Saturday, January 11, 2014

Poles

Pole bending is very similar to barrel racing. It is a timed event, so the fastest horse wins. If a pole falls, there is a five second penalty added to the completed time.

The course pattern looks like this. 
Source
The horse and rider take off to the last pole,


 and takes a turn.

They maneuver through the six poles and hope to not hit one. The horse switches leads at every pole.

Then the pair turns at the last pole,

and gallops home.
Model horse wise, the same ones listed in barrels could be used (Scamper, Ruffian, Smarty Jones, Flash). Walking/trotting models also could be used (John Henry, Giselle, and other walking/trotting models). Those models would be entered into the walk/trot poles. Same pattern, slower speed.

This is another good beginner performance entry. You only need a saddle, bridle, and at least one pole. The poles are easy to make, but slightly harder than the barrel. This is a nice link showing you how. To make the bottom of the pole, you can use a filled in milk cap, or go to a craft store and buy the wooden circles with a hole in the middle (Sorry! The actual name has completely left my mind). 
The horses I saw wore boots on at least the front legs. Because of the rapid movement, a breast collar was also worn. Tie downs and nosebands can be used.  The only rule is no bare metal on the horse's head. 
For the riders, the dress code is basically the same as for Barrel Racing. The rider should have a long sleeved shirt and cowboy hat or a helmet. 

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