Preparation is key when it comes to water trays. Incorporating them into a horse’s training and education early means that you can introduce them gradually and consistently over time, working up from small trays and fillers to the size that you might see at a competition. Jake’s arena at home is full of lots of different styles and types of fillers, including walls and water trays.

“It’s really important to introduce fillers and water trays early in the horse’s education which will mean that they don’t come as a surprise or a shock to them later on” explains Jake. “We have a huge variety of fences in our arena that all of our horses will jump.”

It’s important not to introduce too much too early, so keep the jumps small whilst your horse gets used to the new styles of fence.

“It’s easy to say, but it’s really important not to ride them any differently to how you would approach any other fence. Keep a regular rhythm and make sure you keep calm and confident so that the experience is enjoyable for the horse” said Jake.

When it comes to jumping the first water tray, keep the tray small and put a pole over it, only at about 50cm. This will help the horse to realise that it is a fence for them the jump and they understand the question being asked of them. It may also help you to put a placing pole in front of the water tray, which will aid the horse in finding the right take off spot and help the rider ride to the fence in case the horse backs off. Jake’s last training tip blog discussed how poles can help your jumping, you can read it here.



About Jake:

At just 22 Jake is already making a name for himself in the showjumping world. Following his family’s footsteps, he takes after his parents and grandfather who were successful show jumpers. Based in Nottinghamshire with his father, Saywell Equestrian produce horses alongside Jake competing internationally. Jake was awarded the inaugural Ella Popely Mentorship at Olympia in 2017. Given to a talented up-an-coming rider aged 18-25 that is competing at 1.40m and who has shown exceptional resilience and dedication to the sport, the selectors felt Jake met every criteria. Part of the World Class Programme Jake certainly has an exciting future.