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What You Need to Know About Show Jumping

What You Need to Know About Show Jumping

There are many types of equestrian sports and show jumping is one of them. This popular type of event is included in youth events all the way up through Olympic level events. It requires a lot of preparation, training and confidence to participate.

What is Show Jumping?

Show jumping is a type of horseback riding where riders and horses complete a jumping course with minimum faults and the quickest time. Riders register for events in the division they’re ready for and have the chance to study the course before competing. Course guides are typically available near the arena. Knowing the faults in the competition is also important. Common faults include knocking a pole out of the horse jump cups, going off course, refusing to jump and going over time.

Obstacles in Show Jumping

Many different types of obstacles can be found throughout a show jumping course. A liverpool is a blue container filled with water that’s placed under the obstacle. This can intimidate horses and make them more nervous to complete the jump. Crossrails are shaped in the form of an X and can be found in all levels of horse jumping competitions. Solid looking walls can be used as obstacles. They are actually made of lightweight bricks. An oxer, or spread, can be used to create a wider jump space. Jump combination obstacles consist of two to three jumps spaced one to three strides apart, making it trickier for a horse to complete.

Gear for Show Jumping

There’s recommended gear for all levels of show jumping. Having the proper gear will increase your success in this event. A close contact or jumping saddle will allow the rider to have the best position for jumps. For bigger jumps a breast collar is necessary to keep the saddle from sliding backwards. To protect your horse’s tendons, you can put sports boots on them. Preventing bruising and trauma to your horses hooves is also important. You can put bell boots on your horses to help with this.


Show jumping is a skill that both rider and horse need to learn and gain confidence in and that only comes through many hours of practice. Create your own jump course to practice on. Switch up the order of obstacles and the timing to see how much you improve.

A rider needs to know how to control a horse and the exact spot to prepare to jump and the horse needs to be well-trained and responsive to cues. When the rider and horse work well together they can have fun competing in many show jumping events.

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