Favourite/Best Polework Exercises?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by frecklesandspeckles, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. frecklesandspeckles

    frecklesandspeckles Registered

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    I must confess that, without poles I find flatwork in the school deathly boring ( I do most of my non-jump riding out on trails etc these days), that's not to say I don't do it I just don't enjoy it as much (and I'd imagine I probably don't ride with as much purpose as I should do 100% of the time)so with that in mind has anyone got any good/fun pole work exercises to try? Preferably with a diagram or easily explained so I can get my non-horsey family to help out with setting them up/moving poles etc.
    A focus on the canter would be fab, I'm currently working to get his canter more uphill & to teach him to step under more than he does at the moment, but any ideas of things to try are appreciated.
    Pretty much no limit on number of poles/cavaletti as we have a lot at my yard.
     
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  2. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    Please post a video of you riding the horse. It's impossible to recommend something without knowing what is going on.

    The reason why you don't like flat work/dressage is because you have never learned to do it properly, you don't know what to do and how to do it and how great a really well trained horse feels.

    If you want to work to get the canter more uphill, poles is not what you need. More uphill you only get with collection and for that you first need to get the horse straight. No collection without straightness. And for straightness you need lateral work so you can teach the horse to place the front end really in front of the hind legs.

    Again, post a video for recommendations where to start.

    But don't expect that anyone can give you sufficient lessons on how to teach a horse to collect through an internet forum. Very likely your seat and aid giving needs some polishing first, too. And then expect to ride boring circles and volts and tempo changes and gait changes again and again and again and then add shoulder in etc. Because, nobody ever got a horse that collects by going trail riding and chasing it over a few poles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  3. frecklesandspeckles

    frecklesandspeckles Registered

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    I'll have a dig around and see if I can find any videos of him, I can't film any currently as I've literally just ruptured my ankle and can't even get a boot on at the moment, oops. As for why or why I don't enjoy things - I know myself and I know my mind, I've ridden multiple schoolmasters so I know how a well trained horse feels and I know what I'm supposed to do. I just don't enjoy it in a school. Knowing myself that's thoroughly unsurprising it's why I quit swimming as a kid as well. I personally don't think it's all that odd to enjoy different aspects of riding more or less? I don't like riding in a school on the flat regardless of what I'm on or what I'm doing.

    His lateral work/movement off the leg is actually good now, its what i've spent the last year or so doing teaching him to be straight etc. It's something that's easy to do out hacking still, or easier since there's no fences to use as a 'crutch'. Honestly I know what I need to do in terms of schooling his canter & I do that happily out of the school, the issue here is in the school rather than the flatwork, it's small and just uninspiring but during the winter lots of the tracks are either very muddy or out of bounds since lots of the grounds are used for pheasant shooting. I just wondered, with winter coming up, if there was something to do that would make the occasions where I have no choice but to not ride out & am doing stuff on the flat both more fun/engaging for me & useful for the 'main' thing we're working on, if not then I'll suck it up one time a week and do it in the school, maybe, and play around with poles the other days.
     
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  4. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

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    One that was really fun for me and helped me sit up and stop leaning at the canter was setting 4 poles on a 20m circle and cantering into them. It took a while for my mare to figure it out but once she got it, she did really well and it was quite fun.
     
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  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Don't expect your jumping to improve then.

    You do that little schooling on the flat, your jumping won't improve. Doing some 'pole work' here and there won't change that.

    And I hate to be blunt, that just goes horribly against my nature, but if you're asking for suggestions on 'polework', you need regular instruction.

    I think you've got the jumping/schooling thing backwards. You are supposed to do far more flat work than jumping days, it should be about 5:1 flat work to jumping.

     
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  6. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Don't get discouraged, we're really big on flatwork. I don't know what to tell you, but you can't really pursue your jumping seriously if you don't.

    If you're just popping over fences for fun, no biggie. Enjoy the trails. I used to live on a big property with neighbors we'd known for eons with even larger properties. I used to do the equivalent of cross country quite a bit through theirs and our property, but that was with my neighbors permission.

    Enjoy yourself.
     
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