Horse Training – Common Jumping Distances

Horse Training Common Distances

Equitation, horse training, course design, what the judge is looking for, horse riding, hunter jumper, hunter judge, hunter judge canada
When horse training or horse judging, it is the course designers job to set up the courses that are suitable for the competition. As a judge, we can go to the course designer and say “that line isn’t riding very well“, or “the horses aren’t making the distance“, but usually the course designers have the competition summed up and supply the best distances that allow the best horse to show off their technique.

In general the distances between jumps is dependent on:

  •  the height of the jumps
  • the size of the horse
  • the type of rider/horse
  • type of footing
  • location of jumps.

Creative Commons License photo credit: stephrox

Designers usually shorten distances when:

  • the footing is crappy (muddy, hard packed, deep)Sateessa
  • going uphill
  • going away from the gate
  • indoors vs outdoors
  • short approach
  • crummy weather
    Creative Commons License photo credit: smerikal

Designers usually lengthen when:

  • Jumps are going downhill
  • Toward the in gate
  • In a large outdoor ring

As competitions become more stringent then designers use the distances to show which horses have the best athletic ability. This is seen in major jumping competitions that have significant variations in distances. For example a long galloping water jump followed by a huge imposing vertical. Also in hunter rounds the major shows use 13 foot strides between fences rather than 12 foot stride for local or even 11 or 11.5 foot strides for local and training shows.

More experienced riders can deal with the demands of the wide variation of the norm.

Distances are measured from the back of the fist fence to the front of the second fence. 

  Vertical Oxer
1 stride 2 strides 1 stride 2 strides 
Vertical 24ft 6” – 26ft 0” 34ft 9” – 36ft 3” 24ft 3” – 25ft 6” 35ft 0” – 35ft 6”
Oxer 25’– 26ft 3” 35ft 0” – 36ft 6” 24’ 0” – 25ft 0” 34ft 6” – 35 -0”

 

Distances are measured from the face of the landing side of the first fence, to the face of the take off side of the second fence, ignoring any small

Common Distances Used For Horse Shows

  Ponies Horse
# of Strides Small Med Large 3’0” 3’ 6” 3’ 9”
  9’ 10’ 11’ 12 12’ 6” 13”
1 19 21 23 25 26 27’
2 29 31 33 36 37 37 6”
3 38 41 44 48 49 50
4 47 51 55 60 62 64
5 56 61 66 72 75 77
6       84 88 90

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