T Ground Poles Activities

Hi friends, it’s been a while! I’m sorry to not post more but I’ve been having health issues for the past half year (turns out it’s SIBO). However, I found something like this set up at my barn today and had fun playing with my horse over it, and imagining what I’d use it for when teaching, so I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

T Ground Poles Activities

Set up ground poles like this:

Here are some possible shapes you can do with them:

From easiest to most difficult in progression:

  • Red = walk between the center poles (to practice walking down centerline or across the arena, depending on how you set up the poles)
  • Orange = walk over the single poles (you can have two riders go at once using both sets of T ground poles, or even drill team practice doing it at the same time)
  • Yellow = walk over two poles (“”)(you could also practice shortened, extended, collected walk and trot by changing the number of steps between the two poles; or halting exactly between the poles)
  • Green = circle over the two outer poles, using the ends of the other four poles as guides (I’d probably add a cone at either end of the red arrow to give the rider a visual for the curve of the circle)
  • Blue = oval over all the poles (if the poles are close this is very difficult for the horse and a very tight turn for unbalanced riders so I would probably not use this in a lesson, however I did do this with my horse on the lunge line just having fun letting her figure out her footwork and stay relaxed, not demanding she go over every pole but asking as she was able, so it might work well for horse exercise time or groundwork)
  • Purple = square over two poles and around the rest

I’m sure there are many more shapes you can do with these poles, but those are a few to start out with!

Poles incorporate many riding skills all at once, but choose one or two to focus on in your lesson depending on what the rider’s goals are. I think the most common skills I would focus on using these poles are:

  • direct rein steering
  • bending
  • two point

I don’t have any example lesson objectives or lesson plans for you, but here’s a list of all my blog posts that have to do with poles, on which you might find some helpful examples!

Hope you find some inspiration! Let me know how you use this set up in the comments!


Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement! If you would like to contribute an activity or article, please contact me here, I would love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “T Ground Poles Activities

  1. Hi, thanks so much for sharing these T pole activities. You must be such a great instructor! I feel so motivated whenever I read your posts and look forward to getting certified and begin teaching again. If you hear of anyone looking in RI or southern ma, let me know!! They’re aren’t many places, so I may start my own!🙏

    • Thank you for the compliments! I wish you all the best with your instructing and maybe even program starting! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for continuing to post even when you are not feeling well. I love your posts and often use them for myself. Feel better.

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