Equestrian Tack Specializing in products and information relating to equestrian tack.


Equestrian Tack: Show Jumping – Horses With Hops

Love horses and love to watch jumping but don’t know a lot about the competition aspect?  Show jumping, also known as stadium jumping is an event that is part of the English riding equestrian events.   English saddles are the equestrian tack used. Riders must wear a horse riding helmewith harness while they ride.  They also wear full seat breeches that are tan, white or beige in color.  Riders usually wear a dark-colored coat however lighter colors are allowed in the summer with a light-colored (usually white) ratcatcher-style shirt and either a choker or stock tie. However, especially in the summer, many riders wear a simple short-sleeved "polo" style shirt with a horse riding helmet, boots and full seat breeches.  In sanctioned events, even if coats are required, the judges may waive that rule in excessively hot conditions.  

All jumper classes are subject to the same scoring system. It is an objective system based on whether the horse undertakes

the obstacle, makes it, and finishes the ride in the allotted period.   Horse and rider must take the course in a designate sequence. All obstacles are numbered. Each rider’s goal is to cover the course with no faults within the allotted time period. Style is not considered and doesn’t affect the scoring in jumper competition. The first time a refusal occurs, the penalty is three faults; six faults are given for the second, and the third constitutes elimination. A penalty of four faults is incurred each time a fence is knocked down and the penalty for the horse touching the water at a water jump is also four faults. Penalties can also be incurred for exceeding the time allowed to complete the course ,and if  the horse stumbles while maneuvering a barrier or jump.. The winner is the horse and rider combination with the fewest jumping and time penalties. Frequently, several horses complete the course without penalty and advance to a jump-off over a shortened course. In the jump-off, the same scoring rules apply, except that in the case of equal faults, the horse with the fastest time will be declared the winner.

Show jumping involves the rider and horse negotiating a course that consists of roughly 15 obstructions.  The obstacles can be up to five feet high and six feet wide.  The point of the competition is for the rider and horse to manipulate the course without faults and within a certain time period.  The goal being to ride the course with no faults or within the time period.

Course Analysis
Before the competition begins, riders can walk the course on foot to analyze it.  They take note of the overall course and how they can ride the course as compact as possible in order to save the most time especially if racing against the clock.  It is important that the team of horse and rider address the course at the right speed, height and angle to clear the obstacles without getting faults.  While doing so they keep in mind the horse's stride length while stepping off the space between obstacles.  This will help the rider adapt the horses stride to the obstacles on the course.  The rider studies the types of fences, the distances between them, the footing and possible trouble areas. 

Whose on First
The order of competitors is determined by a draw that occurs before the competition begins.  The riders going near the end of the lineup have the most fortunate positions as they can study the other competitors and how they ride the course.  

What's The Score
The obstacles on the course are numbered so the team of horse and rider need to take the course in a specified succession.  

Jump Refusal
First time - 3 faults
Second time - 6 faults
Third time - elimination

Fence Knockdown
First time - four faults

Water Touch
Four faults

Time Limit Exceeded

Jump Off
In the event of a tie, there is a jump off that consists of the riders doing a shortened course and in the event of no mistakes, the rider with the fastest time wins.

So enjoy the competition, and remember when you get on your horse,  always wear an approved ASTM/SEI horse riding helmet.




EquestrianTack: How to Buy A Horse – With No Regrets

So you have an equestrian tack trunk, but you have no horse. Whether it is your first horse or tenth, buying a horse can be a very rewarding experience.   Especially if you follow a process and have a plan. Without doing either, your experience can leave more to be desired. Here's some tips to make buying a horse a fun,  exciting and memorable experience. 


Before buying your first horse, create a checklist of what you want in a horse. Below are examples to note for your list:

  • Breed of horse
  • Sex
  • Size
  • Height and weight
  • Age
  • Training experience
  • Price
  • Disciplines

The list will save you from "impulse" buying meaning ie. falling in love with the first horse you go to see regardless of issues it may have or compliance with your checklist.  Also, it is important that you not go over your designated price you can pay.   Exceeding your budget could mean you have to cut corners elsewhere. 

Where to Buy

The objective here is to find a good horse, one that is a "known" product.   Therefore, get the word out that you  are looking for a horse.  Talk to veterinarians, friends, horse breeders, trainers, boarding stables, farriers and anyone familiar with the local horse populations.   Check the riding clubs, equestrian tack shops, rescue groups, classifieds, horse magazines and online.   There is no one good place to buy a horse. But there is one place you need to stay away from, that is a livestock auction. At a livestock auction, you never know what you are going to get as in a sick and unmanageable steed. Note that a livestock auction is different from a dispersal auction. A dispersal auction is one in which owners consign horses and other animals to be sold. Note, it is always wise to bring a knowledgeable person with you wherever you look at horses.

Questions to Ask Owner

When you talk to the owner ask him/her the following questions:

  • Age of the horse
  •  How and where the horse has been ridden, saddle, trails, ring
  •  How often he is ridden?
  •  Who rides? Adults, children, both
  •  Disposition
  •  Age of riders?
  •  Breed?
  •  Horse’s Health History
  •  Why selling?

Getting a new horse is one of the most exciting experiences a person or family can have.  Note: your due diligence can make the experience a great one as you can now put your equestrian tack trunk to work!

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