If you are new to the hunter, humper, or eventing scene you may not know the different types of horse jumps you may face. Each jump is different, and it helps to know what to expect when you hear terms such as wall, gate or oxer thrown around. If you are a true novice, you probably won’t face all these fences right away, but it is interesting to know what you have to look forward to.
A vertical is a very basic jump. It is made up of a standard or wing on either side and a single row of poles in the middle. A vertical can be made more challenging by adding height, of course, but it can also be more challenging if some of the areas below the top pole are left empty. This creates an “airy” fence, which can cause some horses, and riders, to get a bit nervous. Horses generally find solid looking fences more inviting.
Oxers are made up of two sets of standards or wings on either side of the fence. This allows you to create a wider jump. While this type of jump may seem more intimidating, the width encourages your horse to jump in good form and round over the fence.
Gates and Walls
Horse jump gates and walls can be very intimidating the first time you canter down a line with one in it. It is important to remember, what is intimidating to you is not necessarily intimidating to your horse. Solid looking fences are generally received much better by your horse than airy, flimsy looking fences.
These are some of the basic types of fences that you can reasonably expect to face on an average hunter or jumper course. Practicing on a variety of different jumps at home helps to build both you and your horse’s confidence. Doing this, when you are at a show or clinic, even if you face a fence you haven’t seen before, you will have the confidence to jump.