It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to polework — once you’ve gone to the hassle of getting the poles out, you often end up repeating the same exercise week in week out, with very little benefit to you or your horse.
We asked Hartpury College‘s equine therapy centre manager and H&H blogger Fizz Marshall to explain her “maze” polework exercise, designed to improve your horse’s straightness and suppleness.
What is ‘the maze’?
“This is a polework exercise which is made up into a maze,” says Fizz. “All you need for this exercise is six poles set up in two C-shapes. And as long as your poles are 12-foot long there will always be the same distance between poles.”
How do you use the maze?
“You can ride through it in trot and canter using it either straight on or on angles or turns,” Fizz explains.
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How can the maze help you and your horse?
“We also use this exercise to help improve core stability and proprioception in horses working from the ground,” she says.
“As a ridden exercise it can really help with your horse’s straightness and it also helps suppleness by teaching them to step over poles on the turn.”
“From the ground we use it as a proprioception core stability exercise which will help teach your horse control by asking them to step forward one step at a time.”
Who is Fizz Marshall?
Fizz has an MA in equine business management and BSc (Hons) in equine science, as well as years of experience working with competition horses across the disciplines. Fizz continues to ride and work with horses from the ground and has a particular interest in the rehabilitation, re-education and training of sport horses.