Some time ago there was a photo circulating on social media with potties being used to raise poles off the ground and play the role of inexpensive low cavalettis.
Yesterday, Gemma brought her latest purchase – 8 bright green IKEA potties – to the yard to give them a test drive in the lesson.
She owns Ozzy, a 5 year old for whom pole work/balance work are an important part of the exercise routine.
I use poles in their lessons regularly and they have a very positive effect on Ozzy’s coordination and suppleness which in turn improve his balance. Raising poles off the ground helps with encouraging more bend in all the joints of the hind legs, has a very good effect on Ozzy’s usual downhill way of going by naturally creating more hind legs effort and shoulder lift as well as helping with the gelding’s straightness (as his suppleness improves he starts using himself more symmetrically which makes it possible to improve his straightness).
In canter, the pole work highlight differences in Ozzy’s body use on the left and right rein which gives us ideas for exercises and routines to use to help him even the work up.
If you have a young horse you are bringing on, using cavalettis as part of their flatwork can be a really fun element of the overall training.
The IKEA potties are proving very easy to handle (light to move about), don’t roll at light touches and if the poles get rapped harder by the horse, the potties just “fall over” without rolling away much at all.
They hold the poles we use easily allowing for a roll over of about an inch either way. I think it would be great to collect more of them 😉
Do you use poles/cavaletti in your training? What’s your usual set up?