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  1. #1
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    Default Ground Pole "Jumping" Classes

    What sort of "jumps" do your local schooling/barn shows have for ground pole show jumping classes? I am trying to find out for a local combined training and jumping show. The local hunter-jumper association has walk-trot ground pole hunter classes specifying 3-4 poles to be ridden at trot, but I cannot find anything anywhere online about ground pole show "jumping" and the only videos I have found have obstacles of just one or maybe two poles.

    So what is the common setup? Jumps of just one pole? Two? Three? Four?
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  2. #2
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    I don't know if there is a common set up, since this isn't exactly a recognized level.

    An eventing barn near me held a jumper show last weekend and offered a "pole" division. The courses were the same as all the other levels (including a 2 stride line). Most of the "jumps" were just a rail laying on the ground. A few had a small stack of three. Some chose to walk, others trotted.

    I don't see this level very often...usually the lowest I see are little cross rails.



  3. #3
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    I've only seen this offered as a combined test, for wee little ones or extreme greenies who were entered in a W/T intro dressage test and the 'poles' for their "stadium". Essentially the poles were whatever the next level jumping was going to be, just dropped to poles on the ground. The kids were expected to trot or walk around the course. Believe it or not, I've seen refusals and off-courses in it. Some of the greenies can have very bad days and ponies can be quite naughty. It's not timed, of course, just if you make it around without going off course without refusals.



  4. #4
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    There are a few schooling shows/series around me that have offered or do offer this level. Typically it is the same or similar course to whatever the xrails division is doing, with just a pole on the ground instead of a fence. At most shows I've been to the rider has trotted, but I did go to a show at the end of last season where a rider or two walked. Seems like a nice intro for the really, really young/inexperienced (or very nervous!).



  5. #5
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    The local hunter circuit offers this class. We just put one pole on the ground between standards/wings. Its best to make it a short course, like half the ring, because those wonderful little kids will use the furthest corners, as they've been taught, and pony strides are tiny. The class can eat up a lot of time.


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  6. #6
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    I did one with Bonnie ages and ages ago when she was 3 years old. IIRC they had two poles on each long side and you had to go around twice. For one class (it was Halloween) they had those itty bitty pumpkins on the rails and if you knocked off a pumpkin it was four faults!
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  7. #7
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    Default

    In our area its one pole.



  8. #8
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    Um, it's a pole class. Your horse can literally walk over them. I have never quite understood why they can't just do a little xrail class, but I guess if people enter, kudos to the organizer.



  9. #9
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    Ahh, they're fun. Super for babies, and for riders who only HAVE babies and can't wait for them to grow up.
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  10. #10
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    Also, for green horses or riders, it is nice to put the lines, turns, etc together. I know this was part of the challenge for my friend who rode her green horse (the one I had over the summer) in the poles class. She's done a lot of gymnastics with him, but not any real courses, so it took away the nerves from actually jumping, but challenged her by making good turns and staying straight on a greenbean who was a little fried by having a show at HIS house.

    The course wasn't simple, though...bending lines and the like. They had to work. The greenie went on and jumped with his trainer later in the day.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I did one with Bonnie ages and ages ago when she was 3 years old. IIRC they had two poles on each long side and you had to go around twice. For one class (it was Halloween) they had those itty bitty pumpkins on the rails and if you knocked off a pumpkin it was four faults!
    OH that's awesome.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildlifer View Post
    Um, it's a pole class. Your horse can literally walk over them. I have never quite understood why they can't just do a little xrail class, but I guess if people enter, kudos to the organizer.

    And because, for some people, cross rails are a BIG DEAL. If they can get the show jitters out without having to worry about being afraid of the jumps, too, what does it hurt?


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  13. #13
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    Thank you all very much!
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  14. #14
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    At hunter shows it tends to be the same as an X rail course, twice around with lines along the rail.

    At CTs it is the same course as all the other levels.

    I like having an actual course because I think that the changes of direction and bending help riders control green and looky horses. Trotting straight forward for a long time can cause them to lose focus or get fast.

    If someone goes off course usually these types of shows let them finish anyway and just eliminate them after.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eponacowgirl View Post
    And because, for some people, cross rails are a BIG DEAL. If they can get the show jitters out without having to worry about being afraid of the jumps, too, what does it hurt?
    I don't think it hurts anything necessarily. But you can make a x-rail that is literally about 4" high and even a pony can walk over them. Are you really ready for a show if you can't step over that? I am all ABOUT fun things for green horses and riders, but I will confess this is one that has always mystified me. At least make it an actual course to challenge steering and straightness and ask questions (which I have only seen one show in my area do).

    But, in the end, if you have fun and it offers you a positive experience, go for it, because no, it doesn't hurt anything.



  16. #16
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    We offer ground poles and crossrails as part of a mix-and-match combined test schooling show for Halloween. We set it up in a field, and the crossrails are between the standards and the ground poles are beside them. You can choose to "jump" either the pole or crossrail, as long as you follow the course in order. Sometimes the tiny crossrails with wings are actually easier than the poles on the ground without wings... sometimes the pole is the easier option... it gives the true beginners something that just about anyone can get around, and yes, you could hypothetically walk the entire thing. I've always thought we ought to do it derby style, and throw in a little log or two or some pine boughs just for fun.



  17. #17
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    Around here they can be either around the outside of the ring or include a diagonal. But they are not called "Hunters" it's Equitation only and for those of any age who are not ready to jump yet.

    Kind of hard to judge a horse/Pony as a Hunter if it's just stepping over poles...that's a little too much of a dummy down for me to call it Hunters or "jumping".
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildlifer View Post
    I don't think it hurts anything necessarily. But you can make a x-rail that is literally about 4" high and even a pony can walk over them. Are you really ready for a show if you can't step over that? I am all ABOUT fun things for green horses and riders, but I will confess this is one that has always mystified me. At least make it an actual course to challenge steering and straightness and ask questions (which I have only seen one show in my area do).

    But, in the end, if you have fun and it offers you a positive experience, go for it, because no, it doesn't hurt anything.
    Sometimes you need to get the greenies through their first show experience without frying their brains. Last year I took my calm, well schooled OTTB to his first schooling show, fully intending to jump both days. Well the atmosphere was more than he could take. So we did the poles the first day and moved on to jumping the second day. I really think that jumping anything the first day would have been too much; he was able to step over the poles while watching for horse eating monsters in every corner.



  19. #19
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    Oh, I totally agree, cary. At my Appendix's first show, he lost his flipping mind (and he is seriously calm and nearly unflappable) because his home was "invaded" by all these outsiders. He was close to unrideable. So I got off, put on his halter, led him around and just let him watch everything. Next show, he was just fine, he just needed a chance to observe the environment.



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