Improve your horse's rhythm and suppleness with pole work

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Working your horse over poles will improve his suppleness, balance and rhythm. Showjumper Jay Halim shows you the benefits of pole work and gives you the confidence to work your horse over poles to improve his way of going. 

Pole work isn't just for horse she jump, it's also great for dressage horses too. It's a great way to keep your horse fresh and keep to work, as well as encouraging him to flex his joints and engage his core. 

Watch Jay ride two exercises he uses with his own horses. Both are easy to set out and you don't need lots of equipment, just a few poles and jump wings. 

Before you try any of them, make sure you've had a warm-up on the flat in walk for around 10 minutes, you can start working over trotting poles and use them as part of your warm-up routine.

Exercise 1: Scattered poles

This simple exercise encourages your horse to use his neck to stretch down and look where the poles are and where he's putting his feet. As you ride through the poles, let your horse work it out. You just need to focus on riding to the middle of each pole and maintaining an even trot rhythm.

Exercise 2: Canter circle with poles

This is Jay's favourite pole work exercise and he uses it with all of his horses once a week. It's a progressive exercise and it will be easy to do if you ask a friend to help you to adjust the poles for you.

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