The Lonely Pole
I have recently been inspired to create an exercise using just one pole. A little while ago I was looking for inspiration on different pole exercises to do with my own horse. A lady had commented on a particular post with quite a complicated exercise and asked if it was possible to do various exercises with just one pole on it’s own. She was answered with something along the lines of ‘haha - no’. Well of course you can!
The four exercises drawn are pretty self explanatory. They can be done in hand, whilst long reining and when ridden and are best carried out in walk and trot. They could be done at canter, but only if the horse is well established and correctly balanced. The two figure of eight exercises are good for rider balance and coordination, and are also a good way to practice lines in preparation to jumping a course. These exercises also encourage straightness, correct bending and balance in the horse. As well as helping improve bend and balance, the two circle exercises can help to alleviate stiffness and improve the range of motion in the joints and you can choose how small or big to ride the circle, or add a bit of leg yielding in to the mix and spiral in and out!
It goes without saying that whatever exercises you do should be done equally on both reins, in all directions.