The Zigzag

Three different exercises are illustrated here, first, simple enough, top right, ride over in a straight line. Similar to what we’ve done before in other exercises, the odd angles of the poles will encourage the horse to lower the head and take a look, and therefore really help them to stretch through the neck and back. As a rider, it is our job to keep the contact soft, ensure the trot is balanced and the tempo and regularity of the pace stays the same.

Secondly, bottom left, this exercise focuses on bend and is designed as a bit of mental stimulation for the rider. It’s can be easy for a horse to lose impulsion through turns, circles and bends, so this is a great exercise to focus on keeping everything the same so that the pole is cleared without clipping it.

 

Finally, using the points of the zigzag as per the bottom right picture, this is a good exercise to focus on accuracy when turning and ensuring you are on the correct line in preparation for jumping.

As with most other exercises, the poles can be raised a few inches to make the exercises slightly more physically demanding for the horse. As always, please ensure you carry out the exercises equally on both reins.

Good luck!

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