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Monday, 24 September 2018

How To Create a Fitter Horse With Polework

Bay horse with a bridle on standing infront of a forest

Everyone in the equestrian world knows you NEED a fit horse to do just about any type of discipline.  You risk hurting your horse if you haven't spent time working on your horse's fitness and muscle growth yet most rider's don't really know how to do this properly.  Today you will put a fitness routine for your horse together with this post.

Let's be honest, no one wants an unfit horse!  

Why Polework is so Great

First of all, there are a million and one ways to set up pole work.  I alone have written many blog posts on polework layouts that will work great for most horses.  When you find the correct layout for fitness you will notice the difference quickly.  Pole work can be done daily and can be incorporated into schooling and lunging.  I personally set up a few different pole work layouts in the school every week.  

Bay horse being lunged in a field

What Types of Polework are for Fitness

When working on fitness and building muscle on your horse you will want to concentrate a lot on raised poles.  With these, you will walk over them around 3 times on each rein and then do the same in trot.  You can also do this in canter but I wouldn't recommend it until your horse is pretty fit.  A great way to work on raised poles is doing different layouts each time.

  1. You can do every other pole raised one day
  2. All poles raised on one side (alternating sides) on day two 
  3. Then raise them on both sides on day three.  

Another great way to work on fitness is doing extended pole work.  This is basically anything more than 7 poles.  You can either do this by setting up poles going all the way down the side of the school of set up three different areas and join them together.

Bay horse with a white blaze standing outside a horse looking at the camera

How to Create a Fitness Routine

Now that you understand how to use pole work to increase your horse's fitness, you need to add that to a routine.  If you are starting with your horse out of work, you can first start with using this routine 'How To Get Your Horse Back Into Work in 4 Weeks!'.  

Next, you need to read up on interval training for your horse as you will also add this to your routine.  

Lastly, it's time to build your routine.  I have a whole post on creating a riding schedule with a FREE download that you can print off and plan which days you will do pole work and interval training.   

Palomino horse stretching her nose and neck out

So now it's up to you!  

Print your free download off and send me a picture of yours filled in!


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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