When to introduce raised poles?

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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Charlie is nearly 17 months old (the same age as your baby, @domane , if I'm not much mistaken). He's very bold and confident, but he doesn't seem to have a clue where his feet are a lot of the time.

It's a delight to lead him over poles because he doesn't give a fig for them. Is it too soon to raise them a teensy bit off the ground so that he thinks more about where he is putting his feet? I could walk around the pole myself and lead him over, because he's happy to cross an obstacle even if I don't (Ziggy wouldn't go over a pole at all unless I showed him that it wouldn't hurt him). If I do raise them, should I raise both ends or only one?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I like raised poles but think I 'ruined' Bo's natural way of going (daisy cutter Arab) by doing a fair bit with them, so I did less with Jess when she was younger, though still some. With her I used more hap-hazard poles (not straight, not set out in nice paces etc) to make her slow down and think more about her feet as she was very bold and to believes she can just muscle through things, she fell over a fair few to start with but that taught her to concentrate more on her feet :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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I like raised poles but think I 'ruined' Bo's natural way of going (daisy cutter Arab) by doing a fair bit with them, so I did less with Jess when she was younger, though still some. With her I used more hap-hazard poles (not straight, not set out in nice paces etc) to make her slow down and think more about her feet as she was very bold and to believes she can just muscle through things, she fell over a fair few to start with but that taught her to concentrate more on her feet :)
That's exactly how I want to use them. Charlie's natural way of going is much more elevated than Ziggy's, he has a beautiful trot and a long walk. I'm not bothered about "improving" him, but I want him to start to think a bit. Is he old enough, do you think?
 

Jessey

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That's exactly how I want to use them. Charlie's natural way of going is much more elevated than Ziggy's, he has a beautiful trot and a long walk. I'm not bothered about "improving" him, but I want him to start to think a bit. Is he old enough, do you think?
I don't see why not, as with most things at that age you can introduce a little, just try to avoid overdoing it :)
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I use the white blocks forget their name.
But to give him the idea of where his feet are, you could lead over something small but solid so he thinks and it doesn't get kicked over.
 

domane

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Just remember that they have VERY short attention spans at this age. Also, if anything does scare or faze him, don't work hard to conquer the issue. Chances are he'll outgrow his fear naturally. Albi wouldn't walk through puddles until he was 4.... then he'd go through any water. He was also terrified of the sound of clippers at 2.... not that I was going to clip him at that age. I think he had his first full clip at 5 and stood like a rock, dozing. I'm not knocking what you're doing, Jane, I know you are keen but just give Charlie time to be a baby and to mature. He won't know where his feet are for quite some time yet.

For the record, I might walk a rising 3yo over flat poles, but that's all.
 
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