30-minute work out
Need to improve your horse’s rhythm and physical strength? Physiotherapist Bridget Bazell and dressage pro Erin Orford share three pole exercises that will achieve just that
Engage his core using poles
THE IDEAL HORSE is one who demonstrates a smooth gait in walk, trot and canter. To achieve this, you’ll need to work on your horse’s strength and balance. The following workout will help your horse strengthen his core and balance his back end. Raising the height of the poles will help your horse focus on clearing them. This will help with his stride length and encourage him to lift his legs higher. Before you try each workout, look at the corresponding diagram to see how to set up the poles. As a starting point, you need a fan of poles (a) laid out in the top right corner of your arena, just off the track, and four poles across the diagonal (b) between 4ft and 5ft apart, depending on your horse’s stride length (see below). In exercise two you need to raise the poles at alternate ends.