Schooling your horse over fences requires a certain amount of equipment to do correctly and safely. Standards and poles help ensure a good training experience for both you and your horse. Don’t be tempted to try to “make do” with what you have or can find around the barn. The end result can, at best, end in a scared horse or rider, and at worst, result in injury.
Shopping For Jump Poles
Jump poles made of wood are the traditional choice. Long lasting, safe, and affordable, these poles are an initial investment but look great and perform well for a long time. Distributors often have different type of wood, such as lodge pine and German spruce, to choose from. You can also choose if you want the poles painted or unpainted.
Select poles that are beveled on the end. This is beneficial for several reasons. Beveled ends are less likely to splinter and break, and the beveled ends help paint adhere better to the surface.
There are a variety of ways you can save money when purchasing jumps. Many companies that sell jump poles offer both premium and seconds. Ask about the quality of the seconds. You may find that the company uses an exterior cement filler in any cracks present in the wood. This helps the poles resist shrinkage and expansion, and can be painted just like the rest of the pole.
Another way to save money is to purchase your poles unpainted. Painting the poles is an easy afternoon project, particularly at a boarding facility or other area where you have access to young people who are willing to help. If you aren’t too particular about color, your local home improvement store can often provide paint that was mismatched at a steep discount.
When you are ready to start schooling over fences, it is important to have the right gear to do so safely. Just as you wouldn’t allow someone to school over fences without a helmet, you shouldn’t consider using lightweight pvc poles or old, splintering wood poles. Proper jump poles make for a safer, more fun schooling experience for everyone.