Reaction times are something that is looked at a huge amount in other sports but not so much in equestrian sports. Yet we all know that one minute you’re merrily riding in one direction then the next minute you’re facing the other way. If you’re lucky you’re still on board at this point! So, you definitely need good reflexes to deal with that!
It’s not just for the emergency situations though. It’s also when you’re trying to join movements together in a Dressage test, or jumping a course of fences. The faster your body is able to react to the changes required of it the more in balance you will both be and the clearer your aids will be.
Whenever I train reactions with my clients we have some fun with it.
It could be playing with the reaction ball (odd shaped ball that pings off in all directions) or we run in one direction then when I shout they change direction.
We also do weighted ball slams or throwing it against the wall.
I know we aren’t really doing Christmas parties this year but you could have a family game of musical statues or musical chairs and call it rider training.