We all know that riding in the arena can sometimes be a bit of a snooze fest, so why not try polework to jazz up your next schooling sesh?
Not only will it make your ride more fun, schooling over poles has loads of benefits for your pony. It’ll help improve his balance, rhythm and suppleness and make him pay more attention to where he’s placing his feet. Plus, polework can really help your jumping as it teaches your pony to stay straight into fences.
Exercise: Raised poles
Raised trotting poles encourage your pony to pick up his feet and push from his hindquarters. Use blocks to raise each pole on alternate sides, then ride over them, thinking about your position…
- sit up tall
- soften your hands to allow your pony to stretch over the poles
- wrap your legs around his sides to encourage him forward
Don’t worry if your pony knocks any of the poles – just readjust them and ride through again. If he tries to rush, ride a half-halt as you approach them to make sure he stays balanced.
Top tip Start by raising one end of every other pole. Once your pony understands the question, you can raise the other two.
Grab a copy of July PONY, on sale 5 June for more polework exercises you can try at home.