One of the most versatile pole layouts using just 6 poles, combining walk, trot and canter – ideal for small arenas too!
This has to be my “go to” pole layout when I am in need of some inspiration on the days I’m short on time. Not only does it allow you to exercise your horse within all three paces in one schooling session, it doesn’t take too much time to set up if you’re using the poles on your own.
Exercise 1: Using the single poles going across the layout can help with straightness as the poles will act as a guide. This is very useful if the horse is new to longlining.
Exercise 2: Making the exercise a little more complex by walking through the layout in-between the poles. Start from one end of the layout, and weave your way through to the other end. This will encourage the horse to really think about where he is putting his feet. You can do this on the lines or in hand.
Exercise 1: Again, if the horse is new to longlining using the single poles going across the layout can help with straightness as the poles will act as a guide.
Exercise 2: Going down the 4 trotting poles – this can prove a little tricky as the poles are slightly offset however, the spacing of them will really encourage the horse to stretch and use himself.
Exercise 1: There is only one exercise for canter using this particular layout. Using the single poles going across the layout. Again, the poles act as a great guide for keeping the horse straight if they have a tendency to nip out to the side at the last minute. So not to stay on the same circle, you can move down by a pole space each time too.
What Lizzy is wearing
The softy web 6M lines for longlining. These are soft and flexible to hold, providing good grip with gloves on. I never longline without gloves:
Personalised Mattes square cut cotton saddle pad. It really is as soft as it looks and gives Lizzy lots of wither room:
The Comfy Horse Company made to measure English leather baroque style cavesson, Lizzy responded well to being exercised in this cavesson as we have only previously used a bridle. I found that she was a little more connected with the lines without being over bent but stretching her neck right from the wither down:
HUSK 3d Shield Air Target Protection Boots. It was a really hot day and Lizzy stayed cool yet protected under her boots. Being lightweight and flexible, they didn’t restrict her movement over the poles at all.
What I’m wearing:
Kerrits Microcord kneepatch breeches – ideal for ground work as well as in the saddle. Lightweight yet supportive, providing maximum comfort and freedom of movement which is well needed when working Lizzy from the ground. They keep their shape at all times so I always feel well supported.
Article written by Kirsty Pearce, Equispire on behalf of The Comfy Horse Company