Super-strong ponies ­­– sorted!

Posted 13th March 2018

Does your pony get too strong and rush when it comes to jumping? Here’s how to solve it

Lots of ponies get super-excited when they’re jumping and this often means they become stronger to ride. If your fave pony does this, you might find it difficult to keep him balanced and listening to your aids, while he’s thinking he knows better and dashing towards every fence he sees!

For ponies who are strong, it’s especially important to think about your position, and how this can affect his speed and way of going. Plus, there are several exercises you can use during your schooling sessions to encourage him to stay focused on you.

Position perfect

The way you sit on your pony really affects how he responds to your aids. It’s easy to let yourself get pulled forward when you’re riding a strong pony, so follow these tips to stay strong and secure in the saddle…

  • look up! Keeping your eyes and head up, especially on the approach and landing of a fence, helps keep you in a safe position
  • keep your shoulders back The more you think about pulling your shoulders back, the less likely you’ll find yourself tipped forward in the saddle. Think of your elbows as shock absorbers – keep them soft, bent and close to your body to stop your pony being in charge of your position
  • soften your hands Avoid pulling hard on the reins, as your pony will try to pull back. Give and take with your hands to encourage him to stay soft, and use half-halts to ask him to wait
  • push your heels down Keeping your weight into your heels makes your legs secure and brings them underneath you

Read more great tips on tackling strong ponies in April PONY, on sale 14 March.

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