Ground Poles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Ground Poles

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on getting a horse going over ground poles good? I am mainly doing it for western trail course patterns.

I have 2 horses that seem to have problems with it. One I think just has a hard time figuring out where his feet are suppose to go, and the other gets lazy and doesn't seem to want to pick them up??? At the jog they both tick the poles. My gelding can't lope over without breaking down to trot. My mare does ok with the lope over but we are only up to 2 poles right now.

I usually start out with 1 pole and gradually work my way up to more. Just wondering if you guys had any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

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post #2 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 12:32 AM
Green Broke
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Could it be possible that you are placing the polls at the wrong length apart, as for the cantering, really push your horse onwards. Genearlly I get my horse to collect himself when we trot over them and I've found it works better, because otherwise he trys to rush threw.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 08:28 AM
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^ agreed. each horse has a different stride length for the most part so you'd probably have to adjust differently for each horse. i dont have the feet they are supposed to be placed right in front of me but you can google it .
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 08:37 AM
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have you tried sending them over it when you are not on their backs? That would be the place to start. So you can see where the issue lies and see what they are doing.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. For lope overs its 6-7 feet apart. I try not to get concerned with how many feet apart because you never know how far they are gonna set them at a show. I did longe over them with my gelding but not my filly. I might try that.

I really would like to know how to get your horse this good? My Mare has the potential my gelding probably won't be able to do it.

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post #6 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 12:27 PM
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So as for a rule of thumb I set my trot polls 1-2 steps apart and my canter polls 4 "ish" steps apart ... each horse is different so you have to play it by ear a little.

You say that they won't go over them right? What are they doing? Stopping? Let me know and i'll try and help you out

:: Karley ::
Tucker WB/TB- 11 yr
Speedy QH/TB- 22 yr
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 12:50 PM
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for trot & canter is set them 4.5ft apart for trot & 8-9 for canter

do they just randomly set them at shows ?

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 01:10 PM
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No, for AQHA shows, I think there is a set distance that is the same for each horse, right? IMHO, that would be more sensible cause it would also demonstrate that you had the ability to shorten or lengthen your horse to adjust to the obstacle.

I don't know if maybe setting them a few inches higher so that they really have to pick their feet up would help or not. It has been a long time since I had to ride a horse that wouldn't. Maybe going out on some semi-challenging trails with deadfall and hills would help them to remember to pick their feet up, I don't know.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-25-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well my gelding is getting better with trot poles but totally doesn't know what to do when I ask him to lope over them. He usually will break down to a trot if there is more then one. He can go over one great but if I add another he doesn't know what to do with it. We do alright at local shows and some buckskin shows in trail. He can ace almost everything else but we get pently points if there is lope over. I think more practice he will get it but was just curious if anyone had any tricks to help out.

My filly is pretty good and lengthing and shortening her stride especially with the lope over. Although i have not asked her to go over more then 2 yet. Thinking about adding a 3rd this week. Trot over tho she gets lazy and doesn't want to pick up her feet. She also gets really rushy! I tried backing her up thru them....that worked well she just dragged them around the arena lol. So not really sure what to do at this point but keep practicing.

I believe AQHA rule is 6-7 feet. I thought 4 feet was typical of jog over but correct me if I'm wrong. I think most shows will set them according but you never know. I'm sure they will change the distance of some of them within the pattern to test your horse. They also can elevate them up to 8 inches.

So yea not really sure. I'm gonna check with a couple of trainers im the area. Thanks everyone

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post #10 of 13 Old 01-26-2010, 10:53 PM
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Practice, Practice, Practice. My best friend has a mare who didnt get the whole pole thing and she just worked her over them and eventually they will learn to pick up thier feet. My trainer always tells me to shorten my stride and lift my horse over the canter pole. You could try this and see what happens. Stoping everytime they hit a pole could help if they are rushing but if they are stopping not so much.

hope this helps!
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