Win the Jump-Off: Leslie Burr Howard Teaches Us How to Master 'Faster'

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hether you're an amateur or professional, show jumper or eventer, in the meter ring or the grand prix field, a few quick seconds can mean the difference between a winning round and going home empty-handed. While speed may seem straightforward, it's a lot more than just wishful thinking and stepping on the gas. There's an art to executing the perfect lightning fast ride – just watch the world's top riders. Just like anything done on a horse, going fast is so much more than meets the eye: it's a layered, subtle, and intricate process that combines impulsion, balance, timing, and athleticism to beat the clock. 

American Olympic medalist and downright legend, Leslie Burr Howard, is well-known for her guts, speed, and accuracy when on course. Those abilities don’t have to come naturally; in Leslie's opinion, becoming the king or queen of the speed round or jump-off comes from experience, intentional practice, and plain old time in the saddle.

Let's face it: speed is an indispensable tool that belongs in the toolbelt of every competitive show jumper or event rider, and developing that tool comes a lot more easily under the tutelage of one of the USA's winningest riders. We caught...