Posted by: rstor | March 12, 2014

Local Rider Magazine & RS-tor Report on Preparing for the XC Season

Local Rider March 2014

The March edition of Local Rider Magazine documents how to prepare for the cross country season with a little bit of help from RS-tor and our sponsored rider Michaela Huntington! Local Rider magazine is out now so head down to your local magazine retailer now and snap up the full edition!

Michaeala says…

On any cross country course there will be differing gradients throughout, requiring different riding techniques, together with balance and obedience from your horse. Uphill riding rarely presents problems, as the horse will naturally use himself; balance should not be lost and speed will be more easily controlled. Downhill riding will present the opposite effect, with the horse having a tendency to go on his forehand and run away with you, and balance could be lost. This is the area requiring some preparation!

Establishing transitions

Firstly, on flat ground you will need to have established transitions both upwards and downwards in trot and canter and, ideally, be able to lengthen and shorten the pace at will. Move on to terrain containing some gentle slopes where you can practice the same exercises. You will find that when riding uphill, balance is more easily obtained when you lean forward up and out of the saddle, allowing the horse freedom of movement both in his body and his head.

Riding downhill will require the opposite movements of your body, depending on the severity of the slope. You will help your horse most by variances of degrees of leaning backwards, maintaining your seat in the saddle using a longer rein but keeping the contact. Initially start at trot; if the horse becomes strong and difficult to control, slow the pace to a walk, or even halt, praise him and start again. Leg position should remain in the same place both up and downhill.

Severe slopes

Severe gradients and/or bad ground conditions should be approached with caution and performed at a slower pace, even walk. Confidence building for both rider and horse is paramount; it is better to avoid a bad experience where possible, and extra time taken will pay dividends in the long run.

Jumping fences

Jumping fences downhill can be included once you can maintain a controllable speed. Your jumping position should vary from the norm, as to keep in balance with your horse, you will need to remain more upright.

Approach your training with common sense and logic, break up each different challenge into bite size chunks, and only progress to higher stages as each task becomes mastered – as then you and your horse will enjoy many super days together as the bond becomes stronger between you both.”

The RS-tor

The RS-tor rider safety aid is invaluable when XC training, as it gives the rider untold confidence. For downhill riding, it gives extra stability in the saddle without leaning forward, which you would do if holding the mane or a neckstrap.

For more information why not pick up a copy of Local Rider Magazine today or to find out more about the RS-tor Riding Safety Aid, used by Michaela Huntington visit the website today www.rstor.co.uk 


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