If you’re serious about your riding, then improving your position and your horse’s way of going will be no stranger to you. Training and coaches are a vital part of this process, but what about when this becomes a challenge – your trainer becomes unavailable, or you can’t get transport to go there? What about improving when you’re not in training? Arena mirrors are a way to progress on your own, and before you discard the mention of a so-called ‘luxury’ item, have a think about how they can benefit you and your horse – because they CAN actually be affordable.
If you can see the movement and the position of your horse and yourself, you can memorise that feeling which will enable you to repeat it more rapidly. Additionally, you can spot flaws and correct them. When you are schooling alone, you can see what the judges would see – tweak, repeat and improve.
Even one arena mirror is a good investment. You could try one horizontal mirror at the end of your school on the centre line, so you can see your lateral work and accuracy. But this does have limitations because of the small area it covers. Three mirrors, horizontally on your centre line is a much better option. With this set up, you can see straightness with your lateral work, centre line and halt/salute accuracy, as well as your leg and body position as you pass on the short side. The advantage of the odd number is that there is no join in the middle and you have an unrestricted reflection as you ride towards it.
Mirror Installs would install this set up, which would consist of either three horizontal on the centre line or one horizontal on centre line and a vertical at either end would cost £1900 if fitted by them, or £900 plus delivery just for the mirrors.
The cheaper option leaves you to fit the mirrors yourself, and there are DIY guides on the internet in relation to this. However, if the mirrors are not installed correctly, one gush of wind and they would crack. The structure has to be true for the mirrors to be aligned correctly. It is recommended therefore that experienced engineers install them and that way, you are likely to earn a three year guarantee to boot. Mirror Installs also attend 18 months after installation to do a service and structural check worth £150.
More highly recommended than three mirrors is five – three horizontal on your centre line and a vertical at either end of the short side. This set up gives you the advantage of seeing your straightness head on, and your position from the side simultaneously. Positioning of the mirrors is very important here though – one thing to remember is that the vertical mirrors come close to the ground therefore the best position for them is in the corner, away from the path of the horse, so that the risk of a kick to the mirror is reduced. Mirror Installs would fit this set up for £3,100. Or, for the mirrors alone and DIY option, it would cost £1500 plus delivery.
For more information and further quote options on Mirror Install’s equestrian range visit https://mirrorinstalls.co.uk/equestrian or call them on 01543 572597.