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All about show jumping

Equestrian show jumping is a fascinating discipline that combines the skill of the rider and the athletic ability of the horse to overcome a series of obstacles.

As experts in equestrian equipment, from Equspaddock, we are going to unravel every relevant aspect of this exciting practice. Join us on this tour as we discover everything you need to know about the exciting world of horse jumping.

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Introduction to show jumping

If there is one discipline full of elegance and excitement, it is show jumping. It is one of the most impressive forms of athletic expression in horsemanship. It requires not only exceptional skills on the part of the rider and his horse, but also a deep understanding of the techniques, rules and equipment necessary to achieve success in the arena.

History and evolution of equestrian show jumping

Equestrian show jumping is said to have originated in the hunting field, where riders had to negotiate fences and fences while chasing their prey. Over time, these skills became a sport in their own right, with competitions organized in England in the early 19th century. The modern discipline as we know it today began to form in the 18th century in Europe.

The first international equestrian show jumping event was held in 1900 during the Paris Olympics, marking a milestone in the history of the sport. Since then, it has experienced continuous growth and development, with the creation of international federations, the standardization of rules and the improvement of equipment and training techniques.

Today it is a discipline practiced all over the world, with high-level competitions attracting riders and spectators from all over the world.

Basic rules of equestrian show jumping

Equestrian show jumping is governed by a series of rules that will determine the final score of the competitors. These are:

– Obstacles: a series of obstacles arranged along a course must be overcome without committing knockdowns. Horses under four years of age cannot participate in this test. The height of the obstacles ranges from 1.10 to 1.60 meters. The winner is the one who completes the course in the shortest possible time and with the fewest penalties.

– Circuit: at the start of the course, all the entrances and exits of the track must be closed. The Jury authorizes the participants to enter the track with a bell. The start and finish lines are marked with red flags on the right and white flags on the left, located between 6 and 15 meters from the first and last obstacles.

– Order: the obstacles are numbered in ascending order and do not exceed 1.70 meters in height. Penalties are applied for knocking down, touching the water, course error, fall of horse or rider, excess of time, disobedience or leaving tracks on the obstacles.

– Points: penalties are translated into points: 4 for knockdown, 1 for every four seconds of excess time and elimination for repeated fall or disobedience. The sum of points determines the final result of the course.

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Essential equipment for equestrian show jumping

In equestrian show jumping takes place in arenas made up of a series of essential elements. In this discipline, riders and horses must complete a previously established circuit in which they cannot miss:

– Hurdles and barriers: these are elevated obstacles that horses must overcome during the course. These can vary in height and design, offering a variety of challenges for riders and testing the horse’s jumping skill and technique.

– Natural obstacles: in addition to fences and barriers, jumping courses often include natural obstacles such as logs, bushes and ditches. These elements provide variety and realism to the course, mimicking the challenges that riders and horses may encounter in natural environments.

– Position markers: To guide riders along the course, position markers such as flags or numbered pyramids are used. These markers provide a clear visual reference for riders, indicating the correct direction to follow and key landmarks on the course.

It is vital that all elements of the show jumping arena are made of durable and safe materials, ensuring the integrity of riders and horses during competition. Fences, natural obstacles and position marking elements are essential components that contribute to the excitement and safety of the show jumping experience.

Specific saddles for show jumping

Riding jumping saddles are designed to promote the rider’s freedom of movement. Their flatter seat allows for agile position changes, while knee pads and leg blocks provide stability during jumps. Shorter front flaps allow for more direct contact with the horse. In addition, they have a reduced contact area to facilitate quick movements and position changes

Clothing and protection for riders

Riders must wear specific clothing and protective equipment to ensure their safety during competition. This includes approved helmets, appropriate riding boots, protective vests and comfortable, close-fitting clothing to facilitate mobility. The use of these elements is essential to prevent injuries and ensure optimal performance in equestrian show jumping.

Techniques and training in equestrian jumping

Equestrian show jumping requires a set of specific techniques and rigorous training to achieve success in the arena. These are the main aspects of training:

– Body position: an upright posture must be maintained to provide stability to the horse.

– Distance and rhythm: it is necessary to calculate the distance between obstacles and adjust the canter rhythm.

– Impulse and balance: the leg is used to propel and maintain the horse’s balance.

– Track work: riders practice exercises such as combination lines and changes of direction to improve technique.

This sport requires constant training to surpass the high standards present in professional competitions.

Equestrian Show Jumping Competitions and Events

The world of horse jumping is full of exciting competitions and events that attract riders and enthusiasts from all over. Both worldwide and nationally, these competitions offer a showcase of the talent and skill of the riders, as well as the elegance and power of the horses.

The most important competitions worldwide are:

– Olympic Games

– FEI World Equestrian Games

– Longines global champions tour

At the national level, the following stand out:

– Spanish Show Jumping Championships

– CSI Madrid

– CSIO Barcelona

These competitions bring together riders and horses of the highest level and offer fans an unparalleled spectacle full of emotions.

Care and maintenance for show jumping competitors

It must be considered that show jumping horses and riders are elite athletes, so a strict routine of basic care must be maintained.

For the horses:

– Good nutrition.

– Hygiene and cleanliness of the animal and the stables.

– Constant exercise and training.

For the riders:

– Physical training.

– Rest and recovery.

– Constant maintenance of the equipment.

It is important to take constant care of the facilities in which the horses rest and the general health of both, only in this way is guaranteed the welfare, health and physical and mental preparation necessary to compete professionally.

Types of equestrian show jumping obstacles

Equestrian obstacles are made up of a variety of different elements that test the ability of both horses and riders. The most common are:

– Crossed: consists of two diagonal crosspieces forming an “X”, challenging the horse’s ability to jump at an angle.

– Vertical: it is a simple obstacle with a horizontal crossbar, where height is key to overcome it.

– Oxer or bottom: it is composed of two separate horizontal crossbars, requiring the horse to jump wider than high.

– Triple bar: similar to the oxer, but with three staggered horizontal crossbars, increasing the height challenge.

– Bidet: an obstacle consisting of a vertical or bottom and underneath a bathtub or trench filled with water.

– Ría: a trench or ditch that the horse must jump over without touching the water.

– Wall: imitates a wall, challenging the horse’s courage and confidence.

– Combination: A series of obstacles to be overcome in sequence, placed a maximum of two strides apart.

At Eqquspaddock, we have everything you need to practice this discipline. Explore our catalog of show jumping equipment

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