Show jumping competitions can be very exciting and interesting. If you really think about it, this is a sport that combines the analytical mind of man with the raw power and sheer athletic ability of one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. If you have never seen horses on a show jumping range, you are truly missing something magnificent. If you have seen a contest, however, you may be wondering how horse jumps work; how they are developed or put together. Actually, there are a few different parts, starting with the wings, which are the pieces that hold up the bars that are jumped over.
First of all, of course, there are the basic wings. These are straight, vertical bars that are commonly used in horse jumps, especially for practicing. They stand about 5 ft. as do schooling wings which are basically the same thing, but with a series of vertical embellishments on the side of the bars. Children’s wings are 4 ft. tall and look like the two angled sides of an isosceles trapezoid. Standard wings stand about 6 ft. tall and have smaller braces that look very similar to children’s wings. There are also wings that cross. The George Cross wings, for example, cross in the manner of a plus sign, with the crosses standing about halfway up the 6 ft. tall braces. Double Cross wings, on the other hand, are two boxes stacked on top of each other. Within each box are “x” shapes, hence the “cross” name.
Finally, some horse jumps have what are called “fillers,” which fill in the area between the gate bars that would be beneath the objective horizontal bar. Gate fillers look just like access gate to your field while the plank filler simply uses more horizontal bars to fill in the gap. There are also solid plain fillers and fences.
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