Confident Rider Challenge Day 21
We are way into this challenge now! How are you feeling? Is your level of confidence improving? Are you getting out and working with your horse every day? Do you find it is getting easier? How is your horse reacting to so much time with you? If you have been working with your horse every day and have completed every day of the challenge, I am confident that you are more confident working with your horse. Am I right?
Using Ground poles In Your Arena For Confident Riding
I think this is probably one of my favorite things to do with both of my horses. I love adding interesting elements into my flat work to add something to flat work to make it different. And using ground poles incorporated into your flat work will definitely keep your ride interesting for your horse!
So that is what we are working on today, using ground poles in your arena for confident riding. Adding the poles, if you have them is the first step. Then figuring out what you are going to do with the poles in the next piece of the puzzle.
I Love Ground Poles
I like to add a lot of pole to different areas of my arena. I use them like a training station. So on one side of the arena, I set up one pole with standards.
On the opposite side, I set up 3 poles.
And then down one long side, I set up my cavaletti on the lowest setting
And then more in the center of the arena, I set up a long line of poles using the remaining poles that I have.
It just looks so pretty all set up!
Horse + Ground Poles = Fun
And when I am bringing my horse out to see the obstacle course for the first time, I lead him around, over and through the poles. I walk over them with him, and I act as if the poles have always been there. Nothing scary here, just a bunch of poles in the arena.
Of course, one of the first things I do is walk my horse over all of the poles that I have set up. I make sure to work in both directions of the arena. Everything we do going one direction, we repeat in the opposite direction.
And after I have walked over the poles, then I start adding changes of direction around and through the poles.
Having a goal when you get onto your horse is so helpful, especially when you are wanting to improve your confidence in the saddle.
And even if you aren’t riding today, you can still school you horse over the poles. You can walk over them, through them, and even back through them, if you want to really challenge yourself.
Planning For A Great Ride
Having a plan when you get into the saddle for your schooling is so helpful to keep you focused. It also helps to give your mind something to focus on, so you aren’t worrying as much about what could go wrong. You are so busy thinking about what you are going to be doing next, that you don’t have time to let your mind wander to the what-if moments that will probably never happen.
And you don’t necessarily need to have as many poles as I do, but I find that having multiple elements in my arena are helpful to keep me in the saddle longer. And then I’m not searching for things to do.
Everything that you do in the saddle for flat work can be stepped up a notch by adding ground poles. And it’s just so much fun!
Today I challenge you to add some ground poles to school over with your horse. Ground poles are easy to make and will be an invaluable tool to help you take your riding to the next level, along with your confidence. So get out into the arena and work with your horse over some poles today!
If you can, spend about 30 minutes in the saddle doing different patterns over around and through the poles. You can do serpentines, figure eights, large circles, changes of direction, and whatever else you can come up with. I think you will find that you are able to stay in the saddle longer, simply because you have more to do with the ground poles.
And as always, be sure to end your schooling on a good note. Give your horse a pat for a job well done, and don’t forget to recognize yourself for getting out there and working with your horse today!