I Can’t Even: Ground Poles of Doom

First of all, I have no riding media. I know, I am the worst. So sorry, promise to get some this week. I had a lesson Thursday with Trainer, and a another on Sunday with MM (who owns Scottie and works for Trainer, because Trainer is headed to KY for the next 2 weeks).

Thursday’s lesson was in the big jump ring which is always fun because there is a full course up there with big, nice jumps. Ah, the things that equestrians get excited about, such as what kind of jumps we get to jump LOL. Anyway- this was basically Rio’s first time over some of the jumps in this ring (a roll top, some boxes etc) and he was GREAT. Reallyyyy excited to  be jumping again, and actually a bit of a handful at times. So I do not know what is wrong, but my brain is seriously broken when it comes to ground lines in front of jumps. I see them, and literally just can’t think or ride at all.

how I feel about ground lines

Trainer put one in front of a nice inviting oxer and I missed terribly to it like… 7 times in a row. No joke. I just cantttttttt. In all honestly, it was a combination of being Rio’s weaker lead (off the left), my inability to ride the correct track, and not thinking to rate his pace until like… 1.5 strides out when my brain was going “OH SHIT”. When I finally listened to trainer, and maintained a decent canter from the get-go, we were able to put in a few good efforts. But seriously, ground lines and oxers off the left lead can die. Thank you.


See those poles? Those are ground poles. Burning. All of them.


Anywayyyyy…. I gave Rio Friday off, and hacked on Saturday. MM was riding at the same time, doing a little 2 stride combo set at like 2’3, so I decided to do it for funsies too. We did 3. In a 2. It was hilarioussssss. After putting our brains in our heads again though, Rio did a really lovely 2 just floating down the line. I was so impressed with my super smart pony, and looking forward to my jump lesson the next day.


Unfortunately, it poured Saturday evening. So… the only rideable ring on Sunday was the indoor, which is an ok size (larger then a dressage ring) but like hard to jump in when you have a 17.3 hand semi uncoordinated 6 yr old. It’s actually hard for us to even canter in, which is semi embarrassing but I’ll own it. It is possible to set up a 4-5 jump course if you get creative, but like I said, Rio can barely canter in there, so one jump it was! MM was all like “I heard you don’t like jumping with ground poles,” and then placed a ground pole in front of a cross rail.


basically my reaction to seeing that ground rail being placed



That’s right… we spent the whole lesson jumping a cross rail with a 9 ft ground pole in front of it, and an 18 ft one on the backside. IT WAS HARD. We also worked a lot on Rio’s self carriage, and me lengthening my reins like 4 solid inches because I am not a pony rider riding a pony. #saywhat?


MM was also forcing me to slow Rio’s trot with my posting, and no touchy of the face. This may sound super beginner you guys, but it sucked. And was hard. And made it glaringly obvious that I have been relying on too much rein.


Slow down with no rein touchy? No. I can’t. I need my reins. NEED THEM!


Anyway… promise to get media soon! Until then, enjoy this video of Rio who loves having inside his ears scratched/cleaned:



Rio is obsessed with having deep inside his ears itched #weirdo #cutestpon #hunkyhanoverian

A post shared by Kelly Albury Wilson (@hunky_hanoverian) on

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  1. Ugh placing poles and guide rails basically melt my mind. Logically I know they are supposed to help but good lord they mess me up. Thank god my horse doesn’t care!!

  2. ugh i know what you mean. BURN all the poles 🙂 HA. Something about them brings my stupid out as well. How funny that others feel the same way. He is so cute with his ears. Glad you had some good lessons (even if they didnt feel good at the time)

  3. I’m pretty sure my brain just stops all action upon seeing a ground pole, and only wakes up after we’ve clashed thru the exercise. My trainer really loves that trait.

    1. LOL! 🤣🤣 I am sooo happy to know I’m not the only one that cannot handle ground poles. You guys are cracking me up!

      And yes, Rio is a solid 17.3. I’m also super tall so we are a good match 😊

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