How to Choose the Right Horse Jump Equipment for Your Horse’s Skill Level
Jumping is a sport that requires athleticism and accuracy on both sides. The difficulty increases as fence height and course complexity increase, but the right horse can help you succeed!
If you’re a beginner to show jumping, dressage training can be helpful before you begin. It can build your foundation for show jumping and ensure you can confidently approach every jump.
The Height of the Fence
A horse’s ability to jump over a fence depends on physical and mental qualities. A great jumper needs to be a robust and fit animal with good conformation and a high level of training.
A jumper must also be brave enough to navigate a course of fences that look intimidating. He should have the surefootedness to stay upright regardless of how tight a turn is or where it might trip.
The height of the fence determines how high your horse can jump. Some horses can jump much higher than others, affecting how hard your horse needs to work to get over a fence.
A fence at least 8 feet tall should be used as horse jump equipment if you want your horse to be secure while leaping. Higher walls are possible; however, it is best to confirm local laws beforehand. Generally, 6 feet is a minimum safe height for field fences, and 7 or 8 feet is safe for borders that abut highways or other areas where escaped animals might escape.
The Distance Between the Fences
The distance between the fences is a significant factor in your horse’s skill level. A missed space can distinguish between winning a ribbon and not placing it.
Try to set up your horse correctly to ensure you get the distance. It means closing your leg against their side, lowering your seat toward the saddle, raising your shoulders, and taking a light feel of their mouth.
It helps your horse get into a good rhythm. The more consistent their canter rhythm is, the more stable they will be and the easier for them to jump.
The Shape of the Fence
The shape of the fences can make a big difference in your horse’s skill level. A low jump on the ground can be more challenging for a horse than a taller one.
The horse needs to overcome their fear of the fence to jump it. They are likelier to try to stop or kick the poles if they can’t see their way over them.
These fences can also be difficult for horses new to jumping because they require more focus and energy than other fences. It can be frustrating for both the horse and the rider.
Choosing the correct type of jump equipment for your horse’s skill level is essential. It’s best to start with low cross rails and work your way up. It will help you and your horse build confidence over the fences to jump higher when needed.
The Distance Between the Poles
The distance between the poles of a jump can make or break your horse’s jumping performance. Wider spreads require more athleticism and accuracy from the horse, while narrower spaces are less challenging.
Start with a single pole and work to placing two poles several strides apart until your horse can canter over them. When you’re ready, try adding another bar.
When you set the distance between the poles, remember that the average horse canter stride is about 12 feet long. If you put two bars one stride apart, your horse must take six human steps: one for landing, four to equal a stride, and another for take-off.
This exercise can help develop a strong connection between the rider and their horse. It also helps them learn how to balance and focus while maintaining good body mechanics.