Christmas Tree Pole Exercises – Positive Gymnastic Groundwork and Riding

With dark nights and wet days, I often find inspiration to get out and train tricky at this time of year. This pole exercise was just the thing I needed and we all had loads of fun with the endless variations of exercises you can do in it, both in the saddle and on the ground. I’m sharing it to inspire you, too!

My exercises (all with suitably festive names!) involve both groundwork and ridden exercises and are designed to improve body awareness, accuracy, suppleness and strength while using the pole layout to guide and help you both. You can adapt the exercises for any level you and your horse are working at.

The main downside of this set-up is the sheer number of poles used, though I loved it and will do more set-ups this size in future as it gave us loads of different options in the sessions. However, if you don’t have that number of poles, you can split it into sections and just set up the square ‘pot’ for example, or one zig zag side of the Christmas tree each session. Or, you could make some pole substitutes such as laying out leadropes on the ground instead of poles or using cones to mark the shape instead.

There are zillions of different patterns you can do and I did about 20 variations with my horses. There is a small selection here to get you started:

To access all of the Christmas tree pole exercises and videos, along with hundreds of other training tutorials (you’ll never lack for inspiration again!), we’d love for you to join us in the CT Club. It’s an online membership site for people passionate about positive, effective, practical training that their horse loves, too! Click here to find out more!

Want some more Christmas CT Fun? Watch these next:

🐴Merry Christmas Horses on Pedestals – all 9 of our horses working together in this magical video!
🎄Ponies Decorate the Christmas Tree – residents at Hope Pastures rescue centre bring festive cheer to the yard!

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