Pole party

Posted 21st May 2020

Use polework to help spice up your schooling sessions

There’s so much you can do with poles! Even if you only have a few to play with, there are still lots of things you can try that’ll help improve your riding, and keep schooling fun, too! Here are three awesome exercises that you’ll only need four poles or less for!

Top Tip

To help you stay on the line you want, close your elbows towards your body and widen your hands. Be sure to look up and ahead to where you want to go, too, rather than down at the poles.

Exercise: Stay on track

This exercise is perfect for improving your accuracy and your pony’s straightness. Plus, it’s super-fun to ride, too!

Set it up

Place four striped poles down the centre line, approx 1–1.3m apart.

How to ride it

  1. Go large around the arena in walk, on the left rein.
  2. When you get to A, turn down the centre line and ride over your poles. Aim for the middle stripe.
  3. Continue to C, then turn right and go large again.
  4. As before, turn down the centre line at A, and ride towards your poles. This time, however, aim for the stripe that’s to the left of the centre. Keep straight, and make sure your pony doesn’t drift across to the middle.
  5. Track left at C, and next time round, ride over the right-hand side of the poles.
  6. Ride the exercise again, switching up which stripe you aim for. Be super-clear with your aids so your pony knows where he needs to go.

Up the challenge

Once you’ve mastered the exercise in walk, step it up and have a go in trot. Your pony might find it a little harder to stay straight when he’s going more quickly, so it’ll really test your control!

For more polework inspiration get your copy of July PONY Mag, out now

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