If someone asks you what having good balance means, you’ll probably think about being able to stand on one leg without falling over! But did you know that balance is really important in riding? If you and your pony are both balanced, it’ll help you form the perfect partnership and it’ll make achieving your riding goals way easier, too.
Making sure you practise exercises on both reins will help improve your pony’s balance.
Riding exercise – super spirals
Spiralling in and out of a 20m circle encourages your pony to really use his inside hindleg, which will improve his balance. It’s a great suppling exercise, too!
How to ride it
Start in walk on a 20m circle and gradually make it smaller until you’re riding a 15m one. To ask your pony to spiral in, place your inside leg on the girth, and move your outside leg back to ask him to step across. Open your inside rein a little, and keep a steady contact on your outside rein.
Now go back onto the bigger circle by nudging your pony at the girth with your inside leg. Keep your outside leg just behind the girth to help support him. Have a steady contact on both reins, too.
Repeat the exercise on the other rein, then have a go in trot.
As your pony’s balance improves you can spiral down to an even smaller circle – try aiming for a 12m circle, then 10m.
For more fun exercises you can do with your pony to help him improve his balance, pick up a copy of September PONY, on sale 31 July.