Tip 1 Four Poles in A Circle
Probably the most basic polework exercise available, and easily adaptable to absolutely any level of horse and rider.
A pole is placed at 12, 3, 6 and 9 on a 20m circle, and transitions are ridden between the poles.
During the early stages, this could be as simple as walking one quarter (or even one half), and trotting one quarter, or one half.
As you get more advanced, here are some things you can try between the poles:
- Add-in and drop-out a stride by lengthening and collecting the pace. For example, perform a collected trot from one pole to the next, then a lengthened trot, then a working trot.
- Ride a shoulder-in from one pole to the next, followed by a haunches in/haunches out/renvers/travers, etc.
- Spiral in from a 20m circle to a smaller circle and back out, while still maintaining a rhythm over the poles
Tip 2 Trot Canter Circle
On a 20m circle, set up three trotting poles at 3pm and three canter poles at 9pm.
Initially, you can tackle just one set of poles but still perform the transitions – e.g. trot the three poles, transition to canter and skip out the poles, before coming back down to trot over the poles again.
As you become more proficient, try to make your transitions at exactly 12 and 6 on the circle, going over both sets of poles in good rhythm and balance.
The trot canter transition is excellent for suppling the horse and putting him on the aids.
This exercise will really test your ability to ride accurate transitions, as well as accurate and even circles.