Sarah Finikin is a BHSII, Equine Lecturer at Merrist Wood College, Pony Club Examiner and an experienced competitor in BE and BS. Here are Sarah’s five top tips to keep you balanced and secure in the saddle when riding XC:
1) Heel down, and I mean really down! Allow your lower leg to come forward more than usual to give you a really secure base.
2) Keep good contact. Never drop your contact in front of a fence. Keep your rein contact even and consistent and allow your hands forward when you need to give your pony his head. Remember to slip the reins, too, if you’re jumping downhill!
3) Take a light seat when cantering between fences but always sit deeper in the saddle on the approach to fences so that you can use your seat.
4) Keep your shoulders back. Think of them as your centre of gravity in order to stay in balance with your pony.
5) Always look up and ahead so you’re prepared for whatever’s coming up next!
Sarah Finikin is also the founder of Equine Distance Learning and a qualified NLP Master Practitioner. You can contact her through www.equinedistancelearning.com.