ENGAGE YOUR HORSE’S BRAIN
Pole work gets your horse thinking carefully about where his feet are and lifting them in the correct place, so as not to tap the poles. This exercise gradually gets more difficult, so it will keep your horse engaged and stop him from switching off. “The great thing about pole work is that it also works your horse’s core and gets him working his hindlegs,” advises Willa. “So, not only are you keeping him interested, you’re also working on his strength at the same time.”
How to ride it
SET IT UP: Place three poles in a straight line, about 1.5 yards apart from each other (ie, one of his footfalls between each pole). Trot a 20m circle at the top end of your school or paddock. Once you’ve established a steady rhythm, trot your horse over the poles. Go over the poles twice, then change the rein and repeat. Once he’s going well, raise the centre pole by 6in and repeat the exercise.