How to Make Pole Bending Poles for a Horse

Written by kristin mcfarland
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How to Make Pole Bending Poles for a Horse
Pole bending will help improve your horse's balance and lead-changing ability. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pole bending is a challenging sport for both horse and rider, requiring the horse to run in a repeated figure-eight pattern through six poles, placed 21 feet apart from each other. If you want to practice your pole-bending skills, either to improve your time for a competition or simply to teach the horse to listen to his rider and practice lead changes, you can make your own poles at home using concrete, coffee cans and PVC pipe.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 6 empty metal coffee cans, extra large
  • 6 pieces of PVC pipe, 6 feet long and 2 inches in diameter
  • Quick-set concrete
  • Large bucket or mixing tray
  • Masking or duct tape (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Ensure that each PVC pole is the same length, cut to 6 feet long with flat ends. This is the National Pole Bending Association's regulation height for each pole.

  2. 2

    Follow the maker's instructions for mixing the concrete powder with water in a large bucket or mixing tray.

  3. 3

    Fill a large coffee can with the liquid concrete mixture.

  4. 4

    Place a pole in the centre of the coffee can, its end flat on the bottom of the can. Hold the pole upright or secure it using sturdy tape until the concrete dries.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process for each coffee can and pole.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't have easy access to coffee cans, use small, sturdy buckets instead.
  • National Pole Bending Association regulations state that each pole base should be no more than 14 inches in diameter, but if you are not preparing for competition, you may use a larger container.
  • Arrange for a method of securing the poles in place before pouring the concrete into the cans.

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