You can find some lower-priced ones at walmart and lowes for not too ridiculously high of a price. I've used them for work ON the barns and fences and such, but had never thought of using them for lines and jumps and poles - I just measure my stride (a long time ago) and know how far of a step I need to take to measure out a line when I'm setting one up. I almost always get it right, although sometimes need to make very minor adjustments depending on the horse.
I have the Bosch one. I use it all the time. It is extremely accurate. There are two limitations - distance and bright sunlight. I also got some special glasses that are supposed to make the dot easier to see in daylight, but I never have them with me. I do think they help some but are just one more thing to have around. For short distances the visibility isn't a problem so it works for ground poles or jumps even in most daylight. I don't know how much it cost as it was a Chritmas present in 2011. It has been trouble free. I really do like it a lot.
eta The battery life on my Bosch is excellent. It does not go to 330 feet in general - perhaps in some ideal conditions or something, but not dependably.
Last edited by Coyoteco; Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM.
When shopping take note there are basically 3 categories of laser distance measurers: indoor, outdoor, and rangefinder.
Indoor is for spanning room sizes. These are the least expensive and somewhat accurate. I've never used them either. The outdoor ones go to about 100 meters (330ft) with accuracy within a fraction of an inch. Bosch, Leica, Fluke, make this style. The Rangefinders do up to 500m with accuracy about about 1 yard. Offhand, Bushnell and Nikon make a lot of these.
All of them are sensitive to the target and may reflect better if you place a reflective target instead of relying on the properties of the object you're measuring.
I've thought about buying one of these. I owned a Bushnell rangefinder once and sold it due to speed and battery life (I was using it for golf) and I've used a Leica Disto too. I'd choose a Disto if I had the choice.