Show jumping is an equestrian sport based in the English style of horseback riding. English riding is seen worldwide and although varied it uses the same saddle style. The English saddle is a saddle that does not feature a horn or a deep seat, such as a Western saddle. There are many types of English riding styles, however most variations will require the rider to use two hands on the reins and post to the horse’s trot.
Show jumping takes a lot of practice and skill. It isn’t as easy as it may look. When you are starting out, you will want to start low and work your way up to the higher rails. If you are a beginner rider, you will want to seek out a trainer who is patient and able to work with you. Sometimes your success depends upon your coach and their willingness to train you properly.
Training your horse the correct way is an important part of your outcome. Training takes time, dedication, and hard work. Part of the training consists of longeing, voice commands, and a lot of flat work. This will condition your horse, let the horse know who is in charge, and build a relationship between horse and rider.
Once you become comfortable with your mount and you have practiced a lot, you may want to go to a horse show. This is a competition where the horse and rider are judged upon different skills. The competition has different categories, also known as classes, where riders with similar skills compete against each other. Trophies, ribbons, prizes, or even money are given out. Horse shows can last from one day to sometimes a week. Most likely you will have to pay an entry fee, usually per class. These fees will vary, depending on the competition and the location.
At the show jumping competition, the horse is judged on a timed obstacle course. The horses will take the course one at a time. The outcome of the show will depend upon the horse’s jumping ability and the speed that the course is completed in. The rider’s goal is to guide their horse over the jumps smoothly, without any of the rails falling, or having their horse refuse the jump. Because these competitions are timed, a rider will want to do the course in the shortest amount of time, without any errors, or have the fewest errors. A penalty is added for each rail that is knocked down, and if you come in over the allotted time, you will receive a time fault. This is all factored in to determine the winning order.