How to Choose the Right Horse Jump Standards

Horse Jump

Jump standards come in many different styles, prices, and colors. Choose a style that fits your arena and training needs.

Jumping grids can be somewhat standardized, but jumping technique and resistance to fatigue still depend on subjective assessment by equestrian experts. Objectivity may be enhanced with kinematic and kinetic analysis.


Jumps should be spaced at least 12 feet apart to account for the takeoff and landing strides. However, some courses are set with a shorter distance between jumps to challenge the rider’s ability to collect their horse and jump with maximum height and clearance.

Likewise, some schooling horse jumps have wings to help the horse make a more precise approach to the obstacle. These are often seen in hunter classes and can be a challenging obstacle for young or inexperienced horses.

If a horse knocks down the bottom or middle rail of a jump but clears the height of the top, they receive no penalties. This is known as a Liverpool fence. A wing standard also allows riders to train their horses to make a precise approach and avoid costly faults.

Horse Jump


A standard horse jump is typically a set of colored vertical planks on a frame. They may come with rails and jump cups or be sold separately. They are a great way to train your horse and build their confidence in jumping heights.

The average untrained horse can spring over obstacles that are 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 m) high, and some breeds have a natural ability to go even higher than that when motivated by their instincts for survival or the thrill of competition. However, the horse’s age and fitness, as well as their riding skill and the type of obstacle they’re jumping, also have much to do with how high they can jump.

Length horse jumps

Horse jumps come in various lengths, though 12 feet is often the standard for hunter and jumper show jumps. This size is ideal for ensuring the obstacles do not spook the horses and distract them from their task. A common design for equestrian jumps is a combination of oxers and verticals. These combinations require a lot of precision from the rider to clear the obstacles. For example, a rider would need to ride deep and compress over the oxer at Jump A before being able to stretch across the long distance to Jump B and then compress again at Jump C.

Schooling jump standards are a practical choice for equestrians who train young or inexperienced horses. They are usually made of simple wood and cost less than professional show jumps. They are also easily dismantled and reassembled, making them easy to move around an arena.

Horse Jump


A horse and rider pair is given a course of obstacles to jump at higher competition levels. This demonstrates the horse’s courage and agility and the rider’s control and precision in steering the animal. The horse and rider who complete the course quickly with the fewest jumping faults wins.

A common equipment for show jumping is a close-contact saddle with shorter stirrups. Riders also wear a riding helmet and a running martingale to help keep them in control during the fast-paced sport.

Look for quality-built jumps that are durable and withstand regular use and weather conditions. Ask suppliers about their warranties and customer support services. Consider also their maintenance requirements and whether the jumps come with a base filled with sand for added stability.


The paint color of a jump standard is an important consideration. It should be a bright, durable color that enhances the aesthetics of the course. A jump painted too dark may be difficult for horses to see and could lead to a refusal.

Painting a whole set of jumps can be daunting, so getting help is a good idea. A group of jumpers from your stable can all work together on a jumping project like this or ask friends and family with the right tools to help.

When striping a pole, starting with a solid primer base and then applying the stripes is best. This helps the tape adhere better and allows you to measure and mark pencil lines on the poles for drilling holes (for jump cups). Avoid painting black – horses read this as a whole and can break their ribs when landing on it.

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