Spectacular schooling

Posted 17th August 2020

Learn how to get the most out of your flatwork sessions


Our expert: Charlotte Tarrant is a BHSI Stage 5 Performance Coach who teaches children and adults and runs training camps.

When the summer hols have come to an end, you might find you’re short on time to ride after school. But, spending just half an hour in the arena’s still a great way to give your pony a workout. Not only will it get him thinking, it’ll also teach him to listen to your aids and become more obedient. Even though it doesn’t seem like long, there are tons of ways you can make every minute count!

Make a plan

There’s nothing worse than running out of inspo in the middle of your schooling sesh! Instead of aimlessly going large around the arena, try to make a plan of action before you ride. Start by writing down a warm-up plan that you stick to every time you go in the school. This could include riding circles of different sizes, spiralling in and out, shallow loops and serpentines.

Then plan the exercises you’ll do with your pony during the main part of the session. Two or three exercises is a good number. Have a think about what you’d like to work on – maybe you want to improve your pony’s rhythm, suppleness or responsiveness. Then take a look online or in some previous issues of PONY mag for some fun exercises that’ll help you improve.

Top tip

Every time you have a lesson with your instructor, ask them for some homework to practise. This’ll help you focus your schooling sessions so you and your pony can improve before your next lesson.

Check out October PONY, on sale 26 August 2020, for more top tips on making your flatwork sessions count!

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