Make schooling fun for you pony with in-hand polework

Posted 12th November 2021

Spice up your schooling with some fun in-hand polework

In hand exercise

 With winter well on its way, you might be worried that you and your pony are limited to sessions in the arena after school, which can be a bit boring after a while. But even if you can’t go out hacking, there are lots of ways to make the arena more fun for the both of you! In-hand polework has all the benefits of riding over poles – plus some more. So why not give it a go with one of our fave layouts?

Raise the bar

This layout will look really familiar, but it’s a great place to start with in-hand polework. It’ll straighten up your pony, encourage him to raise up over his back, and strengthen his muscles as he lifts his legs up higher.

Set it up

Place five poles 50-80cm apart on a straight line down the long side of the arena. Use blocks, wings or pole pods to raise alternate ends of each pole – start just 5-10cm at first.


In hand exercise

Have a go

Start off with the poles on the floor so you can make sure the distance is correct…

  1. Lead him around the arena, making sure he’s walking forwards next to you.
  2. Make a square turn down the long side, looking up and over your poles. Try to stay next to his shoulder.
  3. Let him take his time while negotiating the poles – the slower he goes the harder he’ll have to work his muscles to lift his legs because he won’t be able to use speed instead.
  4. Give him a big pat and try again, approaching from the other direction and raising the poles when you’re ready.

Top Tip

Always wear a riding hat, gloves and sturdy boots when doing in-hand work with your pony, and it’s best you do these exercises in a bridle.

Grab your copy of PONY January on sale 17 November 2021, for more in-hand polework exercises to try with your pony




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