14 Best Show Jumping Horse Breeds

Best Show Jumping Horse Breeds
Photo by Christine Benton

The Best show jumping horse breeds have biological builds that allow them to jump over barriers quickly and with a clean finish to the jump, giving them an advantage over other animals.

If trainers teach them properly, Their strong, powerful legs have the potential to allow them to leap an incredible distance.

Although all horses have some degree of jumping ability, there are certain types of jumping horses that are the Best show jumping horse breeds specifically bred to compete in horse jumping events.

Breeds of horses used for jumping have always been fascinating to humans. In this piece, we will discuss the best show jumping horse breeds.

Here is an article that we have written on the subject if you are interested in knowing more about the breeds of horses considered to be the Best show jumping horse breeds.

Types of Horse Jumping

It is easier to select the right horse if you are familiar with the different types of jumping.

The following is a list of the three most common types of horse jumping:

1. Hunter Jumping

There are a variety of Hunter Jumping tournaments that take place all around the world on an annual basis.

The judges of the hunter and jumping classes will evaluate the horse, while the judges of the equitation class will evaluate the rider.

An excellent way to think of the hunter competition is as fox-hunting combined with the challenge of maneuvering around natural obstacles in the countryside while playing the game.

The horses are evaluated based on how well they can jump over various obstacles.

The key to victory in this tournament is maintaining a consistent tempo when jumping and having a good style.

The jumps in hunting competitions are often shorter and less challenging than in jumping competitions.

A separate group of judges, who are not responsible for rating the horse’s performance, evaluates the rider based on how well they can get the horse to clear the obstacles.

To coax the most satisfactory performance out of the horse, the rider needs to have a high level of expertise.

2. Show Jumping

In jumping competitions, The Judges scrutinize the horse’s ability to jump to make a scoring decision.

The winner of the race is the horse that can finish the course in the least amount of time and with the fewest number of faults.

The jumper must clear all obstacles in the most efficient and timely manner possible without making contact with any of them.

The points earned depend on the number of barriers you touch and the amount of time it takes you to accomplish the objective.

The rider loses 4 points whenever their horse destroys an obstacle during the race.

When a horse refuses to jump over an obstacle, the rider loses 4 points, and they lose an additional point for every second that takes longer than the allotted amount of time to complete the assignment.

This class features jumps that are slightly higher than the hunting obstacles and maintaining a consistent pace when jumping is essential for a horse.

The rider’s position, precision, style, and proficiency, as well as their overall impression, are taken into consideration during the judging process.

3. Cross-Country Jumping

The competition known as cross-country running takes hold at a lesser level and is also a regional event.

It is a competition testing one’s stamina and endurance in the open fields and woods.

The horse and the rider must manage their way past the natural obstacles, including logs, banks, slopes, ditches, or fences.

The competition known as cross-country often takes place for three days and may also involve dressage and stadium jumping.

There are no consequences for any disobedience displayed by the animal. This helps to maintain the competition’s authenticity and makes it more approachable to viewers.

Despite this, the contestants must finish the task within the allotted time. While some athletes compete in cross-country races in the hopes of winning medals, others do so simply for the excitement of the experience.

Qualities of a Jumping Horse

The athleticism and dexterity of both horse and rider are displayed during jumping competitions.

The world of competition is especially welcome to the horse breeds that appear to have a natural capacity to acquire air since it offers events suitable for varying levels of difficulty and expertise.

Even though smaller horses have the potential to be excellent jumpers, most riders look for the Best show-jumping horse breeds that are at least 16 hands tall before considering them for the position.

A horse that jumps needs to be tall, but they also need to be quick, agile, and courageous, in addition to meeting certain conformation standards.

When they step into the competitive arena, even the best jumpers go through a new set of challenges and expectations.

In addition to being in a foreign environment full of new sounds, colors, and other distractions, the horse must accept its challenge despite the weird and possibly trembling atmosphere.

Because of this, a good jumping horse needs to have the ability to adjust. It should not be easily frightened or inadequate at handling difficult conditions.

In addition to versatility, a horse that jumps needs to be swift on its feet, make intelligent judgments, and have superb form.

Let’s dive into the 14 Best show jumping horse breeds without further ado.

Best Show Jumping Horse Breeds

1. Quarter Horse

These horses are more prevalent in western disciplines; nonetheless, you should not immediately discount their potential for jumping because of this fact.

People around the United States love the wonderful temperaments of the Quarter Horse breed, which is why the breed is so widespread.

This breed is extremely receptive to its human companions and quickly picks up new skills.

If you are interested in a powerful breed that can respond appropriately in various circumstances, you should not neglect this breed.

It’s possible that the main qualities of bravery, willpower, and strength that the Quarter Horse breeds, together with its desire to be trained, may help this underdog make it to the big screens for riding.

2. Morgans

Another Best show jumping horse breed that may not be seen in the jumping arena very frequently is the Morgan.

However, HorseRookie is pleased to announce that the breed’s abilities are “sufficient to continue going up the levels of jumping and a suitable choice for beginner riders due to their trainability and positive disposition.”

The superb conformation of this breed makes it a healthy potential across the equestrian sporting landscape, although jumping horses of this kind tend to be on the smaller side in terms of size.

3. Trakehner

Because it satisfies the height and weight requirements customarily chosen by riders who compete in jumping competitions, the Trakehner has already achieved widespread recognition on a global scale and ranks high among the Best show jumping horse breeds.

According to the information provided by HorseFactBook, the Trakehner breed is “often claimed to be Germany’s most graceful and handsome warmblood. Riders love for its style as well as its jumping abilities.”

4. Westphalian

The Westphalian breed is a mix between a draft horse and an athletic horse, with some Thoroughbred blood thrown in for good measure. one can trace its lineage back to the First King of Prussia.

The Westphalian horse breed has a personality described as”Courageous and spirited, exceedingly willing and docile.”

These horses are generally sound in terms of their health, have a high degree of trainability, and make excellent riding companions for riders of all skill levels.

5. Oldenburg

Oldenburg horses have a pleasant disposition and are not too difficult to teach, despite their reputation for being the “biggest and heaviest of all warmblood breeds.

As a result of its adaptability to players of varying levels of experience, the species is no longer considered an underdog in the sporting arena and is one of the Best show jumping horse breeds.

The Oldenburg horse breed today has the same benefit as other well-known breeds of horses that exude competitive strength due to selective breeding with lighter and faster breeds.

6. Arabians

If we did not include Arabian horses on this list, We would be committing a grave offense against horseback riding.

This fiery breed is well-known for its exceptional athleticism and prowess, making it a popular choice for competitive sports.

These magnificent creatures are exceptionally intelligent, and riders frequently pair up with specimens of this species to compete in some of the world’s most significant and challenging endurance competitions.

In addition to having a long and illustrious history, dogs of this breed are exquisite, highly spirited, active, and ready to take on any challenge thrown in their path.

7. Holsteiner

Although it is arguably the breed on this list with the least amount of popularity, the fact that it continues to place in a variety of jumping contests is drawing the attention of viewers worldwide.

The average life expectancy of a Holsteiner is between 35 and 40 years, which is significantly higher than that of other breeds.

Breeders are always looking for ways to improve the Holsteiner horse by making it lighter, faster, and more adaptable to various riding styles and terrains.

8. Thoroughbreds

It is only fitting that thoroughbreds take their rightful position in the competitive arena across the spectrum of equestrian sports played across the world.

These amazing animals are capable of a wide variety of feats, including racing and jumping.

Thoroughbreds are capable of picking up new skills quickly and are an excellent choice for riders of all skill levels.

The fact that these horses are extremely devoted to their riders and attentive to their requirements makes them ideal partners inside and outside the ring.

These horses have a naturally fit composure that supports their demand for speed and agility, and they have the great endurance and staying power that comes along with it, so they are ready for the long run.

However, PracticalHorseman says thoroughbreds “leap a bit more flat and quickly, which may cause them to be a little less careful.”

However, there is no need to be overly concerned about this because this horse breed is adaptable and can pick up new skills relatively rapidly.

9. Hanoverians

These days, People breed Hanoverian horses for the sole purpose of competing in equestrian sports.

Purchasing one of these horses requires a large financial commitment; however, you get what you pay for in terms of quality.

These horses, bred in Germany, “have always counted among the most successful horse breeds worldwide in the Olympic disciplines of dressage, showjumping, and eventing,” as stated by the Hannoveraner Verband.

To maintain the breed’s highest quality standards, the Hanoverian horse should undergo a frequent stringent inspections.

Compared to the Thoroughbred, the Hanoverian horse has a much stockier physique.

10. Irish Hunter

If you reside in the United States, you will normally need to make transportation arrangements from Ireland or other regions of Europe to acquire one.

On the other hand, if you are willing to put in the effort required, you can rest assured that you will soon be in possession of a highly successful jumping breed.

The temperament of this horse is similar to that of the Thoroughbred in that it is quiet and responsive.

In addition to having a robust physique, this breed is well-known in the world of equestrian competition for its capacity for endurance and perseverance.

11. Dutch Warmblood

EquusMagazine describes the Dutch Warmblood as “a very versatile horse,” and this trait has contributed to the breed’s continued growth in popularity. The Dutch Warmblood is still in the process of developing as a breed.

Many people praise the warm-blooded horse for being easy to deal with, which contributes to the fact that it shows tremendous promise in a variety of equestrian disciplines.

This breed is beginning to make a name for itself in the world of competitive sports, particularly jumping and dressage.

12. Connemara

This huge pony breed does not meet most riders’ requirements for a professional jumping horse since it is too small.

Having said that, it is an excellent alternative breed for smaller adults and younger riders. People sometimes mix them with a breed that is somewhat larger to get the desirable features of the Connemara.

The Irish-born pony is famous for its outstanding mildness, which makes them a good choice for young riders seeking the Best show jumping horse breeds.

Their physique is a “compact, well-balanced riding type with good depth and substance and good heart room, standing on short legs, covering a lot of territories.” Their build has “good depth and substance and good heart room.”

13. Irish Sport Horse

People bred the Irish sport horse for The sport of fox-hunting. Breeders began mixing their sturdy Irish draught horses with thoroughbreds, creating a light horse that they could use in various riding disciplines.

Show jumping is one of the many disciplines the Irish Sport Horse excels in worldwide. In 1923, Irish people produced this horse by crossing an Irish Draught with a Thoroughbred.

This resulted in the horse having characteristics of both breeds. The resulting breed of horse was renowned for its prowess at fox-hunting.

However, in the late 1990s, a small amount of Hanoverian, Selle Francais, and Trakehner blood was introduced.

The Irish Sport Horse eventually developed into a lightweight and adaptable riding horse in this fashion.

After jumping competitions became more popular, the Irish Sport Horse immediately rose to the top of the sport’s hierarchy.

There are a lot of Irish Sport Horses, and a lot of them compete at the highest levels of competition, and a lot of them have brought home Olympic medals in both jumping and eventing.

14. Mules

The combination of a female horse and a male donkey results in the offspring known as a mule. The average weight of a mule is somewhere between a lightweight and a somewhat heavyweight.

The Mule receives its surefootedness, endurance, and many other beneficial characteristics from its parents. It inherits its quickness and dexterity from its mother.

Even though they have a slower top speed, mules are taller than donkeys and can last longer than most horses.

Although it is difficult to digest, mule deer can also be excellent jumpers. They participate in jumping competitions to display their abilities to the public.

If they develop a passion for jumping, mules have the potential to become world-class jumpers since they are smarter and more powerful than donkeys.


Now you know everything there is to know about the Best show jumping horse breeds.

Still, you need to be aware that for a horse to participate in such a difficult competition requires proper training and preparation for the physical stress its body will endure.

In the world of athletics, injuries are sometimes unavoidable; unfortunately, they typically occur at unexpected moments and at the most inopportune point in their career.

The same applies to the realm of equestrian competitions and sports.

Several diseases and conditions can affect horses; some of these conditions are specific to some breeds, some are due to negligence, and others are the direct result of the pressure and stress inflicted upon their body.

Jumpers and riders both face increased danger when they need to compete against a predetermined time limit.

When going faster, a horse’s level of agility improves in a manner proportional to the rise in speed.

As we’ve already pointed out, all it takes is one careless stride forward or backward for someone to sustain an injury.

Jumpers have a significant amount of concern about the impact of the landing.

Each landing places more stress on the structural components of the horse’s anatomy, and the stakes get higher as the height of the leap increases.

Horses’ ligaments and tendons are particularly vulnerable to strain when used in jumping events.

And to make matters even worse, a horse’s injury could result in fractures or breaks, all of which are quite debilitating for the animal.

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