Poles can be used to help place the horse at the fence which is particularly helpful for young horses as well as those that have a weaker side and tend to drift left or right. Using poles to ride in a straight line away from the fence are also a good reminder for riders to stay straight.


Place the poles in a continuous line on the approach to a fence, so that you are almost creating a walkway or corridor to the fence (seen on the right hand side of the diagram). Initially it’s a good idea to keep the poles about 1.5metres apart on the approach to a fence for the horse to get used to them. Once they’re riding straight and accurately you can then bring the poles in narrower for a greater degree of accuracy.


Alongside using poles as tramlines you can places poles before and after fences to aid the horse in taking off in the correct place. A pole placed approximately 3yards (three human strides or nine feet) parallel to the front of a fence is known as a placing pole. Using a pole in this way will help to prevent a horse from rushing towards the fence and will help to practice approaching with balance and control. Aim to ride over the centre of the pole but don’t look down at it, continue to concentrate on the fence and let the horse find their natural take off spot.


You can also place a pole approximately 3yards after the fence to aid the horse on landing, ensuring that they cannot land too far out and will make a nice rounded shape over the fence. This also gives them something to concentrate on after jumping and will help to avoid rushing after the fence.




About Jake:

At just 22 Jake is already making a name for himself in the showjumping world. Following his family’s footsteps, he takes after his parents and grandfather who were successful show jumpers. Based in Nottinghamshire with his father, Saywell Equestrian produce horses alongside Jake competing internationally. Jake was awarded the inaugural Ella Popely Mentorship at Olympia in 2017. Given to a talented up-an-coming rider aged 18-25 that is competing at 1.40m and who has shown exceptional resilience and dedication to the sport, the selectors felt Jake met every criteria. Part of the World Class Programme Jake certainly has an exciting future.