Your cart

Your cart is empty

Intro To Riding Ground Poles

Intro To Riding Ground Poles

Training Tips

Today, we're diving into the world of ground poles—a versatile tool used across various equestrian disciplines.

Watch The Video Here Or Continue Reading Below!

Introduction: Unveiling the World of Ground Poles

Whether you're an experienced equestrian or just embarking on your horse riding journey, chances are you've encountered the versatile and essential training tool known as ground poles. In this blog post, we will explore the intricacies of introducing horses to ground poles and the countless benefits they bring to your training routine. Ground poles not only refine spacing and jumping techniques, but they also help horses focus on trails and obstacles, making them a vital component of any equestrian discipline. Join me in this session as I work with Thunder, my most reactive training horse, to introduce him to the concept of ground poles for the very first time.

Preparing for the Challenge

Before delving into ground poles, it's essential to prepare your horse. Just like any other obstacle, ground poles require a thoughtful approach. Whether it's cinching up the saddle or swinging a leg over, every step matters. In this case, Thunder just got cinched up, and now, we're ready to explore the world of ground poles together.

Approach and Mindset: A Harmonious Partnership

Approaching ground poles is no different from any other training obstacle. The key is to think of them as part of a larger puzzle. Even if you're unsure about the technique, considering everything as a cohesive unit will guide you. As I approach Thunder with the ground poles, notice how I sit back, look up, and have control over the horse. The number of poles doesn't matter; what matters is the horse's willingness to follow your lead.

Choosing the Right Material: The Impact of PVC

These ground poles are made of PVC—a choice I prefer due to its sound and visual impact. While white PVC may seem intimidating, it's the larger and sturdier poles that truly challenge the horse. Thunder taps them, which is a good start, but if these were made of four by fours or landscaping timber, the horse would be more cautious. The solidity of the material influences the horse's reaction, just like in jump training.

Building Awareness and Focus: The Desired Outcome

As Thunder navigates the ground poles, you'll notice him looking downward. This is the desired outcome. In disciplines like Western pleasure trail classes, horses learn to maneuver through poles without touching them. It's about creating awareness and teaching the horse to be conscious of its footing. Similar to our obstacle series, the discomfort of stepping on the poles reinforces the lesson.

Applying Ground Poles in Training: A Systematic Approach

Approaching ground poles for the first time involves treating them as obstacles. Sit back, heels down, reins loose—give the horse space. Apply pressure only when necessary. By consistently reinforcing these principles, you'll find your horse gradually accepting ground poles. Whether your goal is jumping, navigating obstacles, or refining gait, ground poles offer a versatile solution.

Conclusion: More Than Training Tools

As we wrap up this session, remember that ground poles are more than just training tools; they're opportunities for growth and refinement. Thanks for joining me in this exploration of introducing Thunder to ground poles. Stay tuned for more exciting videos, and I'll catch you in the next one. Happy riding!

Check out more free training resources HERE!

Previous post
Next post
Promotional image featuring Michael Gascon with his horse, used to promote the Horse Safety Free PDF Checklist. Encouraging horse enthusiasts to download the checklist for essential safety tips and guidelines.


Can you control every part of his body, even if he’s scared or unsure?

There are some specific things that I believe every horse should be able to do before they are considered completely safe to ride. So that you can see how safe your horse is to ride, I’ve created this FREE Horse Safety Checklist.

check out more articles

The Challenges of Training Sensitive Horses

The Challenges of Training Sensitive Horses

By Michael Gascon

Training sensitive horses can be a rewarding challenge that requires a unique approach. By leveraging their natural responsiveness and energy, we can turn potential difficulties into advantages. Establishing clear leadership...

Read more
Dealing With Anxious Horses

Dealing With Anxious Horses

By Michael Gascon

When dealing with anxious horses, it's crucial to redirect their attention to you by being more energetic and engaging. Instead of toning yourself down, you need to be over the...

Read more
Michael Gascon posing gracefully with a horse, showcasing a harmonious connection and the bond between the equestrian and the equine partner.

Meet The Author: Michael Gascon!

I'm a 5th-generation, world-renowned horse trainer. My training methods have given tens-of-thousands of people a direct, no B.S. guide to training their horse to create more confidence, more fulfillment, and more enjoyable times with their four-legged friends.

As riders, we all want our horses to achieve their potential, but many people struggle with the process to get there.

I'm here to help you achieve maximum performance, relaxation, and focus by teaching you The Language Of The Horse.

The only requirement? The desire to learn more and have FUN with your horse.