exercise of the week

Weekly Exercise: Ground Pole Cross Patterns

Equine Overload’s Weekly Exercise: Ground Pole Cross Patterns

For this addition of Equine Overload’s Weekly Exercise, we’re going to look at ground pole cross patterns. These patterns are great for foundational training, warming up, balance, and lateral flection. The great thing about ground pole patterns is that they benefit all horses and riders regardless of what discipline you choose.

Perfecting The 20 Meter Circle With Ground Pole Cross Patterns

perfecting the 20 meter circle
Perfecting the 20 meter circle with the help of ground poles.

We’ve all had to ride the dreaded 20 meter circle. Or, as mine tend to turn out, the “20 meter squiggly-oval-loop-thing.” It can be difficult to focus on balance and flection when your circles are drifting all over the place. This ground pole cross pattern is the perfect guide for keeping your circles… well, circular.

Focus On Your Horse’s Feet

Focus on your horse’s feet with this ground pole pattern.

Give your horse the responsibility of focusing on where his feet are with this ground pole cross pattern. As you ask your horse to flex around a circle he can become unbalanced by dropping his shoulder or stumbling with his feet. This is especially common when you first start out with bending on a circle or if your horse becomes bored and lazy. By adding ground poles to your circle you give your horse the responsibility of focusing on where he’s placing his feet. This will help prevent his shoulder from dropping.

Straightening and Bending

Practice straightening and bending.

Transitioning between straight and bent is a great exercise of flection and balance. Using this exercise is great because there’s short transitions between the two. The ground poles also act as a guideline for straightening, which can be difficult coming off a bend. This is one of my favorite ground pole cross patterns that I use for warming up.

Cloverleaf Turns

Cloverleaf bending patterns.

The last exercise on our list is a cloverleaf pattern. The ground poles in this pattern act as a guide for the turns. Continual direction changes and tight turns are perfect for practicing flection and balance. The width you spread out the poles will determine how tight your turns are.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s addition of Equine Overload’s Weekly Exercise: Ground Pole Cross Patterns. If you have suggestions of exercises to share feel free to send us a message! Interested in keeping track of your riding exercises while making a plan to achieve your goals? Then check out our Riding Goals Printable Pack! This is the go-to log for keeping track of your rides and making progress towards your goals. As a thank you for reading this article, here’s $5.00 off! Just use code: itsgoaltime.

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