01-28-2010, 02:30 PM
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This is how I would go about it, I am sure their are many out there that have different styles and I hope they respond and give you more options.
I would use at least four poles and use big enough poles that if the horse knocks them they stay put. You can use square or round poles if you are just going to use them as trot poles. Round poles do not have edges to hurt the horse if you are going to raise them up.
Distance depends on the gait. At the walk you may go 1-2 human strides at the trot 2-4, and the canter 5-7 strides. Take your horse over them and adjust them until the pole is at the center of his stride. When the horse learns to step over them you can raise them or even use them to encourage the horse to lengthen his stride by widening the distance.
You can start under saddle or on a lunge. If you lunge lay them like spokes on a wheel and you can adjust stride length by where he hits the poles. Or if your horse does not refuse them you can lay them straight against a fence and lunge him over them.