The thing about show jumping is that it is a little less restricted with the use of different bridles, nosebands, martingales and boots for your horse. Unlike dressage, as you are asking the horse to jump over obstacles and sometimes covering uneven ground (grass arenas) you need to support your horses.
In this blog post, I hope to cover some of the more used equipment and tack so that you can get an idea of what is used.
When working with your horse or pony it is a good idea to try and keep it simple, but there are some combinations of equipment that go well together. Most horses will wear a snaffle bridle with a different noseband, martingale and a stronger bit that you would possibly use in dressage.
The horse in the above picture is wearing a Mexican Grackle and a pelham bit with rubber bit rings. Russell Guire from Centaur Biomechanics has found that there are fewer pressure points on a grackle than with the flash noseband. The grackle can be used to help stop the horse from crossing his/her jaw both above and below the bit. The Pelham Bit has a curb chain and can be used with a stronger horse and a rider with good hands. The horse about is a big horse working at 1.40m with an experienced rider.
Flash nosebands help when the horse can try and open or cross the jaw below the bit. It is a cavesson noseband and a flash strap that goes under the bit. These nosebands became popular in the 1980 and have been used for some time now. If you have a cavesson bridle you can get a flash attachment and turn a cavesson noseband into a flash noseband which can be a cheaper alternative to buying a new one.
In the picture above, Cordi is wearing a drop noseband with bit rings on the bit. Drop nosebands have an effect on the nose bone and the lower jaw. They are a more established type of noseband that has been around for a long time.
Bitless bridles are sometimes used by themselves or as a combination with a bit. There may be a time that you have to try one out as you might have a small problem with your horse’s mouth or a tooth. The bitless bridle works on the nose and the poll area of the horse and some horses are happy with this action and some horse are not. It can be of great use to you when there is a problem.
The bitless bridle is also known as a Hackamore bridle.
In the picture above you can see the use of a breastplate and a running martingale attachment. You can use different breastplates there are the hunting breastplates, 5 point breastplates, and a breast girth. Any can be used and it is a personal preference to the rider, horse, and trainer as to which they prefer to use.
Open fronted tendon boots.
Open fronted tendon boots are quite often used for show jumping horses and ponies as they allow the horse to ‘feel’ the fence if they touch the pole. They also support the tendons on the horse’s legs.
These boots can be seen in several of the pictures above and you can see how they support the leg and allow the horse to touch the pole if they get a bit close to the fence.
You can use the open fronted fetlock boots on the hind legs and these have the same effect on the horse’s hind legs.
Jumping saddles allow the rider’s hip, knee, and ankle to close the angle so that the rider and horse stay in balance whilst jumping. There are many different types of jumping saddles on the market, but I prefer an Albion K2 jumping saddle as I have found it very comfortable and secure.
Like I said before it is a personal preference between the rider, horse, and trainer and what both the horse and rider feel comfortable and safe with.
Another consideration with jumping is if you would use studs in your horse’s shoes and we have a stud post about this called different types of studs. You can get to this post on that link in the previous sentence, which will give you information about different types of studs.
All the rules and regulations for showjumping at British Eventing competitions can be found on the link in this sentence and the rules for British Showjumping are in this link as well.
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