For many equestrians, no arena is complete without a set of safely constructed horse jumps ready to be set up. From grand prix jumpers to green horses still learning to move with even, powerful strides, horses at all levels (and their riders) benefit enormously from schooling over jumps.
The most important distinction between horse jumps for showjumping and hunter competition is height. A hunter is seldom asked to perform over obstacles taller and wider than four feet.
In the schooling ring, horses and riders can use almost any kind of safely constructed jump. However, the construction of horse jumps for competition is a more specialized task. Hunters and show jumpers both compete over fences, but your facility may need to invest in different types of jumps for these different types of competition.
In a hunter over fences competition, horses are judged on their elegance and obedience. These values are reflected in the style of horse jumps used in these competitions. Natural-looking jumps are preferred to gaudy ones. When the jumps have solid elements in addition to rails, these tend to be conservative: stone walls, green roll-tops, and neutral-colored flower boxes are perennial favorites.
Although there's no rule against conservative design and natural-looking elements in the horse jumps used for showjumping competition, these obstacles tend to look very different from the ones used in hunter courses. From gambler's choice to the final phase of three-day eventing, showjumping courses are designed to test the body and mind of both horse and rider. Horse jumps used in showjumping tend to be brightly colored and creatively designed.
However, the most important distinction between horse jumps for showjumping and hunter competition is height. A hunter is seldom asked to perform over obstacles taller and wider than four feet. A course at a showjumping competition, however, may include broad water-filled pools; triple oxers requiring eight or more rails; and wall-type obstacles that can be stacked up to seven or eight feet tall for puissance competitions.
Many equestrian facilities host competitions where both hunters and showjumpers show off their talents over fences. Although both types of jumping competition have many traits in common, they both involve the use of different types of horse jumps. Investing in horse jumps designed specifically for hunter and jumper competition can help your facility attract upper-level riders who want to excel in these specialized disciplines.
Whether you want your facility to excel as a training stable or a competition center, East-West Arena Construction is dedicated to helping you design a winning arena. Feel free to contact us for more information about our products and services.