Strategies for Better Understanding a Show Jumping Course

Show jumping originated in England in the late 18th century, and was slow to catch on in horse shows for quite some time. Today, it is a wildly popular event in the United States and around the world. It is even an Olympic event, enjoyed by horse lovers and other spectators alike. If you are an equestrian who is looking to get a better grasp on this event so that you and your horse can excel in your next show-jumping competition, give these helpful strategies a shot.

Showjumping Course
Study the Diagram
When you sign up to participate in a show jumping event, you will be given a to-scale diagram of the course. Because you will not be able to see the course until closer to event day, it can be very beneficial to study the diagram you are given. Memorize the route, paying particular attention to the distances between jumps.

Utilize the Course Walk
The course walk-through that you and your horse participate in together is a great opportunity to hone your game plan. Work with your horse while you analyze the course and develop a plan.

Read Your Horse
You know your horses step and stride better than anyone. Watch your horse during the walk through, paying special attention to any elements of the course that seem to confuse or excite him. Picking up on your horses interpretation of the course design may take time; but after participation in a few show jumping courses, it should become second nature to you.

Identify Takeoff Spots
Combining your reading of the course and your knowledge of your horses jump, use the course diagram and walk-through to pinpoint the spots at which you and your horse should leave the ground so that you can hit as many clean jumps as possible.

Challenging and exciting, show jumping is an element of the professional equine-equestrian experience that is here to stay.



Strategies for Better Understanding a Show Jumping Course