Once the horse leaves the ground, he is unable to influence the trajectory that his center of mass follows through the air, which makes take-off the most critical phase of the jumping process. Power is produced by the compression of the hind leg, which flexes at the hip, stifle, hock, and fetlock, and then releases energy like a spring.
The horse can change the position of its legs and body in relation to the center of mass, however, which is critical to clearing an obstacle safely. The landing places a great deal of strain on the forelegs, which can lead to injuries or lameness over time.
Horses sometimes react to discomfort or high emotion during the recovery, and may buck, bolt, or toss their heads. The primary stresses affect the suspension apparatuses of the hind legs during take-off and the forelegs during landing, though the galloping and turning associated with jumping also place torque on the joints.
Most injuries, chronic or acute, begin with strain ; as structures in the horse's body absorb the shock of take-off and landing, they acquire small amounts of damage. The effects of jumping on the hind legs can include injuries to the proximal, medial, or lateral branches of the suspension ligaments.
Jumping horses can also be at a higher risk of developing osteochondritis dissects (OCD) or other arthritic conditions, even at a young age. Genetic and environmental components play roles in the development of OCD in horses: some families have weaker joints, but excessive growth over a short period of time, age-inappropriate exercise regimens and nutrition can also contribute.
One study found that at breeding stock evaluations, horses with radiographically diagnosed arthropathies of the hock joints scored significantly lower than their healthy peers for the quality of the canter, jumping technique, and ability and their character. Indications of lameness in jumping horses typically come in the form of a change in habits: sudden or developing reluctance to turn, land on a certain lead, or “add” a stride and jump “deep”; difficulties altering the stride length or making the distances in a combination; and developing habits like rushing, stopping and refusing, or frequent lead changes.
Unfortunately, many of these undesirable habits can also be the result of poor training, which challenges riders and owners to identify the causes of bad behavior. The world record high jump, completed by Has and Captain Alberto Larraguibel in 1949. The world record for the highest obstacle cleared by a horse and rider was set on February 5, 1949, by Has and his rider, Captain Alberto Larraguibel.
The world record long jump was set on April 26, 1975, by a horse named Something ridden by a Mr. Andre Ferreira. Jumping enjoys its place, both nationally and internationally, as one of the most popular and perhaps most recognizable equestrian events, aside from Thoroughbred horse racing.
At its highest competitive level, Jumping is recognized as one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines alongside both Dressage and Evening. Spectator friendly and easy to understand, the object for the Jumper is to negotiate a series of obstacles, where emphasis is placed on height and width, and to do so without lowering the height or refusing to jump any of the obstacles.
Competitive Jumping has enjoyed immense popularity worldwide since the early 1900s, and the discipline continues to grow. In today’s show ring, horses and ponies of all sizes and breeds compete in Jumping classes representing varying levels of challenge.
Likewise, classes exist for virtually every level of rider from the child novice to the seasoned international professional. There are lots of disciplines that English riders can participate in that don't require jumping such as dressage, English pleasure, equitation and flat classes such as road hack, LE tree, distance riding, mounted games, polo, and lacrosse.
Of course, you'll want to be wearing an approved helmet, proper boots, and make sure your tack is in top-notch condition. You don't want to find out that a worn girth strap won't hold when you're coming down out of a jump.
Many riders shorten their stirrup leathers a notch or two, but you might not feel the need to do this until you've been jumping small heights. It's not unusual to see riders (mainly kids) who are been clearly not interested or want to jump but are scared, feel pressured, and as a result are unhappy.
Jumping adds a lot of risk to horseback riding, and safety should always be the first priority. Your first step in learning to ride over jumps is to work with a coach or instructor to develop a secure seat at all gaits from a walk to hand gallop.
It's common for instructors, especially those teaching kids, to hurry through the basics and get the student jumping before they're really secure. A really keen, athletic rider on a well-schooled horse may be able to start jumping after a few months of lessons.
As you land, sit gently down in the saddle, and bring your hands back to the normal position. After you have mastered a small line of cross rails, you will gradually increase the height of the jumps.
Which breed is most suitable for you depends on the level of competition as well as the type of jumping in which a rider is interested in competing. Show jumping requires speed and agility in order to be competitive, while hunter jumpers need more grace and elegance.
To compete in evening, a horse will need to know the basics of dressage, have some speed and agility, and also be strong, fearless, and bold on the open courses. Height: 14-16 hands Country of Origin: America Characteristics: Quarter horses are known for their strength, athleticism and easy-going temperaments.
It’s true that most Quarter Horses are on the small side compared to most of the breeds used for jumping, but for lower-level competition, they are a fantastic choice. Quarter Horses have tons of strength and muscle, good for powering them over a jump despite their smaller stature.
These traits make the Quarter Horse a formidable jumping horse breed at lower level cross-country jumping. El-ka / Shutterstock.com Height: 13.2-15 hands Country of Origin: Wales Characteristics: Welsh Cobs are known for their athleticism, stamina, and friendly personalities.
They are reliable and stylish, making them a great choice for those who are looking for a horse they can find success with when getting a start in jumping. Height: 13-15 hands Country of Origin: Ireland Characteristics: Connemara ponies are known for their strength, athleticism, and friendly personalities.
Whether for junior exhibitors or petite adults, Connemara's make stellar jumping ponies. Height: 15-17 hands Country of Origin: IrelandCharacteristics: Irish Sport Horses are known for their athleticism, agility, and good dispositions.
Though the Irish Sport Horse was originally bred for fox hunting, the breed has continued to evolve into a top-level jumper. Height: 15-17 hands tall Country of Origin: England Characteristics: Thoroughbreds are known for their speed, athleticism and agility.
The speed and agility, combined with the long legs and fair height of a thoroughbred make it a good choice for a seasoned rider just getting into the lower levels of jumping competition. Height: 16-17 hands Country of Origin: Germany (was Prussia at the time) Characteristics: Trainers are known for their athleticism, style and stamina.
The Thoroughbred and Arabian influence in their bloodlines lend plenty of speed and stamina to the breed. Height: 16 – 17 hands Country of Origin: Germany Characteristics: Holsteins are known for their grace, athleticism and easy-going temperaments.
Along with their grace and elegance, the Holstein er is hardworking, athletic, strong, and has a gentle, easy to train nature. Height: 15-17 hands Country of Origin: Netherlands Characteristics: Dutch Warm bloods are known for their athleticism, style and good disposition.
Height: 15.2-17.3 hands Country of Origin: Germany Characteristics: Hanoverian's are known for their athleticism, grace and agility. These beauties bring everything a serious competitor needs to the highest levels of any Three Day Event, making them one of the best horse breeds for jumping.
Height: 16.1 – 17.3 hands Country of Origin: France Characteristics: Sell Français are known for their athleticism, grace, and good temperaments. The horse breed of choice for recent French Olympic jumping teams is the Sell Français.
The Sell Français is a breed built just for jumping, with the right slope to the shoulders, power in the hindquarters, stout legs, and blessed with good endurance. The Sell Français breed is also suitable for all riders, considering they love people, they are kind and patient, and they are very willing with lots of tries.
Height: 16-17 hands Country of Origin: Belgium Characteristics: Belgian Warm bloods are known for their power, athleticism, and good temperaments. Height: 16.2-17 hands Country of Origin: Germany Characteristics: Oldenburg's are known for their athleticism, willingness to please, and agility.
The typical Oldenburg horse has a long neck, is build uphill, and shows impressive strength. These breeds have shown a great capacity to excel in the show ring or the field of competition throughout history, however, and are usually a good bet.
Entering the horse world can feel like a major undertaking as you scramble to learn all the unique skillets and vocabulary that are specific to equestrianism. To many newbies, it may even seem like horse people are speaking a different language.
Show jumping, in particular, has its own terminology to describe important aspects of the sport. They are eligible for amateur classes if they are 18+ as of January 1st of the calendar year and do not qualify as a professional.
Riding up to the base of the jump is a commonly used phrase from trainers to encourage students to maintain rhythm all the way up to the fence and avoid longer distance take-offs. It is referred to as chipping in because it is a rather abrupt and last minute adjustment from the horse, generally due to not being set up correctly and needing to take the extra half stride in lieu of taking a faraway distance or having to jump from virtually underneath the fence.
This is where riders and their trainers will walk the course on foot to measure strides between fences and make a plan for their route when they ride it later. Course walks also allow riders to get a close up view of fences and plan for the type of ride their specific horses will need.
They are shorter whips with a leather piece at the end and are commonly used in jumping. These types of lines require more preparation from the rider on landing as the horse will not be mentally locked onto the next jump and ready for it in the same way as straight lines where the next jump is immediately in view.
Show jumpers should be adjustable enough to take long or deep distances depending on the situation and the type of stride the rider is asking for. This refers to the rider’s position on the horse, maintaining what correct posture is determined to be for their particular discipline.
These are important in show jumping for maintaining balance throughout the course as the horse changes direction. Hunter classes are judged on the horse ’s rhythm, accuracy, cadence, and overall elegance both on the flat and over fences.
Hunter horses are rewarded for square knees, careful jumps, beautiful gaits, and consistent rhythm between fences. Show jumpers still need to take the importance of rhythm to heart, but the horse and rider pairs are not judged on their style.
While show jumping has a few different class formats, the most common is where the horse and rider go in for one round with a time limit that they must be at or under. These generally require riders to qualify for them by amassing enough points from riding in other classes.
Note: The term jump cup can also refer to the adjustable curved holders that attach to standards to hold rails. Jump Off The jump off is a secondary round after the initial jumper round in which the focus is getting the horse around without taking rails and with the fastest time possible.
The chute serves the purpose of sending the horse towards the fence without them having full run of the arena, thereby making it easier to have them find a fence and disallowing the chance of having run outs. Long strides require more effort from the horse and, depending on how far out the take off is, make it more likely to knock a rail.
Off Course Each jumper course has a course map with the order in which the jumps are supposed to be approached. Off course refers to when the rider jumps fences out of order, thereby resulting in disqualification.
Rider position is important in maintaining accuracy and helping the horse to jump clear. Refusals can mean coming to a full stop before the fence or trying to run around it.
The neck loop portion has two leather pieces that fork out to attach via rings on the left and right reins. The purpose of a running martingale is to prevent a horse from raising their head too high by applying downward pressure on the reins to encourage them to drop their head.
Click to see running martingales at State Line Tack It is a forward position that brings the rider mostly out of the saddle to allow the horse to jump more safely.
Standing Martingale A standing martingale is a leather piece of tack that goes around the neck and has a long piece with a loop on the end that runs through the nose band and then all the way through the front legs and attaches to the girth. The purpose of this is similar to the running martingale, to prevent the head coming up too high, however the standing martingale is a more rigid and doesn’t apply any action to the bit.
Their purpose is the same reason why soccer players wear cleats, to apply more traction on grass and slippery surfaces.