Ex­er­cise 4 POLE PLAY

Your Horse (UK) - - YOUR HORSES -

Pole work helps a cob achieve bet­ter hock ac­tion and ath­leti­cism. It’s some­thing for them to con­cen­trate on if they get dis­tracted eas­ily, too. Ide­ally, add pole work into your horse’s work twice a week.

How to ride it

l1 Place four poles on the cen­tre line of your arena be­tween 4.5ft and 5ft apart (de­pend­ing on the length of your horse’s stride). l2 Go large in work­ing trot around your arena, main­tain­ing straight­ness and for­ward­ness. l3 When you’re ready to ride over the poles, pre­pare for the turn on to the cen­tre line be­fore you get there. It needs to be bal­anced and your horse needs to be in the di­rect line of the poles — you don’t want him to have to ‘wig­gle’ to get there. Your out­side leg will be im­por­tant here to help him bal­ance. l4 Keep­ing the for­ward­ness, ride straight through the line of poles, aim­ing for the cen­tre of each one. l5 He needs to stay straight through­out, not drift­ing to one side. l6 Once you’re through, think about the turn you’re go­ing to make at the end of the cen­tre line. Which way are you go­ing and how will you set him up for this? l7 Ride through the poles one more time be­fore chang­ing the rein and re­peat­ing the ex­er­cise again. l8 Once your horse is con­fi­dent, you can raise the poles onto small blocks — ei­ther at both ends or just one — to en­cour­age him to lift his legs even more.

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