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Favourite flat/pole work exercises

1 reply

lastqueenofscotland · 14/10/2020 17:27

Currently working with a lovely young horse who is taking everything I throw at her in her stride. But she is spooky so I need to keep her brain busy while I’m riding.
What are your favourite Walk and trot exercises for a young green horse, she’s very green in canter and a very big mare and think she’ll just fall over if asked to do anything but go large at the moment... however she’s lovely and balanced in the trot and bends beautifully.
I love pole work but will be setting it all up and putting it all away myself so preferably not something that needs 7372959 poles.

OP posts:
maxelly · 14/10/2020 20:49

Anything from the book 100 schooling exercises which is basically my bible! A basic one but which can be adapted lots of different ways is 4 poles set up on the North, East, South, west points of a 20m circle. At the most basic you can just use it to check the accuracy of your circle and making sure the pace is rhythmic and even through all the 'quadrants' of the circle - you can then start to play with transitions, e.g. Doing a walk-trot transition before/after each pole or trying to get a halt exactly over each pole. I like to play with transitions within the pace with my buzzy/hot mare in this exercise, doing e.g. 1 quadrant as a medium trot, then back to working for a quadrant, then collect the trot for one quadrant and so on, the poles seem to settle her and they remind me to be precise about when I ask her to go and come back. Or you can play with making the circle larger or smaller, first go over the middle of the pole to make it exactly 20m, then either leg yield or steer out to make it larger or smaller, then back again. Or turn it from a circle into a square, encouraging control of the shoulders and push from behind through the corners and using the poles to check for straightness. Or start to teach lateral movement by doing turns on the forehand/about the forehand/on the haunches in each corner. Or use it as a bending/flexibility exercise by changing the bend and circling the other way as you cross the centre pole, then change again and continue with your original circle, or even if you have a nice big school, setting the poles up as slightly more than a 20m circle so you can do smaller 10-15m circles or whatever she can manage over each individual pole before continuing on your way. I tend to mix up pole work exercises like this as otherwise mare 'gets it' after a few go's and gets exited and tow-y!

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