Fi connection. You will have access to the course and its resources any time.

Jim Wofford

Three-time Olympian James C. (Jim) Wofford has spent his life with horses and is one of the best-known eventing trainers in the world today. A Hall of Fame member of the United States Eventing Association, he trains at his farm in Upperville, Virginia, and travels extensively, teaching and giving clinics.

Jim has had at least one student on every U.S. Olympic, World Championship, and Pan American Games team since 1978. All four members of the U.S. bronze medal team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, as well as individual gold medal winner David O’Connor, were graduates of the Wofford program. In addition, three of the four members of the 2002 World Equestrian Games gold medal team were his former students. Kim Severson, the individual silver medal winner at the Athens Olympics, and Gina Miles, the individual silver medal winner at the Beijing Olympics, are also both graduates of the Wofford program.

Jim was named U.S. Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year in both 1998 and 1999. He coached the Canadian Team for the 2002 World Championships, the 2003 Pan American Championships (where Canada won a team silver medal), and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. In 2007 Jim was named a Fellow of the U.S. Eventing Association Instructor Certification Program.

Jim was a successful competitor until his retirement in 1986. He rode on the 1968, 1972 and 1980 Olympic teams, winning two team silver medals and one individual silver medal. He also competed in the 1970 and 1978 World Championships, winning bronze individual and team medals. He won the U.S. National Championships five times, on five different horses, and won or placed at many competitions abroad between 1959 and 1986.

In addition to Jim’s eventing achievements, he was an active competitor in steeplechase races, rode in numerous horse shows, and fox hunted for more than 30 years.

A widely sought-after clinician and coach, Jim now brings his time-tested wisdom and training skills to help you and your horse.