Last Updated on January 21, 2022
If you’re a fan of horse jumping competitions, you might wonder if some breeds of horses are more talented than others. Many of the best jumping horses are similar in terms of size and stature, but are they all the same breed? Let’s find out!
What Type Of Horse Is Best For Jumping?
There are thousands of different horse breeds around the world, all with different strengths and characteristics. Some of these might be very strong, or have high levels of endurance, or have a very elegant movement. But does it take a certain type of horse to be good at jumping?
Every horse will be able to jump to some extent, but some breeds and types are far better than others. For example, draft horse breeds are heavy and not particularly athletic, and cannot soar over huge jumps. Short-legged pony breeds will not be able to clear jumps as easily as a tall warmblood, although they can often jump very high considering their size!
So, what are we looking for in a good jumping horse? They are normally a medium-build of horses, with an athletic and nimble physique and quick-thinking temperament. It is commonly thought that the best jumping horses have muscular hindquarters, to propel them into the air easily.
How Do You Tell If A Horse Will Be A Good Jumper?
It is not always easy to tell if a horse will be a good jumper until you actually start to train it. Some of the most well-bred and expensive horses have turned out to have very little jumping ability. Jumping is a skill that not only requires the correct physique, but also the right temperament and technical ability.
When it comes to choosing a horse for jumping, you can evaluate its breeding. If the sire and dam were talented jumping horses, they might have passed this trait onto their offspring. However, the horse must also have the will and desire to jump in order to compete successfully.
Best Jumping Horse Breeds Revealed
If you are on the lookout for a talented jumping horse, there are certain breeds that are more talented at jumping. Let’s take a look at some of the best breeds of jumping horses to help you decide:
Renowned for their prowess on the horse racing track, the mighty Thoroughbred is also a very talented jumping horse. In fact, when retired from racing many Thoroughbreds are retrained as showjumpers.
The size and build of the Thoroughbred give these horses a large advantage when it comes to jumping. They have a long stride and powerful hindquarters and are also very intelligent and quick-thinking.
The temperament of a Thoroughbred is not always ideally suited to showjumping, as they can be excitable and keen to go fast. However, if you can keep them calm and focused, they can achieve great things!
The Trakehner is a warmblood breed of horse originating from Europe. It is relatively fine in build compared to other warmbloods and is more similar to the Thoroughbred. This breed combines the stockiness and endurance of native breeds with the athleticism, stamina, and courage of the Thoroughbred and Arabian.
The Trakehner is renowned for its elegance and balance and often excels at dressage as well as showjumping. They have a perfect temperament, are keen to work, and are eager to please. This makes training a Trakehner horse a very pleasant and rewarding experience.
Another European warmblood breed of horse, the Hanoverian has topped the table for show jumping in international competitions for decades. This breed is stockier and more powerful than the Trakehner and Thoroughbred, with strong, muscular hindquarters.
The breeding of Hanoverian horses is taken very seriously, with strict conditions required for entry to the studbook. This has resulted in a breed of horse that consistently outperforms many others. Unfortunately, this also means that Hanoverian horses can be very expensive, but the high price tag could be worth it for a top showjumping horse!
Irish Sports Horse
If you want a jumping horse with more endurance and stamina, then the Irish Sports Horse might be the one for you. Bred by crossing Irish Draft horses with Thoroughbreds, these horses were intended to be able to withstand rough terrain, whilst retaining the ability to clear obstacles. This makes them a popular choice for drag hunting, hunter trials, and cross-country jumping over fences, hedges, and ditches.
This is a large and muscular breed of horse, with a long stride and high levels of endurance. The limbs of the Irish Draft are thick and strong, able to handle the difficult ground. Their Thoroughbred bloodlines enable them to propel themselves over large obstacles with ease.
Read more about How High Are Grand Prix Jumps?
Who Is The Greatest Jumping Horse Of All Time?
There are many jumping horses that have achieved great things. It would be hard to pick just one as the greatest, but these three have certainly achieved great things!
In 1956, Snowman was bought from a slaughterhouse for just $80. He went on to be the first horse to win the Open Jumper Championship at Madison Square Garden for two consecutive years. Snowman was inducted into the Showjumping Hall Of Fame in 1992.
Stroller was a little horse that achieved great things! At just 14.1 hands high, Stroller was technically classed as a pony, but he did not let his small size hold him back! He won an incredible 61 International competitions during his career, even taking silver at the 1968 Olympic games.
In 1949, Huaso set the record for this greatest height ever jumped by a horse, and this has not been beaten to this day. This Chilean horse cleared an enormous 8 feet 1.25 inches, ridden by his owner and trainer Captain Alberto Larraguibel.
So, as we have learned, there are many types of horses that can be good at jumping, but some breeds are better than others! Some of the best jumping horses are actually crossbreeds, whilst others are purebred.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on our best horse jumping breeds list! Do you know a draft horse that is a particularly talented jumper? Or perhaps your pony can jump really high? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE