Polework For Dressage

Welcome to our second week of polework exercises designed to help improve your flatwork.

Week 2: The Trot – Engaging the Hind Leg

This is the first of two trotwork exercises, and it’s one which is great for engaging the hind leg.

Lay out the poles as shown in the picture, remembering that it’s only fair to start without raised poles then introduce them once your horse is well warmed up.

Trot poles - click on the picture to enlarge.

Trot poles – click on the picture to enlarge.


After you’ve been through the line of poles a couple of times in each direction, raise alternate ends of the middle three poles.

As you approach, it’s important that your horse stays soft over his back, and stretching to the contact. If he hollows or stiffens against your hand, use a transition, flexion or a circle in front of the poles to keep him working over his back.

This exercise really tests whether you have your horse truly soft and between hand and leg.

Tip: Keep the raised ends of the poles low to start with as this is quite hard work!

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1 Comment

  • Thank you so much for these exercises. I have just taken on a horse who has an old sacro iliac injury, and these are just the type of exercises he needs to be doing (starting slowly and building up of course!) to strengthen his back muscles.

    Keep ’em coming!

    And thank you :o)