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Why Ground Poles?


Exercising your animals over ground poles, whether in hand or ridden (horses) will help stabilise any gait irregularities or movements which have been compromised by tension, asymmetry or musculoskeletal weaknesses.

Pole work asks your animal to take designated stride lengths in sequence to promote consistent rhythm and balance. As the animal moves over the poles, they are encouraged to push equally from each limb, correcting any imbalances.


Further advantages of pole work includes;


* Promotes straightness / symmetry

* Core stability and strength

* Joint ROM


Pole work can have a holistic effect on your animal by improving posture. This is achieved by the animal recruiting their interconnected abdominal muscle groups, thoracic sling and gluteal chain. Neurologically, when done correctly, pole work variations can re-pattern existing habits within each gait, leading to the creation of new neural signals from the nervous system.


**WARNING** Always seek professional advice before starting pole work! If you push your animal over a complicated pole sequence with raised variations, you could cause injury to your animal.

When done correctly in relation to the health of your animal, pole work can be performed in various gaits.


Walk

* Mobilising and targeting effect on each limb

* Raised poles improves core stability


Trot

* Focuses on strengthening the body

* Targeting the larger back muscles

* Diagonal effect on limbs and stability


Canter

* Concentrates on toning the thoracic sling, mobilising the shoulders during this 3 beat gait.

* Improves flexion and extension of the back

* Improves hind limb engagement



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