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Yesterday we made the most of the bank holiday and having a helper on the ground to set up one of my favourite polework exercises. I have written about this polework exercise before but I think it is fantastic as it can be used in walk, trot and canter by taking different lines. But you can also shorten and lengthen the trot stride depending on whether you go straight over or across the diagonal.
Reintroducing the Exercise
It had been over a year since we last rode this polework exercise. So after I had remember how to set it up, I took it slow with Scottie, walking him over some of the individual poles, giving him plenty of time to see everything what was going on. But despite a minor wobble about there being potties next to the poles, Scottie was very confident and walked through the different lines happily. So after a trot on each rein, I popped him through the different lines, asking him to extend slightly across the diagonal line. He was absolutely perfect! Albeit maybe a tad cocky!
I had a canter on each rein before asking for canter through the canter section of the exercise, asking for canter over the first pole with the aim of cantering out of the exercise. After trying this a few times we tried cantering into the canter section and away. All of which Scottie managed well and with confidence.
Upping the stakes (and the poles)
Since Scottie was going so well, we raised each pole at one end to make him work that little bit harder. I picked up trot and took him over a couple of the single and pairs of poles before heading back into the main exercise of going over the 4 main raised poles, changing direction each time and asking him to lengthen over the diagonal. Despite knocking a few of them, I could really feel him lift his back and round over them. He also seemed to really enjoy himself, especially over the canter section of the exercise! It was great to feel him so confident over complicated polework exercises again.