Long story short, my trainer recently moved barns.
At the old barn, we had a small arena with deep sand footing, and our poles for jumps were wood. She was leasing this barn, and the poles belonged to the owner, so when we left we obviously couldn't bring those.
Although the barn and property we moved to is worlds nicer than the old one, it didn't even have an arena to begin with, and no standards or poles. Fortunately, my trainer had had some standards made for us at the old barn that she owned, so we got to bring those, and we converted a nice square pasture into a grass arena. The poles she got are thick PVC pipes.
Recently, we had a long time boarder who is pretty close to our trainer leave. She went to a friend's private barn that our trainer also teaches at, so she didn't stop working with our trainer, she just didn't want to jump at our barn.
I had heard she left because she didn't like the PVC poles, and thought they were dangerous because they can be knocked down so easily and the horses could fall over them. Another rider also didn't want to jump our jumps for the same reason.
I'd never heard this, and I was hoping to get some different opinions/perspectives on it.
I haven't had a problem with them, yet, personally. My horse has knocked them a couple of times, and they have just fell straight down and not tripped her at all. I've seen some other riders in my lessons knock them too, without issue.
I can see some obvious pros and cons of both. But if a horse knocked a wooden pole, it could have just as much chance of tripping, and I'd almost say more chance versus the PVC because it doesn't fall down out of the way as easy?