Poles, poles, poles

Cavaletti. It is just a fancy way of saying pole work so that it will get people to do it…. or that is what it appears to be in my opinion.

For all my looking around all I can see is that is an old method which is block in an “X” shape used to raise poles… to do pole work. I have seen a few people going to “cavaletti training” then posting on social media how they are working on their cavaletti and using cavaletti to work on this and that. But the burning question I have is why do you need to pay a specialist instructor to do pole work? Surely your own instructor can set up some for you? No? Ok.

PoleWork.jpgAnyway moving on, I will be the first to hold my hands up and say I should do more pole work. While at my old livery yard I appeared to be the only person who did any, I used to do a fair amount but haven’t done much recently so the other day I set out some raised trotting poles to get us going again.

Our aim was to get her back end a little bit more engaged. Unfortunately my boyfriend/camera man wasn’t there so I had to improvise with the camera therefore unfortunately the pictures arent the best. I was quite lucky in that I had the big indoor all to myself, not bad eh!

The exercise.

My aim was to keep a consistent trot before, during and after the poles. Change the rein each time so when rounding the corner to the poles we work on getting a nice bend then straighten up for the poles.

We repeated the exercise several times each time round we changed the rein so as we turned towards the poles she would be bending a different way.

We are both weaker on the right so a little extra work had to go in to get the right bend.

As you can see from the pictures she is quite careful not to touch a single pole.

Our problem at the moment is that she is not strong enough through her back to really push forward and keep her front end soft. So while we would approach the poles in a soft outline we would loose the contact during the poles. At the moment I am not worried about this too much as it is something we need to work on and with more pole work it will come.

How often do you use poles when you ride?

Do you ever do raised poles?

5 thoughts on “Poles, poles, poles

  1. I try to do pole work every two weeks especially during times when weather does not permit going out for forest hacks. I have recently bought small risers for the poles at the barn ( it is a dressage barn) and interestingly enough my coach ( a two time Olympian in dressage) was having a lesson with her coach ( a seven time Olympian) and pole work was suggested with the poles raised on alternating sides with my little risers. The purpose of this exercise was to assist the horse ( a Grand Prix dressage horse) to be more effective in engaging his hind end! so there you have it. What a great recommendation for pole work for any discipline and level.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thats really great to hear that riders of that level are doing these exercises. It was something I was taught when I was schooling other peoples horses but haven’t seen many other people do it. Personally I think its a great exercise not just for the back end but for getting the horses thinking as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love working through trot poles and raised poles. I’m certainly guilty of not doing it often enough for two main reasons. 1. I have to pull them out and pack them away every time I use them which is a challenge with limited time after work. 2. I can never seem to get the distances quite right…

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    • For trotting poles I put out five of my feet toe to heel (Size 8) and for canter poles I do four steps. I think with the likes of trotting poles Eva has learnt to work out if she needs to shorten or lengthen her strides to fit what ever I put out and I think the same will be for canter poles when she is fitter. I think its good for getting them to figure out where to put their feet. You do need to be more accurate if you are doing grids but I would put out something you think works, ride it then adjust and do it until it feels right. Then work out the distances at the end before you put the pole away.

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  3. Pingback: Pole Work : Grids | The Scottish Equestrian

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