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Horse & Rider Gear is an online glossary of terms and definitions commonly encountered by horse lovers. Click on the links below to choose from our alphabetical list of terms.

Jumps - Types of Jumps

Similar jumps are used for hunter-jumper and jumper contests, although there are some that may be used only for jumpers.

Hog's Back
This consists of three elements; front, middle, and back. The center part is higher than the two on the outside, which are of equal height.

Jumps for Jumpers
Only jumpers include diagonal jumps (verticals with one side higher than the other), uneven oxers (one end of the front element is high; the opposite end of the back element is high), fan jumps (obstacles with a spread between oxer poles that is wide at one end and very narrow with all poles gathered together at the others), water jumps (verticals with real or simulated pool of water up to 12 feet across on the far side), and narrows (jumps with as little as 5 feet between the uprights).

This is usually two verticals set close together, one behind the other, with the height closely matching the depth. Horses seem to like oxers, causing them to give a good, smooth arc over the top.

Roll Top
This solid, curved jump, a few feet in width, is often topped with a pole to raise the height. Sometimes, the jump is bare wood, painted wood, or wooden slats; more often, it is covered with "grass" carpeting and looks like a little hillock. It is usually intimidating to horses, if not to riders.

These have greater width than verticals - perhaps as much as two elements the width of their standards apart. Sometimes, spreads are even made of three elements, like a hog's back, but the height ascends from front to back. A spread may also be created by putting two elements that have a predetermined width between two uprights. Often, 55-gallon drums are used, or the jump is made to look like a flat-topped stone or brick wall that is 2 or 3 feet across.

A single set of poles or panels of the height being jumped. Verticals are usually the least intimidating for new riders, but they are more difficult for the horse to judge because of their lack of depth.

Variations include: panels that look like gates, usually straight across the top (although the riviera may have a downward curve in the middle); brush boxes (narrow containers, not much wider than a jump pole, into which greenery can be stuffed to look like a fence with a hedge); and flower boxes (boxes not much wider than a pole with flowers sticking out; they're usually very low, to look like a garden border).