Does your horse lose rhythm on circles and the short sides of an arena? Riding poles on a curve at a set distance will help.
Try the quick and simple exercise below .....
Following on from your normal warm-up program, start by walking and then trotting on a loose rein (rising) over four poles on a straight line set 1.2m apart (you may need to adjust this slightly to suit your horse’s stride). Then shorten your reins a little so you have a consistent, light contact. Once warmed up continue with your poles now set on a 20m circle, 1.2 m apart from the middle of each. (See diagram), ride the circle in rising trot, going ove the middle of each pole. Make sure you work the horse in both directions on the circle for the same length of time. It is important to relaise that your horse may find this exercise tougher on his stiffer rein, so change direction frequently so he doesn’t have to do too much in one go on the difficult rein.
In between your circles, canter your horse on a larger circle(or large around the school), avoiding the poles, to put energy back into his pace nd make sure you give your horse walk breaks, too,to rest his muscles.
•Improves horse suppleness, especially if he is stiff on one rein.
•Makes the rider ensure they bend the horse to the same degree on both reins
•Stops horses from loosing trot rhythm on a turn.
Leave out a set of poles in a straight line in the school; too, so that you can return to these should your horse lose confidence on the curve.
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