Whether you’re jumping or schooling, you’ll need ace steering skills to succeed. Being able to ride accurate turns is super-important – it’ll boost your dressage scores and help you jump smoothly round a tricky course, too. Learning to steer’s one of the first things you’ll be taught about when you start riding, but are you using your aids correctly? Team PONY’s here to help super-charge your steering with these awesome exercises.
It’s a good idea to keep things simple and start by riding your turns from the track. Your pony will naturally stay straighter next to the fence, which will leave you to focus on your position and aids without worrying about your pony.
Set it up
Place two poles just off the track at A, roughly 2m apart.
How to ride it
- Ride an active walk large around the arena.
- Before you approach A, look up and use your inside rein to ask your pony to bend a little towards the poles. Keep your inside leg pressed against his side, close to his shoulder, so he doesn’t turn too early.
- As you make your turn, keep your outside rein firm to stop him falling through his shoulder. Press your outside leg just behind the girth to push his body over.
- Ride positively between the poles, keeping your hands wide and wrapping your legs around his sides to keep him straight.
- Make a smooth turn when you reach C, then go large and try it again.
While warming up, think about getting your pony off your outside leg to engage his shoulders for the turn. Practise pushing him away from the track so he’s listening to your aids.
Get more great exercises to help improve your riding in November PONY, on sale 22 September 2021