EN­GAGE YOUR HORSE’S BRAIN

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

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.

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