View Full Version : the perfect jumper???
17th Apr 2001, 12:30 AM
I read that horses with short bodies(length) make the best jumpers, just wondering if anyone else had heard this????
If this is just a myth what is the favoured chararistics of a jumper???
17th Apr 2001, 06:59 PM
Horses with short bodies are sometimes favoured as jumpers because they can make tight corners more easily, and tend to come back on their hindquarters better than longer horses. However, plenty of long-backed horses jump well too. The ideal conformation for a jumping horse would be strong legs with plenty of bone, a good sloping shoulder, a strong back, and powerful hindquarters. This conbination would make it easier for the horse to cope with the changing lengths of stride required for a good approach, big jumps, and less chance of jarring on landing (horses with weak legs, backs and hindquarters are more likely to injure themselves jumping than ones with powerful ones).
17th Apr 2001, 08:11 PM
i was always told short backed horses were better for jumping, i thought it was because there backs are stronger
17th Apr 2001, 08:20 PM
What about height? Maybe I was assuming this, but I always thought that tall horses would be good jumpers(if well trained) because they can jump higher, and a naturally faster,longer stride. Is this wrong?
18th Apr 2001, 09:02 AM
Tall horses are occassionally good for making the height, but many small ponies jump just as well, and sometimes better, than taller horses. Long strides are great to shorten long distances, but in a jump-off, a pony (or horse) with shorter strides is better because it can make tighter turns and get in closer to the jump, hence basculing better.
20th Apr 2001, 05:41 PM
Small ponies can have more scope than big horse, although i have jumped well on small ponies, i perfer horses as the jumps don't look as big!! a confidence boost. Ponies jump well because of their short stride, and so it can be judged easier, for both the rider and pony. My horse jumps very well, even though she has a long back and not large hindquarters, i think this is simply because she enjoys jumping this can make more of a difference than a long/short back.
26th Apr 2001, 08:00 PM
Being a pony rider, I find that having ridden horses occasionally, that ponies seem to have that much more pop in them and ability to think for themselves. My pony does not have a short back it is medium lenght, but has very muscled hindquarters and she can jump... 3foot six she will jump from a trot she is that scopeyi find that in jump offs indoors ponys almost always win over horses they have a shorter nippier stride and more ability to get themselves out of trouble, however in the larger ringed outdoor shows the horses often do better due to the fact that in straight lines they can actually go faster and to clear the height that is inrelativity to the ponies quite huge, takes them less effort.
29th Apr 2001, 02:09 PM
through my experience the height of a horse doesn't really affect how height it can jump. horses have all types of abiltie. i used to have a 16hh heavy weight cob. i was affiliated with him. when i went 2 a show i felt like everyone was staring at me coz they were on TB and WB and there was me on a cob. but cobs have a very powerful behind which carrys there jumping abilitie. i used to compete in 4ft8 classes on him. he could turn quicker than most of the others in the class. he won most of the time or was always in the top 3. people thought he wasn't going 2 get over the jumps coz he was so big but we showed them. the look on there faces r classic. i know a 12.2hh pony who jumps round a 5ft9+ course made for horses at home. ,ost of the fences are over 5ft9 with 6ft spreads on them. with trebles, staircases and very difficult jumps and he does them with ease and loves it. the showjumpers i know prefere a horse with a powerful back end and short, quick on the front with a careful and tidy jump. horses with long bodies do the same courses as ones with shorter ones and in my experience the do just as well. its all in the horses abilitie. if it can do it then it will and if it can't then it won't. a horses conformation or shape doesn't always affect there abilitie. ponys r usually faster than horses but thats why they don't compete againest them. i have had many showjumpers at all different levels and heights and they all had different abilitie. i've only got 1 at the moment and she can jump bigger and better than others which r 16hh+ and she's 15.1hh.
11th Jun 2001, 06:54 PM
i ride a 13hh pony who can out jump (in both height + speed) all the 16hh+ thoroughbreds at the yard!!
25th Jun 2001, 07:50 PM
the way I see it, a good jumper is a good jumper:) Sure, conformation can help, but if a horse's heart is truly into jumping, it will jump:cool:
15th Jul 2001, 11:07 PM
I'm new here, but I'm going to jump right in on this rather old thread if that's alright.
I believe that what makes the perfect showjumper is its mind, not its body. Top jumping horses come in all shapes and sizes, but the best ones have a competitive spirit in their own right and seem to understand the concept of winning. They are a mixture of brave enough to jump big fences and chicken enough to be careful, not wanting to hit anything and get hurt. When I was planning to move from England to America (bringing my horses with me), I asked Stephen Hadley what the American riders were looking for. He said, "Anything that jumps". That about sums it up. Back on conformation, I have to disagree with some of the answers to this thread. I personally prefer a short backed horse with a rather upright shoulder, which enables the horse to snatch if front legs up quickly at the point of take off. For a horse to be scopey, it needs a long stride to make the distances in the combinations and between related fences. However, the big strided horse needs to learn when to 'back off' its fences, which means shortening its stride on the way to the jump, instead of lengthening it. To some, this comes naturally. Others can learn by training them through tight grids and letting them figure it out for themselves.
16th Jul 2001, 12:05 AM
You are particularly right about Big Ben. He had the worst conformation for a show jumper - way too big, neck stuck on upright like a post, hocks swollen to the size of footballs. Although he required a lot of maintenance, it didn't stop him being a jumping star! And what English rider can forget Stroller, the pony (well, just over) who won a silver medal at the Mexico Olympics.
16th Jul 2001, 03:43 PM
I don't think the width of a horse's back will efect their jumping ability. I own a 15:1 anglo arab mare that can jump 5 feet. She's quick and real easy, and so far all the jumping classes I have ever entered her in we've always come out first! People think that short backed horses ( and ponies! ) are better jumpers because of their ability to turn fast and get better times. It isn't true! A lot of people think ponies are perfered because they can turn quicker, but bigger horses can turn just as fast! Over a jump they can turn in mid air and with their longer strides, a properly trained jumper can be magnificent. Also maybe you want to lean towards hunter instead, where time isn't included! Hunter is judged on how well horse and rider can manuver over jumps and the control. In this case it doesn't matter how fast a horse goes. You use all the ring and have straight lines to and from the jumps, and it's just as fun!
16th Jul 2001, 07:58 PM
what a hunter class is it like working hunter.
i think poines are tighter turners at speed, all the shows i go to, the bigger horses are always beaten by a smaller pony. 15.1hh isn't much bigger than a pony try getting something like 17.1hh to turn on the spot like poines do, its not possible for them to do.
16th Jul 2001, 09:52 PM
Since this is an international site and I have competed in both England and the US, let me explain the difference between an American hunter class and an English working hunter class. In an American hunter class over fences (as opposed to a flat class) the horses jump a simple course, usually consisting of four lines of fences, two across the diagonal of the arena and two on the long sides. This is quite stylized and the horse is judged on going quietly, getting the exact number of prescribed strides between fences, jumping with its knees square, and doing flying lead changes on the corners. The judge is looking for a horse that appears to do all this with little help from the rider. In England, the working hunter is rather more involved. The horse is first judged over fences and gains points for boldness and clean jumping, traits that would be valuable on the hunting field. Then the horse is judged on the flat for obedience and rideability, first with the competitor on board, and then with the judge riding. Then the horse is judged in hand, without saddle, for conformation and movement. Ideally, the points are then added together with the winner being the one with the most accrued points from the various phases.
16th Jul 2001, 09:57 PM
thanks rocketman i thought u had to go clear over the jumping course to get into the flat work part
16th Jul 2001, 10:08 PM
That's why I said 'ideally'. There seem to be no set rules for working hunter. I've won this class with a fence down because the judge really liked my horse. Then again, I've seen classes where the eventual winner had demolished the course and the clear rounds got nowhere (this horse HAD just won the championship at the Royal International, but that day he was terrible). This is why I stick to show jumping, where the judges opinion doesn't matter. You either left all the jumps standing and were faster, or you didn't and weren't. At least you know how you did as you leave the ring.
16th Jul 2001, 10:36 PM
i'm a SJ fan, hate showing, it boring and you can win one day do the samething the next agaist same neds and not get placed.
no offense showing fans
16th Jul 2001, 11:51 PM
If you want something really boring, watch an American hunter class (no offense, hunter riders). They are all practically perfect and nothing ever happens. It's been equated to watching the grass grow or paint dry. Yet these horses can sell for mega money. In America, they don't really know that ponies can jump. Large (14.2 hands) pony hunters at championship level jump 3'6". In England, that's where ponies start off. My sister had a champion jumper pony in England years ago and the qualifiers for the Horse of the Year show went to 5' plus in the jump off.
17th Jul 2001, 02:24 AM
Yes, it does seem as though one sees fewer ponies as jumpers over on this side of the pond. I've never jumped over anything higher than a log but I do think it's fascinating to watch!:)
17th Jul 2001, 11:01 AM
paul fabs, is about 4'6, for 148cm's the 138cm's jump over 4ft classes to
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.