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Start off simple, a X pole of 18" if the horse is 15 hands, or taller. Under 15 hands, make it 12". It will only help the horse to put out trotting poles, if they are used as a "lane way" effect to the jump.
Once the horse is comfortable going over the first X pole several times; then construct "bounces" at 10' apart....let's start with 6.
Start off with all odd fences, with the right standard set at 18". The even will have the left standard set at 18". Use your trotting poles to line the "lane way" effect perpendicular to the outside rail, but on the inside of the arena, between the fences.
As the horse becomes more comfortable in going through this grid alone; raise the second pole at each fence to form X poles at every fence. Again, start easy, 18". Progress to 24", then 30", followed by 36" in a X Pole Jump.
Once a horse is comfortable with this bounce grid, he is ready to learn to balance over the same grid, but with a rider.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|