Jump Building 1 2 3 

How many of you have tolerant, non-horsey fans at competitions or just at the yard? Last weekend Otis’s devoted chauffeur had to build a course of show jumps for us. Whilst warming up I instructed him about building jumps, but I thought that you almost need an instruction book for beginner course builders – there’s a lot that we equestrian’s take for granted. 

  1. The posts at the side of the jump are called jump stands, if they’re trapezium shaped, they’re called wings.
  2. Poles are the things we jump over. They come in different lengths, so watch out when picking the poles to create a jump. Wooden ones can be quite heavy, and plastic ones lighter – don’t get a shock picking up a wet wooden pole. Planks are the flat poles, usually resembling a plank of wood. 
  3. The things that the pole rests on are called cups. There are special quick-release cups for the back pole of spreads.
  4. A cross pole has one pole resting on the ground, the other in the cup, with a small gap between the poles.It’s  usually the first jump we jump when we ride.
  5. An upright fence is a horizontal pole resting on the cups. There should be a pole on the floor, called a ground line. It either goes directly under the jump or slightly in front.
  6. A spread, or oxer, is a jump with two sets of poles and wings. The front pole should never be higher than the back pole. 
  7. Those bright things that go under the jumps are called fillers.
  8. If you’re measuring the jump it’s important to measure the centre of the fence.
  9. Doubles are two jumps with either one stride or two strides between. If you have a refusal over the second you have to jump both aspects again.
  10. A pole 3-4 yards away from a jump is called a placing pole, because it places the horse in the right place to take off.

I could go on, and on. And I haven’t even started talking about distances between combinations or dog legs … 

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