Why is pole work good for horses?
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Poles - Rhythm, suppleness and balance
At Little Glengyre we work with a huge variety of horses and use poles with all of them! They are a fantastic tool and so adaptable the exercises and benefits are endless. We use poles to help rhythm, balance and suppleness as well as to introduce variety into work sessions and focus on specific muscle groups - this will be addressed in a later blog.
Poles encourage our horses to engage their core and flex their joints which in turn aids balance and suppleness. It is important to build a strong core to help the horse carry not only themselves but their rides with ease.
Using poles to flex joints is a great way to encourage your horse to increase their usual range of motion, if your horse drops in performance during any pole exercises it is a good idea to contact your equine physio - tight muscles and restricted fascia can cause a drop in your horses performance and range of motion.
The poles aid your horses rhythm by making them think about their foot fall, exercises such as simple trotting poles help maintain an even stride through out the exercise.
The exercise I enjoy the most is this: I feel its extremely adaptable, creates even use of both the near and off side and can be used in walk, trot and canter. During the walk exercise your horse in encourage to flex and stretch at a slower pace which has huge benefits on their muscles, this is helping to improve balance and suppleness. In addition to this, in trot and canter your horse is having to think more quickly about foot placing, strides and accuracy which improves rhythm.
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