Whether it’s to improve your dressage or jumping, try our easy polework exercises with your horse and reap the benefits
If you’ve read our Essential’s special, Perfect polework, in April Horse&Rider, you’ll have learnt how various polework exercises can help improve both your flatwork and jumping.
Our trainer, professional showjumper Mark Hallion, put together some easy exercises that anyone can try with their horse, nomatter what their level or experience. Scroll down to watch our model, dressage rider Denise Hallion and her gorgeous Wervelwind, demonstrate some of the exercises in these exclusive how-to video clips…
1. Rhythm, straightness and collection
The first exercise featured is a great one for practising accuracy as you ride down the centre line
Riding over a series of trotting poles helps improve balance and rhythm
Riding over raised trotting poles encourages more height in your horse’s steps
2. Developing bend, balance and impulsion, and adjusting the stride
Riding around an ‘arc’ of trotting poles helps you capture the bend of your horse. Riding around the inner, centre and outer parts of the arc will also encourage lenthening and shortening of the stride. Plus, it helps develop consistent rhythm and coordination in your horse.
Cantering around a ‘clockface’ of four poles is good for developing and maintaining bend and rhythm, teaching a horse to lengthen and shorten his stride, and instilling accuracy in the rider (invaluable for dressage tests).
Riding an ‘arc’ of canter-poles around a corner encourages correct bend, is a useful stride-adjusting exercise, and promotes better balance, impulsion and coodination.