The Tripole

These exercises can all be done in walk and trot, and if the horse is balanced enough, canter. They can be done in hand, long reined, ridden and one of the exercises could also be done on the lunge. The poles can be moved closer together or further apart to adjust the level of difficulty and can be raised on one or both sides, but as always, please remember to carry out the exercises equally on each rein.

1️⃣ When riding, this exercise is best ridden at a trot, but could also be walked or even cantered on a well established, balanced horse. This exercise is a good mental exercise for the horse and rider as well as physical. It can be a good way of thinking about lines and turns in preparation for jumping, it encourages correct bend, straightness and helps the horse to lift through the shoulder and work through from behind. The closer together the poles are, the more challenging the exercise is.

2️⃣ The second exercise is very simple, and is suitable to be lunged over as well as in hand, long reined and ridden. The aim is to just ride over them or past the outside of them at a 10, 15 or 20m circle in walk, trot or canter, focusing on balance, and correct bend.

3️⃣ Thirdly, the poles can be ridden, long reined or lead around to make an almost spirographic type shape. This exercise can be performed in walk and trot, and similarly to exercise number 1, is good for bend, balance and straightness. I have drawn a specific pattern on my illustration, but you could mix it up a bit and ride random shapes to keep your horse attentive and give you both some mental stimulation!

4️⃣ Finally, this exercise is a combination of numbers 1 and two. You could ride, lead or long rein a circle around one pole, and then over the next, and then circle around the third pole and so on, or you could ride circles round all three poles. This is good for establishing balance and the correct bend, as well as balance and proprioception.

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