Tip of the day Training

Training Tip – Using Visualisation to Improve Your Position

This is a neat little tip a trainer used in a session with my horse recently. As a rider, it’s really easy to let yourself be put into a position which is comfortable for the horse, and which then reinforces any bad habits you and the horse have developed. So this tip aims to keep you in a really neutral position, and can be used on the flat and on the approach to a fence when jumping.

Imagine that you have a hula hoop round each ankle, parallel to the ground, the inside edge against the horse’s side, and the hoop protruding out away from your leg – so from above you’d see your leg through the hoop. Then imagine the same round your waist, which must be parallel to the ones round your ankle.

In this picture, the hoops round the rider's ankle would be tilted forwards and down, whilst the one round the waist would be tilted upwards.

In this picture, the hoops round the rider’s ankle would be tilted forwards and down, whilst the one round the waist would be tilted upwards.

Your aim is to keep the hoops parallel to the ground at all times, not allowing them to tilt either way. If your heel slips back and up, the hoop will tilt forwards, and likewise, if your shoulders tip forwards, so will the hoop. By imagining how you’ll keep the hoops flat, you’ll eliminate a lot of those bad habits which put you in a less effective position.

In this photo, all the hoops would be flat and parallel with the ground.

In this photo, all the hoops would be flat and parallel with the ground.

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Tilly