Horse jumps, for the most part, used to be two posts sunk in the ground with wooden poles set on pegs across them. After some time, horse people decided that way too many horses that did not complete the jump were getting injured too frequently. A secondary solution was searched for and found in the newer materials available today. The majority of horse jumps for sale today are constructed from durable, weather proof PVC plastic and tubing. Besides being much safer for the horses, these have a much cleaner and neater appearance when set up properly.
Wooden horse jumps have been phased out of use for the most part. While some of the old school jumpers still use them, there is too much risk to the horse and rider should a misstep happen. The PVC has some give to it, where the wooden poles do not bend at all. A trip and fall by a horse and rider close to one of these could result in serious injury to either of them. The wooden jumps also get weather beaten if left outside and need constant attention whereas the PVC jumps are virtually maintenance free.
Plastic horse jumps are also much more lightweight and portable than their old style wooden counterparts. With only a few pieces and no moving parts, these can be packed into the back of a pickup truck or trailer and transported to a show or fairground with relative ease. The standard length of the poles is ten feet, so care must be taken to secure them well if in the back of a truck and be sure to tie a red flag to the protruding end for visibility.
When it comes to the kids and miniature horse jumps, there is no lack of styles and types available. A search online will reveal smaller versions of the adult sized horse jumps along with bright colors to make any jump course fun for the whole family. These are made from the same durable PVC as the larger ones and are easily rearranged to make the courses even more challenging for younger riders.
Horse jumping equipment has come a long way from the old wooden pole days. There are brush jumps and low walls complete with flower boxes and faux rock wall finishes. By using PVC to construct these, the need to bring them in every day out of the weather becomes non-existent and this is very helpful if a course needs to remain set up for an event that is lasting more than a day or two. Horse show jumps such as these are easily purchased or if you have the inclination and a little skill, made from materials purchased at your local building supply.
To make a horse show jump is quite easy and will take you very little time at all. Following the same basic pattern as the ones you buy, use 4×4 timbers and build standards to hold the poles, being sure to make them so the holes match precisely on both pieces. The only drawback to making your own is how to hold the poles on to the standards, you will have to purchase the same type of jump cups that the manufactured ones use and drill holes for those to match. Be sure that the heights you are drilling at match the same standards as the purchased ones so they fall within the regulated heights for jumps for horses.
If you do not mind spending a little time building these, this is the best alternative for a cheap horse jumps. If you have the money or need these to be a bit more professional looking, then by all means, purchase the manufactured ones from a company online. These will make any local club show shine with a very neat and clean look to the whole course set up. If saving money is in the plan, then do brief search online to locate some used horse jumps. These will be easy to find and odds are that they are in very good shape, as many people will upgrade over time and want to get rid of their slightly used ones.
Once you have either purchased or built your horse jumps, then you can begin to train your horse to jump over them if he has not been taught to do so. To make horses jump takes a little time and patience but is accomplished fairly easily. Start him out by having him cross over just a pole laid out on the ground, he will just step over it but that is fine be sure to be doing this at a trot. Then after a few days of this, add a slightly larger pole and continue to do the same thing. Once he is comfortable and jumping over the ones on the ground you can graduate him to one in the standards at the lowest setting and build up from there.