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First Posted Sept 2, 2009
Jul 28, 2010

Types of Horse Show Jumps

Show jumping fences are often colorful, sometimes very elaborate and artistic in design, particularly at the highest levels of competition. Types of jumps used include the following:

  • Vertical (or upright) - A jump that consists of poles or planks placed one directly above another with no spread, or width to jump.
  • Oxer - Two verticals close together, to make the jump wider. Also called a spread.
  • Square oxer - (Sometimes known as Box Oxer): Both top poles are of an equal height.
  • Ascending oxer (usually called a Ramped Oxer): The furthest pole is higher than the first.
  • Descending oxer (usually called an Offset Oxer): The furthest pole is lower than the closest.
  • The opposite of the picture above.

  • Swedish oxer: The poles slant in opposite directions, so that they appear to form an "X" shape when seen head on.
  • Triple bar - Is a spread fence using three elements of graduating heights. Tips for Riding the Triple Bar
  • Cross rail - not commonly used in sanctioned horse shows, and sometimes called a "cross-pole," two poles crossed with one end of each pole is on the ground and on jump standards so that the center is lower than the sides. Used at small shows and for schooling purposes to help the horse jump in the center of the fence.
  • Wall - This type of jump is usually made to look like a brick wall, but the "bricks" are constructed of a lightweight material and fall easily when knocked.
  • Hogsback - A type of spread fence with three rails where the tallest pole is in the center.
  • Filler - This is not a type of fence but is a solid part below the poles, such as flower boxes or a rolltop. It can also be a gate.
  • Combination - usually 2 or 3 jumps in a row, with no more than 2 strides between each. 2 jumps in a row are called double combinations, and 3 jumps in a row are triple combinations. If a horse refuses the second or third element in one of these combinations, they must jump the whole combination again, not just the obstacle(s) they missed.
  • Fan - The rails on one side of the fence are spread out by standards, making the fence take the shape of a fan when viewed from above.
  • Open water: A wide ditch of water.
  • Liverpool - A ditch or large tray of water under a vertical or oxer
  • Joker - A tricky fence comprising only a rustic (or unpainted) rail and two wings. The lack of filler makes it difficult for a horse to judge their proximity to the fence as well as the fence's height, making it a tricky obstacle usually found only in the upper divisions, and illegal in some competitions.
For More Information:

Showjump Types - The different types of show jump fences.
Show Jumping


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