08-08-2011, 12:38 AM
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I want to clear up a possible misconception.
There is a *big* difference between ground lines, trot poles, and cavaletti.
A previous poster mentioned ground lines or ground poles, and I think you understood that as trot poles or cavaletti, which is not what the post intended.
A *ground line* is a single rail on the ground in front of the fence, rolled out from the base of the fence the same distance the fence is high. It helps the horse *see* the bottom of the fence and judge its take off spot; as horses lose depth perception when looking at something straight in front of them.
Jumping a single rail, with no ground line on no filler, is very, very, difficult for the horse because they can't judge either the height of the jump or their distance from it.
Jumping fences without ground lines or false ground lines used to be a standard question in eventing, in caused so many problems at the lower levels that you now don't see it until Training Level and above.
So please give your horse a break and drag some more dead limbs out of the woods or buy some landscaping timbers at Home Depot and add ground lines to your homemade fences. If you're going to jump them in both directions, put a ground line on *both* sides of the fence.
Your horse will jump better and you'll be safer.
Trot poles are also a good idea, but you do need good ground and some knowledge of striding to set those up.