Trotting poles

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Trotting poles

This is a discussion on Trotting poles within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    06-27-2013, 06:50 PM
Trotting poles

So I've read that one helpful way to encourage a horse to use their back and hindquarters and smooth out their stride is to use trotting poles. What would be a good distance between the poles for a 15.3 horse with a pretty good length of stride? Is it something like 4 feet? Also how many should you do in a row? What if your horse hits them with their feet? How can you keep them from not hitting them?
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    06-27-2013, 07:03 PM
First, I would lunge my horse over the poles. A horse that isn't used to them will overjump them and can get very nervous on the approach.
I don't know the standard distance, BUT, if you want to take the time to rake a section of the track, ride your horse at a posting trot over it, dismount (& tie) your horse to measure, then place the poles equidistant between the strides, you will have the correct distance.
WhatEVER you do, make sure that the poles are secured on both sides with big rocks or bricks--4/pole--so that if you horse shortens/lengthens stride he won't step on a rolling pole and strain muscles.
My personal preference is to use cavaletti bc they will roll if you horse hits them.
    06-28-2013, 06:53 PM
4'6" is the distance for a horse with a normal stride. If he seems to struggle reaching that spacing, bring them back to 4' until you feel him starting to get the idea. Either post or go over them in half seat being very aware of staying balanced yourself so you don't throw him off balance himself.

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