Riding a course with just the outside rein

Riding a course with just the outside rein

In part three of her ‘Showjumping Series’, Sonya demonstrates an exercise that helps to keep your horse straight and balanced throughout a course of jumps.

When working with her trainer, David Harland, an exercise that Sonya found very useful was to practice jumping using only the outside rein. While it’s usually not a favourite with riders as it can feel a bit unnatural, it encourages the rider to use their seat to turn the horse, which helps to improve the horse’s balance.

Jumping using only the outside rein

Sonya explains, “If you rely on the rein to turn the horse, especially when jumping, you’re unbalancing the horse laterally when it jumps the fence. It is incredibly important for the horse to take off squarely. You need your horse to be straight, if you turn as you come to a fence by pulling on the inside rein, your horse will always be tipping in some way and will be unbalanced.”

To recap, this exercise aims to improve:

  • Balance
  • Straightness
  • Approach to the fence
  • Take off

Sonya’s top tips for during the exercise:

  • Start by adopting posting/rising canter
  • Get canter settled and put the reins in the outside hand
  • Remember to swap the reins to the outside if you change the rein

To see more of Sonya’s training videos, equestrian advice and product reviews, visit her expert profile