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free_sprtd 04-28-2009 07:48 PM

Trot Poles
I have been reading on here that a great way to help with balance, footing, and help building muscle is trotting over poles (correct me if I am wrong).

I set 3 poles up in the arena to lunge Thunder over today. I set them up so they were in 3 equal positions around the circle. We have never really done this exercise, so I had him walk over them first and then we did some walk/trot/whoa/ reverse. Several times he either kicked the poles or stepped on them, or tripped lol. There were times though when I noticed it was helping him "spring" up a bit more with lifting his feet.

Question is.. am I doing this exercise correctly? Also, is it normal for a young/green horse to stumble over them at first and will he get better at it?

onetoomany 04-28-2009 08:04 PM

I usually set them up all in a line, about 6 people steps apart instead of one placed a 1/3 of the way around a cirlce in your case. You can vary the length in between depending on your horse's stride. It is pretty normal for them to tick them and trip over them at first, just allow him to have his head and give him time to figure it out.

Flyinghigh12 04-28-2009 08:04 PM

Trot poles are seriously my best friend at time! I have a horse in training that litterally drags his left hind every step. I place the trot poles usually two strides apart, and use only two or three. It really helps them concentrate, lift and bring not only their feet up but their belly. It can really help with horses that have bad backs.

Its really normal for him to stumble on them at first, and after a couple times of doing it ur horse should really improve, especially after that muscle is built to help the horse lift its feet farther off the ground.
Sounds like ur doing everything right and like it was a good idea to try this since ur horse is hitting them he doesn't know how to pick those feet up yet.

free_sprtd 04-28-2009 08:08 PM

Thanks so much guys!! Ya im really excited about it, he seemed to really be concentrating (he was getting bored with regular routine). And he is particular about dragging his feet as well, so it was nice seeing them lifting off the ground lol. Thanks again! and Ill try the straight line as well :)

MyBoyPuck 04-28-2009 10:33 PM

The poles should be heavy enough that they don't roll when he's clumsy over them. I would try a straight line first to help him get the hang of it. Normal trot distance is 4'6" between poles, but find the spacing that helps him figure it out best to start with. Poles are great for getting them to pick up their feet and be more careful where they place them.

LeahKathleen 04-28-2009 10:35 PM

Great thread, been wanting to know some things about this as well for my 3 year old!


free_sprtd 04-28-2009 10:42 PM

Ya there's some really helpful info here! im excited to try it again later this week.

Flyinghigh12 04-29-2009 09:42 PM

haha good luck! Some of the horses I have in training have trouble just walking over them when ground driving them. It makes such a big difference on the horse.

~*~anebel~*~ 04-29-2009 10:48 PM

Instead of using jumping poles, invest in some cavaletti or simply nail Xs to the end of your poles. This way you can first of all vary the height and second of all they will not roll, which can end up in an accident.
Then i would suggest that instead of putting them one at a time, start to put them down so that for two steps in a row he is trotting over them, then three, then four. This will be gradual but to get maximum benefit from trotting poles the horse needs to go through them in a row sequence. Once he is used to trotting through the poles in a normal stride, you can slightly lengthen and shorten the distances between them to increase his range of motion as well. Good luck!

free_sprtd 04-29-2009 11:47 PM

oh thats a good idea thanks! i can't really do anything with the poles (logs really) because they belong to the barn and they are moved often. thanks again for the tip~

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