We can’t deny it – nothing gives you as much of a thrill as XC riding! Cantering through fields and flying over fences with your fave pony – honestly, what could be better? It’s impossible not to come away with a huge smile on your face – and your pony’s, too!
XC is a really great way for you to learn to trust your pony – and for him to trust you, too. You’ll feel so in tune with each other after a good schooling session or competition round, which will pay off in all aspects of your riding and help to strengthen your bond.
Up your confidence
There’s always at least one fence you’re a bit more nervous to jump than others. Maybe it looks spookier, or you had a bad jump over it last time. But when you conquer your nerves and clear it in style, you’ll feel capable of jumping anything!
Keep things fresh
Going XC is a great way to mix up your normal routine with your pony – it gets you out of the school and gives you something new to think about. Even if you don’t plan on competing, going XC schooling is a useful tool to keep your pony interested and happy in his work.
It takes time and practice to develop a strong cross country riding position, and every time you go XC you’re working to improve it. Nailing your position on the approach, take-off, landing and between fences is super-important to stay secure in the saddle – each time you go, you can focus on strengthening it a little bit more.
It’s super-easy for us (and our ponies) to rely on perfect arena surfaces and fences – but it’s very different on a XC course! You’ll have to navigate dips and hills while jumping fixed fences. He’ll be thinking about where his legs are going and you’ll need to think faster on the approach to fences. It’s great practice for you both and will really improve your riding!
One of the best things about XC is that you can do it with your best mate! Whether you’re schooling in a group or taking part in a pairs competition, you don’t need to do it alone. This means you’ll have twice as much fun!