PolyJumps Fit the Bill! | Carol Mailer
I first started using PolyJumps in 2003 after reading a small advert in one of the horse magazines. As soon as I saw them I loved the design of the 8 Cup wings as my training always involves using grids, both to warm up the horse and rider and then to correct any techniques or difficulties that the riders are having. The 8 Cup wings are perfect for grid-work and practising and I use them all the time. The built in cups are very strong making it easy to change the height or aspect of the grid in the 30 or 40 seconds it takes for the rider to circle and come round to the grid again. If I was using conventional wings I would have to keep moving pins in and out to change the height of the cups, a hugely time consuming operation during grid-work when the rider needs to keep coming round without a pause.
I do like to keep updating my kit when I feel that I would like a change of colour. I can have fun choosing the new colour combinations, which seem to be growing every month! I also had the pleasure of visiting the factory in Worcestershire to see how all the jumps are made. My riders appreciate being able to test my jumps before buying their own, and they are delighted when they find out how economical it is. The combinations of colours are endless, all tastes are catered for and my latest set is a very eye-catching pink and purple. It is great that people can start with two or three pairs of wings and poles and add on when they feel they want extra jumps.
I couldn’t train so effectively and effortlessly without the PolyJumps sets, they are the ultimate aid for a trainer and of course the poles are very tactile, no splinters, very bright colours and no painting! My favourite exercise involves just three pairs of grid wings and 6 poles, and although the exercise remains the same whatever the material used, PolyJumps’ wings and poles make life so much easier for the trainer! I call it the Tripod or Cloverleaf Exercise.
Placing three pairs of PolyJumps’ wings and poles to form a triangular shape to jump over can help improve and enhance all the skills you need to jump successfully:
- The quality of your canter will rapidly become stronger and more consistent.
- You will practise looking further ahead so your steering and planned route is accurate while still producing impulsion.
- Flying changes will be easier to achieve and you will be more confident to deal with a disunited canter.
- All the jump off pace, turns and angles can be practised safely until you can recognise what time saving is going to be a possibility or when it’s best not to be too ambitious.
Throughout the whole practise session it is easy for your trainer or helper to move the poles up and down the wings easily and quickly so your exercise can flow continuously. Checkout Foolproof Jumping Exercises by Carol Mailer if you would like the complete advice to try the Tripod exercise and use these amazing jumps to their full capacity.
If you want to use PolyJumps to build a conventional and eye-catching course as well as practise fences, the Cross Wings are brilliant. I’ve used keyhole tracking on my wooden wings ever since it was produced, but PolyJumps’ Cross Wings and Competition Cups are so much safer than metal or flimsy plastic cups and pins. PolyJumps removed the metal tracking on the Cross Wings and instead cut the keyholes straight into the uprights of the wings. I wondered if they might damage the uprights with a lot of wear and tear, but after some serious testing I’m delighted to say they passed every test I could throw at them. I‘ve been using two full courses to train over for the last 5 or 6 years with twenty or so pairs of wings on each course, none of them damaged by cup stressing. When I think how I used to struggle to change the courses with my heavy wooden wings I guess I would have given up by now! Moving the white plastic wings was a doddle in comparison.
Once I’d started using the wings for grid-work I thought I’d try some of the fillers to use on my courses, and was very pleased to discover how much battering they’d take and still stay intact. I had a wall section knelt on, trod on and kicked around an arena by an enormous horse. As the wall section was hollow I took one look at it and consigned it to the back of the barn, it looked totally wrecked, caved in and useless. A few days later when I went into the barn and I was utterly amazed to see it had gradually reverted back into its original shape. The plastic is tough, yet flexible when it needs to be and I’m still very impressed that I didn’t need to buy a new section. Check out the online catalogue to see the vast range of fillers available, all my original ones are still intact and used every day!
I know I have the knowledge and expertise to bring out the best in most of my riders and thoroughly enjoy training. But, I would find it very difficult to do so successfully without PolyJumps.