I think I have 14 of the poles, which are 6 feet in length, and run $2 - $3 each depending if they're on sale. I bought the poles over a year-long period, four or five at a time. They've been left out in the arena the whole time I've had them, and all of them are still in good working order with no obvious cracks or split edges. For less than $45, the poles have turned out to be a pretty good investment.
I used the new configuration on Sunday and Monday and loved it! I know it's not pretty and the large rocks serving as markers are hard to see, but even so, it's a great place to work. I do have cones labeled with the letters, but after last week's windy weather, I discovered that six inch cones aren't heavy enough to withstand a breeze. I found them scattered all over the neighborhood, and I am not even sure that I found them all. When I really feel the need, I can always set up the A, K, E, H, C, M, B, and F cones to make a real (short) court, or I can set up 2/3 of the court by eliminating the A end or the C end of the letters.
With Saturday's show quickly approaching, I am feeling some pressure to get the trot circle to canter arc to stretchy trot circle combination workable. Sunday and Monday's rides showed me we have a long way to go. I am hoping that by Friday we can get it a bit smoother!