September Monthly Exercise – Pole To Pole

I can’t quite get my head around it being the end of September already, doing our August weekly exercises just seemed to make the month fly by even quicker!

This month, we decided to focus more on some flat work exercises, I came across this exercises over on our Pinterest account, and it is safe to say I loved it.  Have a read below, and be sure to give it a go!

It is definitely one that will be a staple in my winter workouts!

The Set Up: 

You will need 7 ground poles & an arena (obviously!!) If you dont have an arena you can set this exercise up your field.

Measuring out your trot poles, I worked from 4 & a half footsteps between each pole, (follow the arrows in the picture for your layout) when I measured all the trot poles out,  it pretty much took into account for my canter pole layout, so no additional adjustments were needed!

See below image for your set up.

Pole To Pole set up-page-001

What this exercise helps your horse with

  • Straightness
  • Control
  • Approach
  • Balance

How To Ride The Exercise:

This is quite the versatile exercise. It can be used for walk, trot, canter, transition work, you name it you can do it. The layout gives you so much variety & options to work with. Below I have outlined my go to routines, one in trot & one in canter.

Trot – The exercise itself is quite self explanatory, see the image to the right. If you wish to start off introducing the pole exercises to your horse in walk do so, but after my warmPole To Pole trot-page-001 up I jumped straight into it (not literally!!)  Start by  following the direction of the arrows in the image in trot before working on your diagonal poles. Do this off each rein until your horse is comfortable with his/ her approach.

Approaching the trot poles can be quite intimidating at first as they are quite skinny, but if you have a firm hold with strong leg this will stop your horse from drifting from left – right. Looking up where your going will help with this also, Don’t look down at the poles!! 

Canter – Likewise in the Canter, until you are happy with your trot work, then only begin with your canter. See the image to the side for your layout. Using the outside poles to begin with, your horse Pole To Pole canter-page-001should bounce over these in the canter. I started of by cantering over these in a straight line, then I started incorporating a circle in around the two poles.

Once you are happy with this of both reins, then you can attempt the canter poles down the center line. Dante found this slightly overwhelming at first. To your horse it may look like there are loads of poles scattered on approach which in turn will helped him learn the placement of his feet & help him with his straightness but on your approach sit up tall, keep your leg firm & look to where you want to go.

The Verdict

After doing this exercise on both reins, I done in 2- 3 times on each rein, in both trot and canter. I always tried to finish after the 3rd or 4th attempt if it was good!

Warning: Over doing this exercise can be draining not only on yourself but on your horse, the lack of concentration goes after a while and your horse will start to anticipate the exercise. 

So give it a go, start of your Monday with this simple yet effective exercise!

And don’t forget to tag us in your Instagram posts so we can see how you get on.

Thanks for reading,







2 thoughts on “September Monthly Exercise – Pole To Pole

  1. I love that this exercise can be done in trot and canter! So creative and much easier than setting up different exercises for trot and canter.

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