Pole work Part 2
Exercises over poles to help engage your horse’s hindquarters.
Place at least 6 poles in a line along the centre line, have them space at trot distance and work over them focussing on rider a good turn and straight line, then start to make the distance between the poles wider so the horse has to stretch out more in trot. You can also shorten the distance to make the horse take smaller strides. These exercises require the rider to support and encourage the horse to take longer or shorter steps.
Place your trot poles on a quarter to a half of a 20m circle and work round the circle aiming to keep the trot gained over the poles over the rest of the circle.
Place you poles (trot or canter) in a straight line on the centre line, but angle each pole in the opposite direction so that only the very centre of the poles are along the correct distance. This helps with straightness of horse and rider – be sure to look up and not at the poles!.
Place 1 pole in each quarter of a 20m circle. Work on getting the same number of trot/canter strides between each pole. If you manage this easily, place the poles on a smaller circle. The shape of the circle is just as important as the rhythm and regularity.
Place slightly long trot/canter poles along the long side of the school. Ride over them with your eyes closed and work on feeling the movement over the poles. Try and keep the trot you get over the poles for as long as possible.
There are lots of other pole work exercises but these are a few to get you all started. Remember, the poles you can fit in a line, the better! Pole work is hard work, so don’t over do it 🙂