Sunday, 20 December 2015

Pole Work Exercises

As both my physio and instructor have recommended doing lots of pole work with Pea, I like to come up with new exercises with them so he doesn't get bored of simply doing the same thing. So Saturday morning, I dragged down with me to take photo's and I set out the below poles:

Basically, it's four long stride poles one way and then four trotting poles the opposite through the middle of the long poles. The trotting poles also help to ensure that we stay straight whilst going over the long stride poles. 

This exercise was really good for Pea as we started with the long stride poles which helped him to loosen up and realise about picking his feet up properly. As i've mentioned previously, Pea tends to not pick his legs up properly and will bunny hop over the poles at first as he thinks it's easier. By starting with the long poles, it gives him more time to loosen up between them. Once he loosened up over these, we moved onto the trotting poles and he went so well over them. 

We kept it varied by circling round going from long to short and in different directions so he really had to think about what he was doing with his feet. We only did the exercise for about 15 minutes as he tires quite easily with pole work as it makes him really pick his legs up. However, we did manage to finish off with a few canter strides as he loosened up enough. He's still very reluctant cantering on the left rein and is so much better on the right but we'll get there (hopefully!)

I'm aiming to do poles twice a week. Once ridden and once on the ground. There's a great page on facebook called horsephysio which post videos of lots of polework so it's great to get some ideas of how to play with poles :)

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

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