best horses for jumping

Discover the Top 4 Horse Breeds for Competitive Jumping

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Blog

Ever found yourself atop a horse, looking at a jump and wondering, “Are we really going to pull this off?” I have, and let me tell you, the right horse makes a world of difference. Whether you’re into jumping for the thrill of it or for the pure love of the sport, picking a horse that’s built for it is half the battle won.

A Quick Detour into the World of Horse Jumping

If I were to paint a picture of horse jumping, I’d say it’s a dance – a dance that started in European fox hunting traditions and eventually pirouetted its way into show jumping events and equestrian competitions. It’s a dance that puts horse and rider to the test, demanding agility, speed, coordination, and a whole lot of bravery.

Picking Your Four-Legged Dancer: Things to Ponder

You might be wondering if the breed of a horse is the end-all-be-all of their jumping potential. Not exactly! While breed matters, you’ve also got to factor in the horse’s age, training, health status, and yeah, even their personality. I’ve found that a young, sprightly horse, trained just right, often outdoes the rest. And let’s face it, we all love a confident, trainable, and daring horse, don’t we?

And hey, let’s not forget the gear. A saddle that’s all about balance and comfort, coupled with a bridle that’s built to last, can give your horse that extra spring in their step.

Related: The Best English Jumping Horse-Saddles

Meet the Crème de la Crème of Jumping Breeds

Thoroughbred: Fast and fiery, Thoroughbreds are the life of the jumping party. They’ve got strength, they’ve got a competitive streak a mile wide, and they’ve got energy that just won’t quit. Feed them right, and you’ve got yourself a jumping powerhouse.

Dutch Warmblood: Dutch Warmbloods are the Swiss Army Knives of the equestrian world, excelling at just about everything, jumping included. They’ve got power, agility, and an easy-going nature that’s just a joy to work with. Muscle health? Yeah, that’s a box you’ll want to check.

Hanoverian: Straight out of Germany, Hanoverians are the crowd favorites. Powerful jumps, smarts, and a willingness to pull their weight make them top contenders. A word to the wise, though – don’t skimp on coat care.

Irish Sport Horse: Take the power and athleticism of the Irish Draught Horse, mix in the speed and endurance of the Thoroughbred, and voila! You’ve got the Irish Sport Horse – brave, versatile, and born to jump. Just remember to keep tabs on their overall health and performance.

If you want to dive even further into the differences between each of the breeds I recommend The Horse Encyclopedia – it’s just an amazing resource, I love going back to it and flipping through the pages.

Related: The 10 Best Horse Breeds and Their Unique Features

The Art of Prepping Your Horse for the Big Jump

Training a horse for jumping? Been there, done that! I usually kick things off with obedience and flatwork exercises. Then, I ease them into small jumps and up the ante as we go.

Here’s a tip – don’t shy away from professional training and lessons. Trust me, they’re a lifesaver! And hey, don’t forget to hit the books. I’ve found nuggets of wisdom in “Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider” by Linda Allen and “The Complete Guide to Hunter Seat Training, Showing, and Judging: On the Flat and Over Fences” by Anna Jane White-Mullin. You can also get a load of useful stuff from instructional videos online.


Remember, folks, picking the right breed is just the start of a thrilling journey. With breeds like Thoroughbreds, Dutch Warmbloods, Hanoverians, and Irish Sport Horses, you’re in for a wild ride. But hey, don’t forget, the right training, care, and equipment can make or break your jumping dreams.

So, if you’ve got a well-bred horse and you’re armed with the right knowledge, the only way is up. Go ahead and jump – the sky’s your limit!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Emily Wilson</a>

Emily Wilson

I'm from the very heart of Kentucky, you know, the place folks think of when they talk about horse love. Had the luck of growing up smack dab in the middle of some of the most awesome horse spots you'd ever see. Can't imagine starting my day any other way than being in that homely barn, waist-deep in horse stuff. My routine? It's a bit of everything really - taking care of the horses, bonding with them, you name it.

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