It has certainly been a while, writing up blog posts the last while has been something I have neglected, but I am back! You may have noticed that I have been using my reinrite products a lot in terms of bringing Dante back into fitness since lockdown. Before lockdown we rode in our ReinRite Training Aid once a week, this kept Dante on his toes, it also encouraged him to self carry properly.
I try to pre plan my exercises before I jump in the saddle, this way we get the most out of our training. Pole work is of course our number one focus. I came up with the “Turntable” exercise out of frustration of getting up and down and adjusting trot poles to canter poles and so on.
Keep Scrolling for the layout, the set up & how Dante rode it. Don’t be worried either if you don’t have a ReinRite Training Aid, the exercise can be down without also for everyone who prefers not to ride with Training Aids at all, I dont judge!
The Set Up
You will need a number of poles for the set up of this exercise, 7 to be precise. I also used my Jumpstart Showjumps Pole raisers to raise the poles, but they can be laid flat or you can use jumping wings if you prefer either.
See the images below for the layout in your arena. Preferably, I would have the rest of the arena clear to give you extra space to warm up.
The distance between the poles are as follows:
A = 2 strides, walking from the center of your poles, so 10 large walking footsteps
B= They are bounce strides, so I walked out 10 toe to toe footsteps.
The Benefits of Using Reinrite
- Better Control over the poles
- Can focus on your riding position in more detail
- Your horse works correctly, and is encouraged to hold themselves correctly
- I always find that while riding in the ReinRite it encourages me to hold the contact, without it on I have an awful habit of dropping it.
The Benefits of this exercise for Your Horse
- Improves your eye for a stride
- Control in the rhythm
- Improves both horse & riders approach to poles
- Works your horses hind end
- Focus on the riders position
- Bending & flexing your horse around your leg
How To Ride This Exercise
Step 1: As with all of our exercises, we recommend a thorough warm up before starting. This will insure that your horse will not pick up any injuries.
Step 2: I began this exercise in sections. Your aim is to get everything done in canter, but doing it in trot was the first step I took. Start with the curved poles. Trot around and over them off both reins, you are looking for a consitant flow in your horses rhythm. No stumbling over poles or half strides before. Once you are happy with the you can start bringing in you two outside poles.
Step 3: Continuing on from your curved poles, incorporate the two poles on the outside of your exercise. Again you are looking for a nice consistant flow with an even rhythm. Follow the image below, you will now begin to see why I called this the Turn Table exercise. Your horse is being constantly challenged in the direction they are moving! You should be able to count your horses “trot” strides between poles each time you ride from pole to pole. This is a trick I use for knowing when Dante is keeping a consistent rhythm in his movement.
Step 4: Once you are comfortable with the above, it’s time to progress to the canter. Ride the exercise exactly the same as in step 2 & 3 outlined above but only moving from trot up into canter. Once you are happy with how your horse worked, I gave Dante a short walk break to stretch out. It is nice to give your horse rests, and breaks to process the entirety of the exercise
Step 5: We are now moving onto our poles down the middle of the arena. This is the third part of this exercise, the last piece we need before we stick it all together. Picking up canter, ride into your poles as if they are not there, crazy I know but try it and see how it works! It is your job to ride your horse into the poles, it is not your job to lift your horses legs over them! So if they hit or knock then, just start again. Once you are happy with how your horse is working, you can then piece the entire exercise together.
Step 6: To piece our exercise together, I have put the image below as to how it works. Beginning by canter over your poles in the center, Turning left over your single pole which bring your around to your pole on the opposite side of the arena, finishing up over your curved poles. It sound like a lot, but it flows well once you get into it. It is a tough exercise so if your horse finishes well once on either rein I would finish off on that good note.
That exercise was quite a difficult one to explain considering the amount of turns it has, so if I have confused you work from the images! It is a very beneficial exercise and can be used to focus in on all those small things we want to improve in our horses way of moving.
Don’t forget, if you don’t have a Reinrite you can still give this exercise a go, it can be done with or without. If you want to simplify it slightly you can adjust the poles in the centre to trot poles and complete the entire exercise in trot. I always like to have variety in my exercises,I can never be certain with Dante’s moods so I try to cater for them all!
Let me know if you gave this one a try on your horse and if you did be sure to tag me so I can see!