Guide Poles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-19-2013, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Guide Poles?

Hey everyone! Just wondering if it's necessary to place a "guide pole" away from a jump. Say if you have a two foot jump, you place the pole two feet away? My coach doesn't ever set up jumps without these guide poles, but I see other coaches never do! It bugs me because when I go to shows I never see these "guide poles" set up at jumps.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-19-2013, 03:13 PM
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I have never heard of putting the guide poles as far away as the jump is high. When we use them we put them right under the jump. If it is under the jump it helps the horse see how high the fence is a little easier. The only other poles we put in front of the jump are either trot pole about 3 of them or a canter pole about one stride out. But what I usaly think of when I hear guide poles are pole with one end on the jump at the edges and the other on the ground or bothe ends on the ground to help the horse not run out.

I really don't know much more, sorry. I am sure that one of the more experianced people will be able to help more.
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Last edited by Live2Ride15; 08-19-2013 at 03:15 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-20-2013, 12:21 PM
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The thought is that a horse's bascule should be as wide as it is tall. So if the jump is 2" a lot of people will space the 2 ground rails about 2" apart. All a ground rail does is help the horse's eye with the jump. So good exercises are to changing the spacing of the ground rails (if you're trying to teach them to take off closer or further from the base of the jump) OR take them away all together. There are almost always some sort of box/ground/flower rail in the hunter ring but almost never in the jumper ring.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-27-2013, 06:55 PM
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I always try to use ground poles when jumping. I use them to help the horse find the take-off point.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-30-2013, 03:12 PM
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If you're talking about ground lines, the poles that are right by the base of the jump, then trainers may not think it's necessary to add those in when quickly setting jumps in the warm up, although groundlines do help horses (and riders) see the distance a little bit easier. The trainers may have a specific purpose in building an airy jump without a groundlines, however, such as trying to force a rub to make the horse more careful before heading into the jumper ring.

I've never seen a groundline set as far away as the jump is high.
Almost all groundlines will be at least 1'6" away from being directly under the top rail, though.

If you mean a ground pole set any certain distance from the jump, then these are being used for any number of specific purposes, so other trainers may not need to address those things when prepping their horses/students for the ring, and that why they're not using them. You will never see those in the show ring.

At rated shows, hunter classes will have groundlines (as well as boxes, tons of fill, etc) at all of the jumps (except in some derbies and higher level handy classes, where you might have one true vertical with no groundline) but jumper classes will almost never build jumps with groundlines, because the jumpers are asking different questions of the horse and rider than the hunters are. At lower level and unrated shows I think you will sometimes see hunter classes without groundlines at the jumps, but that is more because of a lack of resources/knowledge in course design at those shows.
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