Trot Poles

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Trot Poles

This is a discussion on Trot Poles within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    06-23-2010, 04:00 PM
Trot Poles

Is there a rule of thumb for determining the distance between trot poles? I'm planning on setting mine up in series to try to encourage my guy to lift and engage more, but I don't want to screw up his trot by getting the spacing wrong. It's sad, I've never set up a line of trot poles for myself before. I've found a couple of measurements, but they seem huge, like geared for a 16 hand warmblood, not a 14 hand pony cross.

Thank you!
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    06-23-2010, 04:16 PM
For most horses 4.5ft apart is fine

Unless its a pony that's where I always set them. You can set them at 4ft, 4.5ft, & 5ft to work on adjusting though.
    06-23-2010, 04:20 PM
For 4-H trail class, trot poles have to be between 30 and 40 inches
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    06-23-2010, 04:25 PM
I agree with gypsy girl, when setting trot poles for kids on school horses, 4 - 5 ft was what I used. Once he gets used to that striding you can increase it to get the extra lift and engagement you want.
    06-24-2010, 12:05 AM
30 - 40 inches seems really short to me...
    06-24-2010, 04:05 PM
Thanks so much, all! I'll tote my tape measure out to the arena with me and we'll see how it goes!
    06-24-2010, 06:39 PM
I asked similar question while back. After lots of responses, doing research on the Internet, and trials with my own horses I'd say 4 ft for my horses (they are 14'3 and 15'1). 3 ft my trainer said seems to be very small even for my short legged qh, 4.5 is little too much for my qh (but OK with my paint).
    06-26-2010, 08:12 AM
I put him over poles yesterday's ride, and he did very well! I set them just shy of 4.5 feet apart, 3 in a row, midway down the quarterline. He seemed to enjoy doing them, and I could feel a pretty dramatic change in his carriage at just that distance; head down, significantly more bounce, and a big stretch up frm his back.

Since this was his first real experience with trot poles, I was pretty careful to really get out of his way going over them; 2 pointing over the poles and putting my hands forward to put slack in the reins. Should I be aiming to eventually ride them with soft contact, posting "normally" as he gets stronger and more comfortable with the exercise?

We went over a single pole several times to warm up, and then the 3 pole setup about six times only, 3 times on each rein.

Thanks so much for your help, everyone!!

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