Wisconsin winters are long and cold. So it only makes sense to pack up the trailer and head to the warm state of Florida for a glamorous winter of sun, surf, and horseshows. But as wonderful as that sounds, for most of us, real life steps in. Jobs, finances, family, and overall daily lifestyles keep our heads out of the clouds and our boots in the snow. But as the water buckets begin to freeze and the warm layers go on, we tend to find the arena walls closing in on us. By February, both horse and rider are ready to hibernate from the cold and from overall sheer boredom. This was where Tristan and I were last winter. I had been spending the winter conditioning him with gymnastics and simple pole work but his attitude was basically turning into “Mr. Crabby Pants” from so much repetition. He could do 4 poles in a row, straight or curved, with his eyes shut. Even incorporating canter cavalettis became the “same old, same old”. So one cold February day, I decided to turn a 4 pole exercise into a 24 pole exercise. Tristan was hooked! Each time I set up a different exercise, he would immediately walk over and try to figure out the pattern. Indoor arena work became fun and challenging again, not to mention the amount of hind end strength he developed.
I thought it would be fun to show my friends and clients. So with the age of technology, I shared the short video on Facebook. Tristan became an overnight viral sensation. His first video had over ¼ million views and was shared all over the world. Tristan has fans all the way from Spain to Canada to Australia. The questions came pouring in – “How do you come up with the exercises?”, “How long does it take to set up?”, “How many poles do you have?” and “How do you set up these exercise?” This out-pouring of questions inspired me to offer my ebook Fun with Ground Poles to the world. With the help of a tech savvy friend, we created an Ebook that would guide any level rider through the beginner steps of ground pole work. Of course, we had to add a bit of Tristan to each page.
Pole work is both educational and fun for both horse and rider, but as with any activity done with a horse, caution should always be used. I started walking Tristan over ground poles in hand as a weanling and have spent many years developing him into a handy, surefooted ground pole dancer. My new book is an introduction to ground pole work and the necessary steps for a successful training tool to add to your tool box. It is important start slow and not over whelm your horse with too challenging of an exercise. It is easy to over stimulate them both mentally and physically if asked too much. You can’t build Rome in a day. but with time every horse and rider, of any discipline, can discover their inner talent with ground pole work! <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14592243/?claim=pkqds8cbfcg”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>