Exercises provide purpose to our riding. The right exercise sets us and our horse up for success by achieving a certain movement or feeling a specific sensation. Working on an exercise also provides a way to measure progress as the exercise becomes easier.
In my own riding and teaching I use many exercises, and the one I want to share today I often set up for both beginner and experienced riders. It is called “Ride the Box”, and you will only need four poles.
Set the four poles touching end to end to create a square. Once set, this exercise can be ridden in a variety of patterns and gaits. I will show you my two favorite patterns in today’s video.
These “Ride the Box” patterns will help your horse be more round, encourage them to bend evenly in both directions, increase their proprioception and coordination, and improve your steering.
Click play below to watch the video.
If you are interested in more exercises like this one, check out my book, Stay in the Saddle – 67 Exercises for Horse and Rider, for exercises beginner through advanced, that you can combine to create hundreds of ride combinations.
The book also comes with a full video library of demonstrations and troubleshooting examples for every exercise.
Hi Callie, I have your book and have found it to be a great resource for ideas on training. I will say, having the video to watch along with it seals the deal. Please keep them coming!!
Thank you Amy! I am so glad you enjoy the book!
I’ve gotten the book “Stay in the Saddle” and it has really helped me develop a plan for me and my horse. I am a lone horse rider at our place so your videos and book help me feel connected to the horse community. Thank you
Thank you so much for ordering the book Denise! I am so happy to have you here in our community 🙂
I ordered ypur books weeks ago and haven’t received it as yet.
Could ypu please check for me.
I am so sorry Nicky! I have forwarded your question to [email protected] and Catherine will be in touch soon!
thank you for sharing, as always a great vid.
btw, that horse is an amazing colour. I’ve never seen a mane and tail that match the coat like that. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed this Robyn!
Thank you for this video. With all the wildfires around us and the smoke that lingers, I am only riding at the walk for short periods of time a few days a week. This exercise came at just an opportune time as I was thinking about what pole exercise to do today. I love using poles for exercise and this one I haven’t thought of for awhile. One of my favorite pole exercise to use is to set them on a zig zag pattern. I usually only set 3 or 4 but more would give more options. I can ride all the straight lines changing directions or make a line through all the connections for work on straightness through angles.
Thinking of you with the fires! In the year I lived in Santa Barbara, Ca, I experienced a few days of the heavy smoke and the threat of nearby fires, but it was not severe. So my heart goes out to you!
Thank you for the video! That golden horse is really adorable!
Amiano 🙂 He is a beauty!
Thank you Callie! Great exercise, very supportive and calming and balancing.
I agree with Amy! The video is very motivating for me. It gives a real time feeling to the exercise and gives clarification.
Thank you so much
Thank you Jeanne! It is so nice to have specific exercises to help focus your rides!
What a brilliant idea! I struggle with online lessons but book and video well done!
Great video! I’m going to try the corner one next. I’ve used the box for myself and a student rider to do cloverleaf patterns. Lots of fun. It tests the rider’s concentration as well as all the other things. (I love the book, too.)
Glad you enjoyed this April, thank you!
Hey we have purchased the book it arrived but we cannot scan the codes! It does not give us the option to create an account??
How can we do this please? Thanks donna
Hi Donna, I have sent this to our support at [email protected], so you will be hearing from Catherine soon!
Love your stuff. I noticed y0u have some panels that are on wheels. do you roll these in to create a round pen in your arena or what?
I am enjoying the weekly videos. I find I am looking forward to them and usually discuss them with my coach during a lesson. This year is my year of the horse and I’m glad I made the investment. I look forward to the next coarse I take.
I love riding the box and set one up on most free rides