Plastic Poles rant grrrr!


Well-Known Member
29 August 2005
OMG i went PC SJing yesterday i was gutted to find tat the entire course was made up of the damn things! Todgie my mare really doesnt see the point, shes quite a careless thing anyway and having spent a couple of seasons hunting like mad. just kind of hurls herself and hopes for the best. when she does hit them thought she crashes through them, hits them hard not just knocks them. i only boot her behind for SJ (all round for XC) because otherwise she is ridiculously careless.
i built a big airy upright in he field the other day as part of a grid and she was fine.. the poles were wooden.

I don't mind flat cups, flat cups i can handle, because if the pole is wooden and the horse hits it, even if i does fall straight off at least the horse knows it has to pick its feet up next time, but with plastic ones i can't see that it helps. With some horses like mine (not all) they realise the pole is plastic and don't respect it at all, don't jump properly and knock it down, but because its so flimsy they can get away with it and don't bother picking their feet up at all after that, and it does nothing for their jump technique. they just get less and less careful because they dont't learn anything from knocking it down. That is what Todgie is like anyway.

at most competitions i find that most of the time the poles are wooden and the cups are flat (I don't affiliate, i have done trailblazers and such like) which suits me fine, thats ok, and i think to make it a proper competition worth doing thats how it should be.

I can see the merits of plastic poles, lighter, easier to clean etc and can see why some people would prefer them, but IMHO they don't do anything for your horses jumping technique and i don't like them in general, never have!

needless to say, I didn't have a very good day yesterday!!

rant over. cookies to all who read and reply!!


Well-Known Member
16 March 2006
South West
The competition weight plastic poles are as heavy as wooden ones, but perhaps not so painful for the horse!

I's suggest getting a few of the heavy weight ones to train with in deep cups (not on the back rail of an oxer though!).

I never use my lightweight practise ones as anything other than fillers - if the neds figured out how light they were, would not be a good thing!

Plastic poles are going to become more popular so I am betting they will be increasingly seen in comps!