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Hunter Jumper Horses

Author: Rob Daniels

Jumper courses are very demanding, calling for technical accuracy on the part of the rider and absolute obedience from the horse. Connecting with the horse from the hind legs, through the back to the bit will prevent most of resistance problems that horses have with jumping. As the riders head toward the jump, they focus on the rhythm of your horse's strides.

Elements of successful show jumping include riding lines, related distances, bending lines, and jumping off of turns. Competitors in jumper classes are judged on number of faults caused by knocking down or refusing to jump obstacles and on speed. A typical jumper course is 8-12 fences consisting of natural as well as brightly colored jumps. Most jumper classes consist of a first round (or two rounds) followed by a jump-off among all riders with clear first rounds. A jump-off course has fewer fences than the jumper class.

 Penalty points are assessed if the horse refuses a jump, or brings down the highest element of an obstacle. Additionally in the jumper ring penalty points are added if the allowed time limit for the course is exceeded. Riders near the end of the starting order have the advantage of seeing how the first riders complete the course.


Classes are broken into a variety of sub-groupings. Amateur owner jumpers must be ridden by amateur owners only. Adult amateur jumpers must be ridden by amateur rider, but do not have to actually own the horse. While Junior jumpers must be ridden by riders under the age of 18. Schooling jumpers may be ridden by anyone.

 In the jumper show ring, style does not count; jumper classes are purely athletic tests of speed and strength. Competitors in jumper classes are judged on number of faults caused by knocking down or refusing to jump obstacles and on speed. In addition to the faster speed of jumper class competition, courses in jumper classes are also composed of more varied obstacles.

 The dynamics and beauty of horse and rider soaring over fences makes jumping a thrilling sight.

About the author:
Rob Daniels has been an equestrian rider for 25 years. He has studied various disciplines additional articles are available at:
Riding Stable - and Horse