Horses are biologically built to run, rear, and even clear tall obstacles while jumping. In fact, many breeds can turn a hoof to jumping if trained properly. A horse needs strength, skill, and speed to jump at competitive levels.
There are three types of horse jumping:
No matter what kind of jumping competition you compete in, you want to ensure that you’re astride a good mount. Here are the top 11 horse breeds for jumping.
The 11 Best Horse Breeds for Jumping
A remarkably agile and athletic breed, the Oldenburg is selectively bred to create top-level jumping equines. The strong legs, willing personality, flashy colors, and superior intelligence of the Oldenburg breed make them a favorite in the show-jumping circuit.
2. Dutch Warmblood
Also known as the KWPN, the Dutch Warmblood is a talented breed that excels at jumping. This is in part due to their honest personality, uphill build, and comfortable gaits. Standing between 15.2 and 17.2 hands, the Dutch Warmblood is currently ranked the number-one breed for jumping by the World Breeding Federation of Sports Horses. Due to this, these horses come with hefty price tags.
3. Quarter Horse
Despite being small and compact, the Quarter Horse is actually an excellent jumper and a natural athlete. With powerful hindquarters that can propel them over anything, Quarter Horses have the strength and stamina to go the distance during a cross-country jumping competition. They’re the most popular horse breed in the United States and for good reason.
An elongated and elegant equine, the Trakehner is one of the best jumping breeds in the world. Due to their incredible stamina and pace, as well as their light weight, the Trakehner can effortlessly clear a variety of different jumps. This breed has competed in elite jumping competitions, including the Olympics and Burghley Horse Trials.
Despite their reputation for being “hot” under the saddle, the Thoroughbred is known for their speed, agility, and athleticism. With long legs and light bones, this breed is perfect for experienced riders who want to compete at national levels.
Hailing from Germany, the Holsteiner is one of the oldest warmblood horse breeds. Due to their high-set necks and muscular legs, the Holsteiner can jump higher than most breeds, making them a popular choice for show-jumping competitions.
7. Irish Sport Horse
The Irish Sport Horse is a popular breed for jumping, especially in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Praised for their versatility and strength, the Irish Sport Horse was developed by crossing an Irish Thoroughbred and a traditional Irish Draft. Originally intended to be a fox-hunting breed, Irish Sport Horses can also dominate the show-jumping arena.
With their concave face, high tail carriage, and delicate features, the Arabian is an iconic horse breed. Evidence suggests that the breed is over 4,500 years old. Today, the Arabian is used in several different disciplines, including show jumping. With lean muscles and long legs, this horse can jump almost anything and looks great while doing it.
Standing between 15.2 and 17.3 hands high at the shoulder, the Hanoverian horse breed is one of the top-ranking jumpers in the world. Powerful, willing, and elegant, this breed masterfully conquers both show- and hunter-jumping competitions.
10. Selle Francais
Graceful and good tempered, the Selle Francais was a top pick for the French Olympic jumping teams. Standing 16 to 17 hands high, this breed is great for riders of all experience levels. Patient and a natural people pleaser, the Selle Francais will gladly jump into anything that you ask them to.
While it may seem ridiculous, Mules are actually natural jumpers. A crossbreed of a male donkey and a female horse, the Mule is smart, savvy, and strong.
What Makes a Good Jumping Horse?
These 11 horse breeds have two things in common: They all have the power to propel their bodies over obstacles and the passion to continually do so. Great jumping horses are strong and smart and have excellent stamina. They are also quick and willing learners and strive to please their riders.
If you are searching for a great jumping horse breed, look no further than these 11 terrific breeds!
Featured Image Credit: FXQuadro, Shutterstock