Over 50 fun and easy-to-follow exercises using ground poles to improve the horse's musculature and way of going.
While working with ground poles is not new to most riders, incorporating them in training with creativity and regularity may require a little inspiration and guidance. Enter Ann Katrin Querbach and her positive and persuasive ideas for developing the horse's body and movement in healthy and correct ways over poles. With progressive exercises at all three gaits, on the longe line and under saddle, she provides a basis for building a strong foundation, step by step. Or, just as easily, the reader can cherry-pick the exercises best suited to resolving a particular issue or improving a certain quality.
Readers will find exercises that focus on:
Rhythm and tempo
Collection and lengthening
And building the horse's abs, legs, and hind end
Pole work develops coordination, balance, and concentration in both horse and rider. It helps the rider develop a feel for a “correct” trot, active hindquarters, and lifted back in the horse. The rider learns to maintain “positive tension” (“engagement”) in her body, while still remaining relaxed enough to follow the horse's movement. The horse must lift his hind legs significantly higher than usual in order to clear the poles, developing the coordination of the dorsal and ventral muscle chains, lifting the horse's back and engaging his neck. He is encouraged to build muscle in a manner that's both systematic and correct. This collection of exercises seeks to provide all these benefits and more, not only for the dressage rider seeking to correct or optimize the elements judged in competition but also for the recreational rider wishing to keep her horse fit and sound over a lifetime.