5 tips to improve your jumping balance
Showjumpers, hunters, and eventers have to have an excellent balance during the jumping course and jump exercises. Having a good balance ensures that you will have complete control over your horse and that you are able to work with your horse in harmony. An inadequate balance, on the other hand, can make it harder to control your horse and it will increase the risk of a fall.
Your balance will improve the more you jump, but there are also some effective exercises you can do to better your balance and become a better rider. In this article, we will look at five tips to improve your jumping balance.
How does your balance affect your riding?
Whenever you sit on the horse, you will instantly throw the horse's natural balance off, so the horse has to work harder to find its own balance. An imbalanced rider will make the horse's job even harder, and being off balance isn't exactly a treat for the rider, either.
If you are imbalanced when jumping, there is a greater risk of falling off and getting hurt. For instance, if you are off balance when approaching a fence and the horse refuses the jump, you might fall off.
Being off balance can also cause miscommunications between you and your horse. For instance, you will need to communicate to your horse about the direction after each fence and if your weight is on the right but you're meaning to turn left, you may have a major miscommunication.
5 tips to improve your jumping balance
Though finding that balance can be challenging, fortunately there are some excellent ways in which you can improve your jumping balance.
Practice your position in the saddle
When your position and posture are good in the saddle, finding your balance during jumping exercises becomes easier. You should practice your 2- and 3-point seat on the flat as well and not only during your jumping lessons.
For instance, you can shorten your stirrups during your warm up and canter around the ring in 2-point seat to practice your balance.
Practice your balance off the saddle
If you want to improve your jumping balance, you should not neglect practicing balance off the saddle.
In the video below, you will see some practical exercises you can do off the saddle to improve your balance.
Check your stirrup length
Checking your stirrup length is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your balance. If your stirrups are too long or too short, you will have a hard time finding a good balance. Try different lengths and see what works best for you.
Improve your lower leg position
If your lower leg is too far forward or too far back, you will automatically be off balance. Finding the correct stirrup length will already help you to find a good lower leg position, but you should also practice keeping your heel right underneath your seat bones and your toes right under your knee.
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Ophena has designed two different magnetic safety stirrup models: Ophena S and Ophena S Pro. They have received over 1500 five-star reviews and our customers have experienced improved balance and posture, better leg and foot position, and even better confidence and focus, for instance.
Ophena S and Ophena S Pro have a magnetic connection that places your foot in the correct spot and keeps it there. They also feature an open design for decreased risk of a serious injury, excellent grip, and Smart Attach™ -system for making it easy to attach and detach your stirrups to and from the saddle.
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Questions? Contact us.