Raised walk poles do something with the horse that raised trot and canter poles do not. Because there is no moment of suspension in walk, a horse must lift each foot off the ground separately to complete the task. As a result, this exercise build strength in the horse's muscles.
I normally start off with three walk poles on the ground. I use a rope halter but a bridle/cavesson and lunge line will be fine. If you are not sure of the distance, which for a horse is just under 3 feet and a little less for a pony, just put three poles out fairly close and see how your horse walks through them on both reins. When they are confiedent, you can start to raise them at one end - check both reins and then raise the other end. I prefer to use wooden poles for work like this, purely because they are heavier for the smart horses figure out how to boot poles out of alignment, which usually stops the session while you re-adjust them.
Once your horse is going through three poles, move to five and so on. I would usually ramp this up over a week or so, not all in one session, and then continue with this.
Next time: Backing up with lightness for long-term improvement
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