Grid work is something I’ve been doing a lot of this winter, and will continue throughout the season ahead, with everything from the babies just starting their career, right up to Louis (Chakiris Star) who will be back out at 5* level this year.
Grids are always good to use in the winter when the horses can be a bit fresh and to get them listening and thinking. You can also do them in any size arena.
I was training with Richard Waygood recently and we used a simple grid work exercise to help Louis shorten up and sit on his hind end more. (Video - Louis uses Vetroflex on a regular basis.)
Start off with a trotting pole 2.5 yards into a double of bounces. Start with the bounces as poles on the ground and gradually build them up. This is a great way to warm up and introduce the horses to grid work.
Once you’ve built the bounces up to a level you and the horse are comfortable with and 1 stride to an oxer. Again start the oxer small and build it up in height as you work through the exercise session.
I like this exercise as the horses really have to think about what they are doing with their legs and use their brain to adjust themselves between the fences.
Raised trotting poles are also another great exercise to get the horses using their backs and sitting on their hocks.