Cross-country is loads of fun, but it requires a really secure position in the saddle. Here’s how to improve it
Having a strong cross-country position isn’t just about your jumping position over the fence, it’s important for riding between the fences, too. When it comes to going cross-country, you’ll be riding up and down hills, and jumping lots of different types of fence, so balance in the saddle is key. You’ll also be riding in a more forward canter than when you’re showjumping, so learning how to position your body to make your pony’s job easier is super-important.
Jump to it
When you jump fences on an XC course, you normally approach with a more open and forward canter than if you were showjumping. As you take off, think about…
- keeping your heels pushed down to maintain a strong lower leg position that sits as close to your pony’s girth as possible
- relaxing your knees to prevent your leg pivoting backwards
- pulling your hips back as you fold to keep your weight over the centre of the saddle, rather than being too far forward
- looking up and ahead, focusing on the next fence on the course – this is especially important if you’re tackling a combination
- pushing your hands up your pony’s neck a little to allow him to stretch forwards as he jumps. Try to keep a soft contact to maintain control on landing
For more ways strengthen your cross-country position, make sure you pick up a copy of May PONY, on sale 11thApril.