We’ve asked top event riders Mary King and Chris Burton to share some of their fave exercises.
Practise them regularly and they’ll help make your pony more balanced, supple and responsive, so he performs better than ever!
Chris Burton’s exercise – ride with your seat
There’s more to controlling your pony than using your reins, says Chris, and it’s important to learn how to give him instructions using your seat and legs, too. It’ll refine how you communicate with your pony, as he’ll start to pick up subtle cues from your body. It’ll help you become a much stronger partnership!
How to ride it
- In walk, go onto a 20m circle, then ride a transition to halt. Count to three before moving forwards again. Try to make the downward transition without using your reins, so sit deeper in the saddle, take your weight slightly back and block the movement of your hips. You might need to take a very soft feel on the reins at first to help your pony understand what you want.
- Ride the walk-halt-walk transition a few more times, always in the same place on the circle. Ponies are creatures of habit, and yours will soon get the idea. You’ll find he starts to halt as soon as he feels you taking your weight back.
- Now try in trot, this time riding a trot-walk-trot transition. Remember to only use your seat, and make your downward transition in the same place.
- Change the rein and have a go the other way.
Check out PONY Spring for more super-fun exercises from Mary and Chris, on sale 12 February.