by Joe Pallas
Horse jumps are carefully designed for size, height and safety of materials. These jumps test the training and expertise of both horse and rider in competitions. As this magnificent animal takes the jumps with rider leaning forward placing her weight in the most advantageous way. Both need to know the jumps are safe. By purchasing from a well known manufacturer, they are assured.
After safety concerns, price is important. A company may guarantee that his company s equipment is sold to you at the lowest price. This includes costing less than any other manufacturer charges for similar quality jumping equipment.
Regardless of manufacturer, the crucial details and design are crucial. Whether made of wood or PVC, the design might be the same. Wood is susceptible to rotting but PVC, a man made material is not. It can be left out in the rain. Most purchasers are choosing PVC because it is impervious to rain and can be left outside regardless of the weather.
The PVC material itself is more expensive to begin with, but the manufacturing methods are superior to those used with wood. This keeps the price of the finished product lower. Therefore it is preferable.
As in any other industry, there are a large number of types of jumps. Some are cavalletti, which are used for dressage exhibitions. Cross Country comes in a large variety of types including natural looking logs and pools for water for the horses to jump over. The Western jumps include situations that might be encountered on a natural wood trail.
Horse show planners know the specifications for each type of jump. A beginner may want to set up a few low jumps to learn with. You can set of your own jumps if you are cautious. Make sure no nails or sharp protrusions exist in the material you use. Try a cross rail jump with two poles of an upright fence meeting at a cross in the center. This trains the horse to aim his body at the center of all jumps.
Setting up a pyramid jump and oxer jump or any combinations requires carefully measuring the height as well as the distance between jumps when there is a combination two or three in a row. An upright fence is the most difficult for a horse to perform.
Jumps require twelve feet between them for a horse and ten feet for a pony. You can also, as an alternative, measure your own horse’s stride for perfect distancing. A simple tape measure will suffice to measure the distances.
It is crucial that you do not place a pole behind a jump. It creates a false ground line. That will make the horse perceive the jump to be further back than it actually is. Of course this will throw off his judgement creating a dangerous situation.
The jumps over open water are required to meet certain size requirements in a show. Jumps can be individually purchased or bought as a package deal with everything needed for one complete jump or one complete competition course. Accessories are available as single purchases and include extras such as flower boxes to make the course more attractive to the audience. Appearance is not nearly as important as safety, but it does add to the enjoyment of the spectators.
Horse jumps bring joy to the people watching these magnificent equine competitions. They may or may not appreciate the work and training behind the acquired skills, but they certainly derive pleasure from watching how gracefully they do it. The beauty of the horses is enhanced by an attractive show ring as well.