In last months 'Your Horse' magazine (February 2015 issue) they featured two pole work exercises as part of their '30 minute expert workout' which sounded really good so I decided to try them out. Unfortunately, Pea wasn't in a great mood and the arena was a bit hard so it didn't go exactly to plan!
The first exercise is one to help improve suppleness and 'perfect your circles'. I put the fan poles too close to the other poles though so it didn't quite go as plan but I think it still worked out okay, I just ended up not using the other poles like you're meant to! According to the article, they say you should start in walk riding a 10m circle over the narrow end of the poles and coming round in front of the first tramline pole. You then progress to riding between the tramlines and riding over the middle of the fan poles, picking trot up before the fan set of poles before ending up riding outside the tramline poles (by the fence) and over the widest part of the fan leading to medium trot. This could definitely be a good exercise for Pea (if he stops jumping each individual pole) so I can't wait to try it out again - hopefully when he's in a better mood!
The second exercise is to help improve connection but I completely forgot how to set it out, I just had the basic idea, so I modified it to make them canter poles but with the ground being hard we didn't get to fully try it out (though we did have a quick go) so I mainly just trotted over them and tried to do a transition to halt in the tramlines which failed! How it's meant to be set out is 3 trotting poles, 6 long strides to tramlines on either side. You're meant to trot over the poles and then walk between the tramlines before returning to trot before the second set or move it on to halting between the tramlines or riding a 10m circle if your horse doesn't listen. You can then up the difficulty by having the second set of poles as canter poles so you trot over the first lot, 10m circle in the middle and pick up canter and ride the last. I think it might be a while before we got to that! I think this would be a good exercise to ride as I'm having a few issues with Pea running a lot lately so I will definitely try this out again in the future!
There might be another post on this in the future when I try it out again (and hopefully it will go better)!
Thanks for reading,