4 Pole Gymnastics Exercises for your Horses

Gymnastic exercises are fantastic to implement into the weekly routine for your horses. Not only do pole exercises help to strengthen your horses core, but they also keep you as a rider entertained and focussed in the arena (especially if it is the off-season). There is nothing better than a good pole session to prevent rider and horse form becoming arena 'sour!'

What you will need:  

All you will need is 4-10 showjumping poles. 


Spacing between poles varies between horses and must account for their size/ length of pace. However, this is the standard measurements.

(If you measure the length of your steps before hand, you can space out distances without needing a tape)

Walk Poles: 0.8-1m (1 'big' step)

Trot Poles: 1.2-1.5,  (1 and 1 foot length step)

Canter Poles: 2.7-3.3, (3 'big' steps)

Exercise 1- TROT FAN

This exercise is great for balance, planning and engagement of your horse's hind end. Complete on both reins, and once confident, it can be completed at a canter with a bounce between poles. 



This is a more difficult trot exercise requiring accurate planning and execution. You can change the distance between poles, noting the closer they are together, the more difficult the exercise will be. 



The first of our canter exercises is our canter fan. This may look easy, but it is incredibly difficult to maintain even 4 strides between the poles the longer you go on. To begin, you can start by having just 2 poles and build up to 4. Again, this can be completed on both reins! 


Exercise 4 - Lead Finder

This is a great exercise for both advance riders and intermediate.

Variation 1- Trot the first pole, pick up the canter and then go left or right depending on which lead is picked up

Variation 2- Canter first pole, and complete a lead change over the second pole, going left or right depending on new lead

Lead Finder

We hope you enjoy our exercises, let us know your thoughts below! 

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