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Quick Question RE: Ground Poles

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  • Quick Question RE: Ground Poles

    I see people all of the time put poles approx 9 feet before the jump and 9 feet after the jump. What is the purpose of this. My guess would be that its to teach both rider and horse to find their distances better and to also make the horse rock off of the hind-end, but I thought I would ask to see if I was correct.

  • #2
    Bascially you answered your own question, the placing pole in front of the jump gives the horse/rider soemthing visual to show the the correct take off spot, and helps an over eager horse to slow and rock back. The placement pole after the jump helps the horse to round over the fence and be slower in the air.
    www.shawneeacres.net

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      I had a feeling that I knew what I was talking about, thanks for confirming it

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
        Bascially you answered your own question, the placing pole in front of the jump gives the horse/rider soemthing visual to show the the correct take off spot, and helps an over eager horse to slow and rock back.
        But what about the overeager greenie with a huge stride? Should the pole still be placed at 9' in front of the jump? I had a crash yesterday doing an exercise where we had a pole to a trot fence, followed by three collected strides to a 2' canter jump to six collected strides to a 2'6 jump with a pole set out 9' in front. My mare went in nicely but got quicker as we got toward the last jump and then couldn't figure out what to do with the pole, got in too close to the jump and couldn't quite pick her legs up over it, so she just kind of fell through it. Though she did manage to stay on her feet, she sent me flying and I did a flip, landing on my back. Luckily I was able to get right back up. After this, my trainer lowered the jump and moved the pole back, and we were able to get through the exercise quite nicely. Of course it helped that my mare was a little backed off after our crash.

        Anyway, does the 9' distance still make sense for a large, green horse who is still figuring out where to place her legs? If a horse's natural stride is 13' to 14' do you still place the poles at 9'?

        Comment


        • #5
          Big stride has nothing to do with the right spot. The perfect takeoff and landing spots should always be the same (relative to height of the jump, of course.) The kind of horse you describe is exactly the reason I use placing poles. That overenthusiastic "I'm gonna jump from 10 feet out and land in the next zip code WHEEEEEEE!!" kind of horse learns to reel it in with placing poles.

          What you need to alter with a big strided horse is the distance between the jumps, not the placing poles. Personally, I would avoid doing an exercise as you described with a big strided greenie until they learn to adjust a lot more.

          The 9' distance can be tweaked a little bit; roll it out another foot for a huge horse or roll it in a little for a munchkin pony. But the point is to help them find the right spot.

          Originally posted by EAY View Post
          But what about the overeager greenie with a huge stride? Should the pole still be placed at 9' in front of the jump? I had a crash yesterday doing an exercise where we had a pole to a trot fence, followed by three collected strides to a 2' canter jump to six collected strides to a 2'6 jump with a pole set out 9' in front. My mare went in nicely but got quicker as we got toward the last jump and then couldn't figure out what to do with the pole, got in too close to the jump and couldn't quite pick her legs up over it, so she just kind of fell through it. Though she did manage to stay on her feet, she sent me flying and I did a flip, landing on my back. Luckily I was able to get right back up. After this, my trainer lowered the jump and moved the pole back, and we were able to get through the exercise quite nicely. Of course it helped that my mare was a little backed off after our crash.

          Anyway, does the 9' distance still make sense for a large, green horse who is still figuring out where to place her legs? If a horse's natural stride is 13' to 14' do you still place the poles at 9'?

          Comment


          • #6
            Just a thought, when I'm working with a horse that is likely to land on the pole before they figure out what it is there to encourage, I sometimes use white painted ground "planks" instead - same affect, but less danger of slipping when accidentally stepped on.

            Also must have attentive, educated ground person - sometimes pole needs to be rolled out (or in) a little until horse is figuring it out. Keep heights low until horse seems to understand, then start upping the ante with heights & rolling in or out ground pole to accomplish whatever goal.

            Arcadien

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            • #7
              If you are cantering the fence then the pole needs to be adjusted to the stride that you are on. If you have a 9 ft. placement pole you need to be on about a 9 ft stride. If you are on a 12 ft stride you roll the pole out to 12 ft. You want the take off spot to be about 1/2 of the distance between the jump and the pole.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                Big stride has nothing to do with the right spot. The perfect takeoff and landing spots should always be the same (relative to height of the jump, of course.) The kind of horse you describe is exactly the reason I use placing poles. That overenthusiastic "I'm gonna jump from 10 feet out and land in the next zip code WHEEEEEEE!!" kind of horse learns to reel it in with placing poles.

                What you need to alter with a big strided horse is the distance between the jumps, not the placing poles. Personally, I would avoid doing an exercise as you described with a big strided greenie until they learn to adjust a lot more.

                The 9' distance can be tweaked a little bit; roll it out another foot for a huge horse or roll it in a little for a munchkin pony. But the point is to help them find the right spot.
                Yup! We use them with the ponies all the time with this exact thing in mind.
                "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                  If you are cantering the fence then the pole needs to be adjusted to the stride that you are on. If you have a 9 ft. placement pole you need to be on about a 9 ft stride. If you are on a 12 ft stride you roll the pole out to 12 ft. You want the take off spot to be about 1/2 of the distance between the jump and the pole.
                  i was never good at math so excuse me if i am visualizing this wrong

                  i would think that you would want the take off spot to be the same regardless of how big the horse's stride is-that you would adjust the stride to the spot, not the spot to the stride. so if you put the pole out 12' and you want the horse to take off 1/2 btwn the pole and the jump, that makes the spot 6' out. then you get on another smaller strided horse, move the pole up to 9' and suddently the spot is 4.5' out for the same jump? that doesn't compute in my (admittedly non-mathy) brain. i would think the spot, pole and jump should all stay the same-it's the horse that has to change. or am i completley wrong here?
                  My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DieBlaueReiterin View Post
                    i was never good at math so excuse me if i am visualizing this wrong

                    i would think that you would want the take off spot to be the same regardless of how big the horse's stride is-that you would adjust the stride to the spot, not the spot to the stride. so if you put the pole out 12' and you want the horse to take off 1/2 btwn the pole and the jump, that makes the spot 6' out. then you get on another smaller strided horse, move the pole up to 9' and suddently the spot is 4.5' out for the same jump? that doesn't compute in my (admittedly non-mathy) brain. i would think the spot, pole and jump should all stay the same-it's the horse that has to change. or am i completley wrong here?
                    for the exercise that had the horse crashing through the fence...The poles in between need to be the horses stride. If you are doing this with a greenie most are not going to adjust their 15' stride to 12' on their own.

                    It's kind of a catch 22. Yes the exercise can be used to teach the horse adjustability. BUT it should be started on a smaller scale. such as canter poles on the ground.

                    So if the stride is set to horses 15' stride then it stands to reason that the pole is on the stride length.

                    However just cantering in to the fence or through a line with no other poles the 9' pole forces them to adjust their own stride to the spot.

                    Also it stands to be noted that a bigger fence requires a bigger take off.

                    Also when measuring your standard hunter lines you include an extra 12'. 6' for take off and 6' for landing. So a ground pole in reality should be 12' from the jump as the take off spot is half that at 6'.

                    It all get's confusing because when riders or trainers don't understand all the variations they can get the rider and/or horse hurt or frightened.

                    also to answer your question at the end. When you shorten it for a pony you have to remember a pony stride is smaller the a horses SO yes the take off area is theoretically shorter but the distance and spot works out because they don't take as big of a stride in....I don't think I explained that quite right

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It may have been mentioned already, but in respons to the big greenie with a long stride.

                      You will want to make sure that your horse understands the exercize. Starting out at 9 ft might not be conducive as your horse will perhaps consider the landing rail the back part of an oxer and try to reach across.

                      Starting low, maybe with 3 canter rails is a good way to introduce the landing rail. You might, once you build a jump in the middle, have to roll the landing rail out a little to start out. The goal should be for your horse to look to land a bit closer to the jump and bascule or create a good curve to the jump rather then jump flat across.

                      I find this exercize to work better (once learned) over bigger jumps. As it forces your horse to still jump correctly rather then just "find the ground" faster.
                      Timothy, stop lurking

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, it isn't so much that you change the distance of the pole because the horse is smaller strided, as much as you change the pole because you are going to ride on a different length stride... so if you are cantering down a line set at normal horse show distances (12 ft. strides) you need to canter in on a 12 ft stride, so the pole needs to be 12 ft away from the jump. however if you are schooling at home you might want to be on a 9 foot stride to teach your horse to wait or to rock back on their hocks and go more to the base. Then you would put the pole at 9 feet... personally I hate cantering fences with a placement pole... makes me nervous.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EAY View Post
                          But what about the overeager greenie with a huge stride? Should the pole still be placed at 9' in front of the jump? I had a crash yesterday doing an exercise where we had a pole to a trot fence, followed by three collected strides to a 2' canter jump to six collected strides to a 2'6 jump with a pole set out 9' in front. My mare went in nicely but got quicker as we got toward the last jump and then couldn't figure out what to do with the pole, got in too close to the jump and couldn't quite pick her legs up over it, so she just kind of fell through it. Though she did manage to stay on her feet, she sent me flying and I did a flip, landing on my back. Luckily I was able to get right back up. After this, my trainer lowered the jump and moved the pole back, and we were able to get through the exercise quite nicely. Of course it helped that my mare was a little backed off after our crash.

                          Anyway, does the 9' distance still make sense for a large, green horse who is still figuring out where to place her legs? If a horse's natural stride is 13' to 14' do you still place the poles at 9'?
                          If my greenie was still trying to figure out where to put her legs, she would still be trotting jumps with an 8' placing rail. Lots and lots of trotting jumps. Weeks and weeks and weeks of trotting jumps.

                          A row of jumps encourages forward, not what you want for an overeager greenie. You want your greenie to learn to slow up to the base and push from behind.

                          OTOH, the exercise DID do what exercises are supoosed to teach them. She did it wrong and the set up corrected her. However by moving the pole she learned that being on her big overeager stride was the right thing to do.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use the 9' rail only at the trot. I tweak the distance for a big jump but really the point is to help young horse or rider see where the spot is.. on the going horses its to remind them to rock back or wait. Even jogging it at 4' jump it may only be to 10' out.. jog in, rock back jump.

                            For cantering I go to 12' again for the help finding the spot to pat and jump. I like them to stay soft down to the fence and find that if I give too much room they want to get too go-ey. if there is a fence after this one.. and it's NOT part of a gymnastic, I don't put it closer than 3 steps because I dont want them to hurry with their feet.. so jog in to 9'rail and lope out in 4 OR canter in at 12' and lope out in 3.

                            as far as the hind 9' rail I dont use them unless the horse keeps jumping across the fence and I want to work on the arc.

                            Oh and for heanven's sake don't put a bunch of close together trot poles (shortening the step) in front of a full distance in and out, people collecting to nothing and then lunging to make the right distance makes me crazy..
                            "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

                            It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've only used placing poles with a gymnastic: in front of the first jump; after the last jump; and in between elements ONLY if they are a one-stride configuration. IOW, I don't use them in any part of a multi-stride (2 or 3 stride) configuration.

                              Also, for your big-strided type, you might want to progressively roll that placing pole in toward the jump, say, to 8' or 7.5', etc., as the point is to have them be able to come to the base of the jump. This is for a trotting approach.

                              I've seen a very BNT place poles within 4' of the jump (if not closer, memory fuzzy on exact detail, but not on the impression it made), with the expectation that the horse will step over the placement pole, and seriously pat the ground before jumping the jump in question. It took everyone awhile to get the hang of it.

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