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So Much You Can Do With Two Poles: Series #2

99 Things You Can Do With 2 Poles #2

Our new TWO POLE series explores the variety of exercises you can practice to improve both horse and rider, simply using two jump poles. Brought to you by experienced trainer and ReadySupp’s co-founder Didi Verdina, the series covers exercises for all levels of horse and rider and begins with the easiest level. As the series progresses the exercises will become increasingly more difficult so ensure you are ready and don’t tackle anything too advanced for your horse, or for you.

Didi quotes a famous horseman when offering advice for using these training exercises which are designed to help improve your riding, your horse and your enjoyment, so remember this:

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect” – George Morris.


Series #2: Improve rhythm and direction for young or less experienced horses – as well as the rider’s aids and co-ordination.

This seems like a very simple exercise but it’s very beneficial, both to improve flatwork and for use in between jumping sessions.

Set up two poles on a 20m circle at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

Start by walking and trotting in a circle on both reins on the outside edge of both poles, look for a good rhythm and keep your horse channeled between your legs and your reins.

Once you obtain a good enough impulsion and your horse or pony is responding to your aids, start trotting in a circle over the poles.


Make sure you ride over the centre of the poles. Remember you are in a circle and the only stride that is straight is the stride going over the pole, before and after you should be in ‘a turn’.

Focus on rhythm and direction – this also applies to jumping on a circle. Once this exercise is established and your horse feels ‘straight on the circle’, take the canter on the outside of the circle and again progress to canter over the poles, it seems a very simple exercise, but it is not so easy to do it correctly and it will improve your use of your aids and your horse’s responsiveness.

Progression. Make your exercises more complicated as you become more established. Try the following:

• Change of rhythm. Do one circle in working canter, then one in medium canter, then working canter to a collected canter.

• Add two cross poles, or small uprights – with uprights make sure you have a ground line on each side of the jump so it can be jumped from both directions.

• Add a third pole – so poles are at 2, 6 and 10 o’clock.

• Add a fourth pole – so poles are at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.

• Add small jumps following the above instructions when your horse is responding well.


Follow ReadySupp on social media and via our newsletters for useful (and interesting) articles on nutrition, training, events and equestrian news from our experts. ReadySupp Co-Founder Didi Verdina is our ‘training’ expert, she continues to teach in her spare time, competes, and she is qualified to BHSI level (Italian equivalent). Visit our homepage to subscribe.

If you have any questions on equine supplements, and want to improve your horse’s health, performance, or attitude give our friendly team a call 01672 541 157 for advice. We won’t try and hard sell you anything – we promise.

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Posted in Dressage, Eventing, Riding Tips, Showjumping
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