5 Fabulously Festive pole work exercises

festive pole work exercises
Isla and me attempting the Christmas tree!

There are so many festive pole work exercises out there at the moment, I'm sure you have seen a few ideas floating around on social media.

So obviously I had to jump on the bandwagon and give it a go myself!

I love seeing how creative people can be with pole work and thinking up new ways to train their horses.

Especially having a young horse myself, it's so useful to try new things and keep them thinking,

So I have collected together a few of my favourite festive pole work ideas, and maybe had a little go at coming up with some myself!

I hope you find this useful and are inspired to have a little go yourself?

If you do, please share to Instagram and tag me @killerqueenshowjumping so I can see!

1. The Christmas tree

There is plenty to do with this one, you can trot or canter straight through the centre of the tree, going left to right to begin with then making things harder and testing your accuracy by going right to left.

You can use the tree stump as 2 simple trot poles.

You can trot or canter a small circle over the point of the last triangle (tip of the tree).

Lastly, test your turning skills by trotting up over the stump (trot poles) turn right and loop back down over the straight pole to the point of the first triangle, turn left back on yourself to do the same going back up over the second triangle, and right handed down over the third triangle.

2. The Christmas Cracker

This is another great exercise to get your horse thinking, and a bit more young horse friendly then the Christmas tree. The V rails at either end guide the horse into the exercise nicely which makes it a great exercise for improving straightness.

Trot or canter through the middle of the cracker, or you can serpentine through it, or do a figure of eight by combining the last two exercises.

Canter through the cracker, turn left and canter down the two canter poles before turning right and going through the cracker then turning right and repeating the exercise. This would help teach your horse to land on the correct lead and could also help with flying changes.

3. The Star

Yep, that's a lot of poles... but it looks great doesn't it?! It's surely worth a go just for the gram no?!

Other then trotting directly through the points in a straight line, you could also mix things up by doing it on a dogleg turn.

Popping a 10m circle in over the triangle points before coming down through the point would be a great way to test the horses balance and responsiveness to the outside aids.

4.) The Wreath

A few ideas with this one, trot horizontally through at various different levels of the wreath.

You can also trot a small circle inside the bow at the top. The bottom half of the bow will be one trot stride. This will really test your turning and balance on a small circle.

Canter, or trot larger circles over every other pole on the wreath, i.e. canter left handed circle up over the very bottom pole before coming out of the wreath over the middle pole.

You could also go directly down through the middle of the wreath and either continue straight or do a dog-leg turn of varying degrees to come out over the poles on the side.

5.) The Gift

Other then playing around riding through the square vertically or horizontally, try trotting or cantering over the points of the square across the diagonal to test accuracy.

You could also do a circle over the cross in the middle of the square, this would be a great place to practice spiralling in and out on the circle too.

You can also put a circle in over the bow at the top of the gift in a similar wat to the wreath although with 7 trot poles on the curve.

Lastly, you could try riding directly down through the gift at the 1/4 and 3/4 lines.

Are you tempted to give any of these a try in your next pole work session?!

I would love to see if you can come up with any other exercised too?!

Whether that's using these 5 fabulously festive pole work exercises or whether you have come up with more ideas entirely?!

Let me know if the comments section below or equally tag me @killerqueenshowjumping on Instagram.

For more pole work inspiration, check out my pole work exercises to improve straightness.

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Kat, I'm a show jumper from the south coast of the UK. Having ridden professionally for several years before taking a long break, I am now just getting back into the swing of things with my lovely homebred 4-year-old mare Isla....

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