Staggered Poles

Using four poles (red), here are three different exercises you can do ridden, in hand or while long reining. For each of these exercises, the poles are laid out at a related distance of approximately 24ft apart.

Exercise number 1 (green): Straight across. As the poles are staggered, this exercise is slightly more challenging than if all four poles were parallel with each other, as you will need to keep straight, otherwise risk missing some of the poles! Completing this exercise in trot, count the trot strides between poles 1 and 2. Now, try and push for a longer stride between poles 2 and 3 and 3 and 4, and therefore counting less strides. This will help to train the horse to use his hind limbs and hind quarters more effectively.

Exercise 2 (blue): Straightness and turning. Can be done in walk, trot and canter. This exercise is quite challenging, and will help to improve your turning, accuracy and planning.

Exercise 3 (brown): Serpentine. This is a good exercise for suppling the horse around your inside leg and helps to develop rider coordination. If the horse has a tendency to hurry, riding a serpentine will help to steady the tempo and get the horse thinking, and therefore listening.