Barrel Dash - Ground Pole or Jump Version
Everyone knows the western game barrel dash where you race around one barrel and ride back to the start/finish line so we have made the English riding version! We do practice this game with our western riders too and use ground poles or a small jump.
At a minimum, you need two ground poles. For more advanced riders, instead of using a ground pole to ride over, you can use a jump of an appropriate height. Place one pole on side of your arena as the starting/finishing line. Place the other ground pole or jump on the other side of your arena - spread a part as far as you have space for.
This exercise can be ridden in teams or even individually, at any gait. Beginner riders can walk or trot the exercise while more advanced riders can canter. Riders will cross over the start/finish pole and ride over the next pole/jump before heading back to the finish line! This is a good exercise for steering and teaching your riders not to pull their horses into a turn but to instead push their horses into the turn.
Turn it into a game:
My students like to play the game in two different ways. The first time they attempt the exercise we play for finesse or who rides it the best (who did the smoothest turn without pulling their horse's face, etc) according to my judging. Then the second attempt we time each rider using the stopwatch app on my phone. Fastest time wins. For some riders we will see who has the fastest trot time vs canter time. Or play the game multiple times.
If playing with just one rider, you can time them multiple times to see if they can beat their own time record.
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