The last exercise we did was a ridden canter exercise (available to view on my website for those who missed it) so this week I thought we’d focus on a walk exercise. These exercises can be done ridden, in hand and long reined and require six 12ft poles laid out on the ground as per the image.
The main exercise through this pole layout is the ‘s-bend’ as per the first image. The second two exercises, straight over the middle, or across the diagonal are designed just to mix it up a little, and add variation to the exercise whilst still working the extensor and flexor muscles.
The s-bend is a great way for you to view your horse’s agility and general range of motion. The horse HAS to pay attention to you and focus on his/her spatial awareness in order to complete the exercise correctly without moving or touching the poles. If, like me, you have a sensitive horse who is easily distracted, this can be a good exercise to ride through to bring their focus back on you, and not on the scary birdie in the tree!!
As the horse has to bend his/her body to negotiate the turns, they gain flexibility and it can therefore help to straighten a crooked horse.
If your horse is new to this exercise, please don’t expect it to go perfect straight away! As long as this exercise is practiced regularly, the horse’s balance, flexibility and prioperception will improve, so as with most things horsey, be clear, patient and consistent, and it won’t take long for you to see an improvement 🙂