Week 57… 😉
Another week in lockdown and we’re still ticking over (just about). I’m really missing riding Ron at current but I’ve got Mickey and Captain to keep me occupied at home so I’ve been doing some basic exercises with them on rare occasions to give them something to think about. Over the next few weeks, I will talk about some of these exercises I do, not just with the yearlings but with Ron as well.
The Single Pole Challenge
As most people have probably seen on social media, especially during this lockdown, this challenge has been surprising everyone with how tricky it is. It sounds so simple… get your horse to walk along the pole with two feet on either side. Not Simple. I initially tried this with Ron and it took what felt like forever. I probably did about 15 minutes on the ground with little to prove for it apart from standing on the pole, stepped over 1000 times and wiggling around. I did actually give up, got on and rode but then decided at the end of the session I would try again. Eventually we managed to walk along the pole at snails pace and Ron was happy to stand with it in-between his legs.
With this becoming more and more popular over recent weeks I thought I’d give it a go with the yearlings. I have to say I was even more surprised when Mickey got this first time and walked straight along the pole without a care in the world! He’s got such a quick and clever brain on him but I wasn’t expecting that. I stopped him just at the end of the pole and then he made me chuckle as he put his nose to the pole and looked very confused as to how it ended up between his legs! Pretty sure it was a pure fluke he got this but I was ending on a high note!
Feeling optimistic I then tried it with Captain who was very similar to Ron in that he had no idea what I was talking about. We did eventually manage to get half way across the pole and then Captain decided it was much easier to just stand on it.
I also saw lots of people asking about the benefits of the Single Pole Challenge and I knew it was a good exercise for working on straightness but it also really helps their brain/limb coordination. If you’ve tried this or seen a video you can see how they are much slower, more controlled in their movement and are concentrating on the placement of their hoofs. Overall it’s a great exercise for any horse to challenge them and try something new.
I had seen a lot of people talking about how difficult this was but I genuinely didn’t think it would be that tricky, for what seemed like such a simple exercise it definitely tested my patience.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about how my little team got on with this exercise, I certainly underestimated it and with a few shocks along the way I have cracked it with all 3 of them.