I have something for you: 4 exercises with 7 poles in a roundpen that help your horse with their bodyawareness, losing weight and the communication between you two.
1. Pole Mikado
Actually the titel says a lot about this exercise. You place the seven poles just like in the game Mikado, so pretty randomly. Then walk over the poles with your horse. This can be done either in hand or on your horse but I recommend to begin in hand if it is the first time you try this.
This exercise helps with your horse’s bodyawareness. They learn to use different parts of their body that they maybe normally don’t use that often. So a really good excercise for every horse!
2. Trotting poles
A really good exercise for losing weight is the trotting poles. For this exercise, place the seven poles on the track of the roundpen and let your horse go over them. This can be done walking, trotting or cantering.
You want to have enough space between each pole so that the horse can easily walk, trot or canter over them. I usually make a big step between the poles (a little more than a meter) but sometimes I adjust them when I see Aslan needs more or less space between the poles.
3. Steering on the circle
This exercise is not only good as a physical training, it is also an exercise that will improve the communication between you and your horse.
Place the poles as you can see in the image. The idea is to make the circle smaller and smaller between the poles. So in the and you must be able to steer your horse well from a distance.
Is this the first time you are doing this. Then start next to your horse and guide him through the circles and poles. If this goes well then expand it more and more by standing further and further away from your horse. Before you know it your communication is so good that you can steer your horse in all directions from the middel of the roundpen.
4. Big/small circle
This is also a really good physical and communication training. Only with this exercise you will make even smaller circles. You can start with a big circle where you horse has to go over the poles and than guide him to a smaller circle as you can see on the image.
And the most important tip of all: HAVE FUN!
Don’t forget to tag me on your socials (@happyhorsemanshiptv), i love to see you do the exercises!