Have You Heard About the Best Jumping Horse Breeds?

Do you love horses? Well, let us learn a thing or two about the best jumping horse breed. Horses are known for their bursting speed, but when showcasing their abilities, it all narrows down to the best horse breed for jumping.

Together with their riders, horses have been navigating natural obstacles for a very long time, first for transportation purposes and later, many centuries ago, for fun and conflict.

Horse jumping show

What are Jumping Horses?

What is the point of horse jumping? Well, the objective is to put both horse and the rider to the test by putting them through a complex set of obstacles, thereby challenging their accuracy and skill.

Jumping horses have solid muscles and legs that allow them to jump over obstacles quickly and precisely. Show jumping horses require the physical output to jump multiple obstacles without knocking them down.

Some of the best jumping horse breeds are; Holsteiner, Hanoverian, Arabian, Oldenburg, and Belgian Warmblood. These horses dominate jumping rings because they are fearless, athletic, and can quickly adapt to new environments.

Do Horses Like Jumping?

Do horses enjoy jumping, even though show-jumping has gained popularity? Or do they feel forced to?

Showjumping does not necessarily cause harm to the horses. Pushing an animal to compete regularly, isn’t given enough time to recover, or trains using heavy machinery and painkillers turns it cruel.

Some would have us believe that horses enjoy jumping. Once more, this is untrue. Because they must, horses can only jump obstacles at full gallop. One can also argue that horses are almost similar to dogs.

Horses possess long-term memories, so how you treat them impacts their ability to participate in jumping training and competitions. A good owner who treats their horse nicely will definitely love jumping.

Factors That Make a Good Jumping Horse

Horses trained for show jumping must be agile and courageous, able to adjust to new situations like horse shows and jump fences that may be unfamiliar and unsettling to look at. 

Jumpers must be agile to change their pace and stay off the rails swiftly. This calls for a horse that is light on its feet and particularly cautious about leaping cleanly, even when doing so from awkward distances or approaching intimidating-looking fences. Some of the factors to consider include:


At every level, a horse with a trainable mind and the proper attitude toward his work will make the rider’s life simpler and more joyful. Wild horses are naturally temperamental and very hard to work with; This should not discourage someone because they can slowly be tamed and form a relationship with the rider.


You probably understand the significance of achieving and maintaining fitness if you’ve ever returned to the gym after a long break or launched a new workout regimen as part of your New Year’s goal. 

The same idea appears to be valid for horses. Whether you return to training after giving them a break over the winter, after an injury layoff, or when introducing a young horse to a rider.

Unfortunately, many horse owners and trainers only care about training their horses to perform jumps that are special to their activity or working them over obstacles rather than ensuring their horses are ready for such activities.

Like any other athlete, horses require regular training and exercises to be in top form. Horses that lack sufficient cardiovascular fitness and strength are at greater risk of injury.


One of the most positive aspects of a horse is bravery, especially for a show jumping horse whose expectation is to conquer various obstacles during a jumping showcase. Every time they visit a show, jumpers view new courses. When it comes to jumping standards or gaps under the fences, you never know what to anticipate.

The purpose of such courses is to deceive the horse or startle them into halting. Successful jumpers must be proficient at adjusting to new scenarios and courageous when approaching jumps that are foreign to them.


The average racehorse speed is from 64 to 88 km/h (40 to 54.6 mph). It takes the strictly trained animals just under 20 seconds to get there. Believe it or not, a rider can make a horse go faster or slower to adjust to the jumping or racing course. 

All you need to do is lean forward for it to go quicker and backward for it to slow down. A horse on full gallop is more likely to jump over obstacles with ease and finesse.


Participating in activities that increase a horse’s heart rate and breathing builds endurance. Endurance is essential in jumping horses as they can put through long jumps with a rider on their backs.


Some of the best showjumpers in the world have poor conformation, and riders frequently overlook these flaws provided the horse is sound and motivated to perform. However, if the horse’s movement is affected by conformational defects, severe stress on specific body parts during athletic activities can result in lameness in the future. 

Structural differences may sometimes be to the advantage of the rider. Longer shoulder bones on a taller horse enable a horse to cover more ground with each stride. 

However, a shorter horse may move more quickly and agilely due to his reduced shoulder length.

Long Backs, Short Croup.

This conformation is prevalent in Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds; it contributes to the stress on the back by needing additional muscle activity to lift the front end while moving. 

Some athletes benefit from this conformation since it enables them to jump higher. Horses must have adequate strength, or this conformation may put them at risk of an injury.

Straight Hind Limb

Any breed of horse can have straight hind limbs; this puts them at risk for degenerative disorders or injury to their suspensory ligaments from frequent overloading. Horses with straight hind limbs are more susceptible to sustaining suspensory injuries.

The Types of Jumping Horses

To present competing show jumping horses and riders with various obstacles, show jumping courses include many jump types.

The fences, which are frequently colorful, work together to produce an entertaining spectacle that tests the abilities of both horse and rider and incorporates complex turns, fence combinations, and fences of varying degrees of difficulty.

There are a variety of jumping horses. Having said that, let’s jump right into it!

Anglo- Arabian

Anglo- Arabian is a crossbreed between a Thoroughbred stallion and an Arabian mare or vice versa. Due to the cross, the size and appearance are distinctive. The average height of Anglo-Arabs is 15.2 to 16.3 hands (157 to 170 centimeters).

The most popular colors are grey or brown. They have a long neck, strong withers, a muscular, compact physique, a deep chest, and sturdy bones. Anglo Arabian horses are about 1,000 pounds (453.5 kilograms) when adults.

They typically consume up to 24.25 pounds (11 kilograms) of grass, hay, vitamin, or mineral supplements per day and have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years.

The Anglo-Arab has been used militarily in the past. Are Arabians good jumpers? Well, they are known for being general riding or jumping horses. The breed excels at eventing because of its endurance, speed, and jumping skills.

The Arabian horse has a good jumping ability. These horses can lift their bodies around 4 feet (1.21 meters) off the ground. Of course, the horse’s gender, age, weight, height, and level of training and experience all play a role in this. 


Connemara is one of the many ponies that can jump. This breed is a native of west Ireland. The adults are typically between 12.2 and 14.2 hands (128 and 148 centimeters) tall, with a solid back, loins, and hindquarters. 

They also have deep and broad ribs, a riding-type well-laid-back shoulder, and a well-placed neck without an enormous crest, which gives them a decent length of stride. They usually weigh around 1,036 pounds to 1,433 pounds (470 kilograms to 650 kilograms) when they mature.

The Connemara Horse is clever. They have a pleasant disposition which is appropriate for adults and children, are resilient, and have good endurance. A Connemara horse is a good competitor jumper suitable for dressage and eventing.

Draft Crosses

There is a significant difference between Draft horses and Draft crosses. Sounds confusing, right? Draft horses are heavy workers. They did tasks such as plowing and other farm tedious work.

The large stature and incredibly muscular frame of draft horses make them easily identifiable. They typically have more upright shoulders, which results in more vertical movement and conformation that is ideally suited for pulling.

The height and weight of draft breeds typically range from 16 to 19 hands (64 to 76 inches; 163 to 193 centimeters). They weigh around 1,400 to 2,000 pounds (640 to 910 kilograms). A Draft cross usually comes from draft breed mares such as Percheron and Belgian bred with a light breed stud of a Quarter horse or Thoroughbred. 

Draft crosses will typically be larger depending on which features they keep from this cross-type. Over fences, they generally are highly athletic, but they may lack the endurance for long gallops.


A Hanoverian is a horse breed originating from Germany. Hanoverians are beautiful, muscular, and resilient. They have a strong back, a robust body, athletic agility, and strong limbs and are very receptive and trainable.

The most prevalent colors are grey, black, and chestnut. The average height of a Hanoverian horse is 15.3 to 17.1 hands (160 to 175 centimeters), and they weigh around 1,433 pounds (650 kilograms). Their excellent temperament and athleticism make suitable equestrian mounts for show jumping, dressage, and leisure riding.

Irish Sport Horse

The Irish Sport Horse, sometimes known as the Irish Hunter, is a warmblood sporting horse breed from Ireland mainly used for dressage, eventing, and show-jumping. It is primarily dark gray with a size range of 16 to 17 hands (152.4 to 172.7 centimeters) and weighs around 1,200 to 1,500 pounds (544 to 680 kilograms).

Irish Sport Horses were initially kept for agricultural uses, transportation, and hunting. They are more desirable for beginners as they are brave, steadfast, and sure-footed.

Irish sport horses are renowned for their athletic strength, speed, and adaptability. They also have extraordinarily strong hindquarters, contributing to their fantastic balance and jumping skills.


The Thoroughbred is well known for racing. The modern Thoroughbred was established in 17th- and 18th-century England by breeding domestic mares with imported Oriental stallions bearing Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman heritage.

Besides racing, Thoroughbreds are highly efficient in combined training, encompassing equestrian events where a single horse and rider compete against other competitors, showing jumping and dressage.

Thoroughbreds can be the best horse breed for dressage and jumping. The average Thoroughbred stands between 15 and 17 hands (157 to 173 centimeters) tall. They are primarily gray, dark gray, or brown.

Horse jumping over bar

The Best Show Jumping Horse Breeds

Show jumping requires horses with the physical output to be able to jump multiple obstacles without knocking any rails down. It is a sport of accuracy and speed. Horses in a “jump-off” need to be particularly agile in tight bends and be able to change pace to clear fences with the fewest errors.

Some of the best horses for jumping shows include:


Due to the substantial Thoroughbred ancestry in their pedigrees, they tend to be lighter Warmblood types, comparable to Thoroughbreds.

They generally have very nice and cooperative personalities and are daring, athletic, and accurate jumpers.


One of the oldest and most prevalent breeds of warm-blood competition horses is the Hanoverian. These horses can frequently compete in the Olympic level show jumping at higher levels. The price of these horses often reflects the fact that they are for sport.


Thoroughbreds have successfully gained a reputation as eager and athletic sports horses. These horses are naturally athletic and exceedingly willing. They frequently have broad, ground-covering strides that are conducive to jumping.

It makes sense that they contributed significantly to the creation of contemporary warm-blood breeds.

Top Cross Country Equine Breeds

It’s not simple to identify the optimum horse breeds for equestrian events, except if you know about the horse qualities you wish to emphasize when purchasing an eventer. In addition, the sport itself is a challenge for both the rider and the horse. 

This is because an eventing horse needs good trainability and riding ability in addition to power, agility, and discipline.

The list below shows the top horse breeds for riding through the sport, whether you’re searching for a beginner’s horse or an experienced eventer.

Anglo Arabian Breed

Thoroughbred and Arabian genes were combined to create the Anglo-Arabian breed. This breed’s horses have friendly dispositions that are frequently exuberant but not unmanageable. The Anglo-Arabian horses are lovely for eventing because they are enjoyable to be around and have a lot of stamina.

Regarding competitive athletics, this breed is like the Thoroughbred: very competitive, intellectual, and fast runner. Due to their warm and enjoyable personalities, these horses are also suitable for leisure riding.

Horses from the Anglo-Arabian region have a linear profile and elegant, delicate heads. They have a short back, pronounced withers, and a long, arched neck. This breed’s legs are potent, and their mane and tail are incredibly silky.

This is essential for competitive running. The only potential health risk for Anglo-Arabian horses is genetic illness inherited through breeding with Arabian horses. Health worries shouldn’t be a major worry if this breed is well-cared for.

Hanoverian Breed

Despite being developed for competitive riding, the Hanoverian Horse also makes a superb family riding horse because of its kind and calm disposition. Since the start of the competition, they have been the top option for international showjumping.

Irish Sport Breed

Because they descend from Irish Draughts and Thoroughbreds, Irish Sport Horses are bred explicitly for sport and often retain a significant amount of Thoroughbred genes up in their lineage.

They are suitable for demanding sports that require endurance and a long gallop stride since they are swift, agile, and have strong stamina. These horses are famous for eventing but are also adaptable and frequently quite successful in various jumping disciplines.


You may wonder why this name keeps popping up. Well, the answer is simple, Thoroughbreds are perfection regarding horses. They tend to possess larger lungs and hearts compared to other breeds.

This goes a long way in increasing stamina and endurance when needed for cross-country competitions.

It is not surprising to see them as a potential alternative in various jumping disciplines as they are also excellent jumpers. A diet consisting of hay, grass, vegetables, and fruits is necessary for Thoroughbreds. Additionally, they require all the vitamins and minerals needed to keep healthy.

Thoroughbreds often have a higher metabolism than other horse breeds. Therefore they need more food to stay at their desired weight. 

These horses are ideal for racing, but precisely because of this, they are susceptible to health problems. On race courses, they must constantly maintain a high level of performance, which can occasionally be life-threatening.

Hunter Jumping Horse Breeds

Hunter jumping! If you are not a fan of horses, you may not understand or know what it means. Well, prepare to be enlightened. Hunters: In this discipline, evaluation depends on horse and rider jump courses, precision, elegance, and beauty.

Jumpers wherein the horse and rider recall a jump-off course and a series of jumps. If the horse and rider complete the first round, they proceed to the jump-off.

Now that we know what hunter-jumping horses are, the next question you should ask yourself is what to look for in a hunter-jumping horse breed.

A good hunter’s first and most crucial requirement is proper jumps. The second is his gait, how the horse walks and gallops across the ground. The horse’s personality and mentality make up the third criterion. The most essential hunting trait is good form over fences.


Connemara is frequently crossed with large breeds like the Thoroughbred to increase size while keeping some of the Connemara’s attractive characteristics. They are famous for show jumping and dressage.

They are suitable for dressage because of their inherent jumping ability and rectangular form. They also thrive in many areas thanks to their exceptional athleticism and adaptability.

Dutch Warmblood

Dutch Warmbloods compete in the hunter/jumpers, dressage, and show jumping rings. They are a well-liked option for riders searching for a brilliant jumper because they have already demonstrated their prowess and natural manner over fences.

The World Breeding Federation has the Dutch Warmblood as its top breed for jumping. These horses have expensive price tags as a result.


They are reportedly exceptionally eager and athletic and have been selectively bred primarily for jumping and dressage competitions. Oldenburg horses, an extraordinarily athletic and agile breed, are specifically bred to produce top-tier jumping horses. 

The Oldenburg breed is a favorite in the show jumping scene because of its powerful legs, friendly temperament, brilliant colors, and superior intelligence.

Best Jumping Horse Breeds for Beginners

Draft Crosses

Because of their gentle disposition, Draft horses are excellent for beginners. They are effective weight bearers with rhythmic, moderate motions, making them more straightforward for new riders to train with. 

Despite their lack of athleticism, these horses are nevertheless adaptable and a wise investment for any riding school.

The largest horse in the world includes draft horses. Because of their enormous size and strength, these horses may be scary, especially for new riders. But fortunately, these horses are known to be gentle giants.

Quarter Horse

Are Quarter horses good jumpers?

The Quarter Horse is a natural athlete and a good jumper despite its small size and compact frame. Quarter Horses can endure the distance in a cross-country jumping competition thanks to their strong hindquarters, which can propel them over any obstacle. 

These horses are known to jump between 14 and 16 hands (1.4 and 1.6 meters) high. They are athletically built, strong, and have a laid-back temperament. Due to their consistent disposition, quarter horses frequently make excellent first horses.  

Its fluid movements make it an excellent choice for trail riding, field trials, and general pleasure riding. The Quarter horse is known for its success in sprint races and its skill with livestock.

Although they do not participate in endurance competitions, Quarter horses are considered relatively swift. This answers the question, “ can Quarter horses jump?”

In terms of horses, Quarter Horses are a gentle breed that is relatively simple to train. Thoroughbreds are renowned for possessing a rebellious attitude that can make them difficult to teach.

Around the age of 2 or 3, most Quarter horse owners, trainers, and riders feel more confident putting a horse under the saddle. Due to their tendency to mature more quickly than other breeds, quarter horses’ joints and bones “close” or cease developing earlier than other equines. Read our article and find out Quarter Horse vs. Thoroughbred – The Differences.

Friesian Horse

The Friesian breed is a nice horse for riders of all skill levels, which is an advantage. They are even appropriate for newbies because of their kind disposition and ability to be understanding of mistakes. 

They work well for many riders because of their numerous uses. Since they are so adaptable, Friesian horses can be used for a wide range of activities, including dressage, riding for leisure, competitions, and light farm work. 

Although some owners like jumping their horses, Friesians are not bred as jumpers, unlike other warmbloods.

Welsh Cob

Welsh Cob is one of the ponies that can jump.

It is possible to breed other breeds with Welsh Cobs successfully. Welsh pony is a cross between breeds such as Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Hackney lineages.  

Welsh cobs are said to be suitable for beginners. However, some of them are appropriate for new horse owners. The Welsh Mountain Pony is a well-liked option for little riding ponies since he is dependable and has a better disposition than the Shetland. They can endure extreme climate conditions.

FAQs on Jumping Equine Breeds

Are Arabians Good Jumpers?

The most adaptable breed currently in existence, Arabian horses can perform in all disciplines, including reining, saddle seats, endurance, and jumping. They are the oldest horse breed and have appeared in almost all show rings worldwide. They can make excellent jumpers because of their athleticism, stamina, and agility.

Jumping ability is a trait shared by Arabian horses of pure and mixed bloodlines. Since every horse differs significantly in terms of talents and other things, the height that these horses can jump depends on how they were grown and trained. It’s a widespread myth that Arabian horses can’t jump.

Can Mustang Horses Jump?

Many mustangs develop to become proficient jumpers, and when required, they can clear 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) high obstacles. However, they may jump much higher when their adrenaline levels are high. For instance, a threatened animal will scale 5 feet (1.5 meters) high barrier.

Are Some Horses Born to Jump?

Barring any physical impairments like lameness or blindness, all horses have the innate ability to jump. All horses are born with the natural capacity to jump, which was essential for survival before they were domesticated. 

For a horse escaping a predator, speed, agility, and the ability to clear an obstacle might be the difference between life and death. All horses can learn to leap, barring impairment or injury, although not all horses enjoy it.

Most riders start jumping horses while still young. Careful breeding has led to the emergence of unique show-jumping horses. T. Schooling young horses over beginner fences are acceptable if done with good judgment, fitness, and horsemanship.

What is the Difference Between Hunter and Jumper Horses?

Jumpers: Since no subjective scoring is involved, show jumping is a little simpler to comprehend. The numbers are everything in show jumping. The winning horse and rider team has the quickest time and minor errors.

Hunters: In this discipline, the horse and rider jump a course. Scoring points depend on a rider’s accuracy, grace, and elegance.

Types of Horse Competitions

One of the many types of competition is show jumping. It is the competitive riding of horses over a specified course in which the winner gets points for his skill and speed. 

Dressage is about accuracy and harmony, and horses must have advanced training abilities to perform a stunning test. Cross country is assessed using time and includes substantial obstacles and lengthy sections where the horse gallops.

Dressage horse and rider

That’s All, Folks

Well, I am afraid this is the final jump!

Many breeds that are excellent for jumping disciplines may not be in this article, and crosses of the breeds, as mentioned above, are also ideal candidates for the sport. Due to various emerging crosses, there are many more ponies that can jump.

To prevent any potential strength and durability issues, it is crucial to consider the horse’s willingness and ability, conformation, and suitability for jumping.

Although conformation is a factor in a horse’s athletic accomplishments, it is not the main factor. Various elements influence a horse’s performance, including skill, willpower, and training.

A horse’s best quality is bravery, especially if it’s a show jumping horse with expectations of overcoming many difficulties during a jumping demonstration.

It is also to note a few essential details such as:

  • The hand is a unit of measurement of length. Currently, only the height of horses is measured using it in some English-speaking nations. An athletic horse called a warmblood is produced by breeding cold, huge Draft breeds with smaller ones. Because of their athletic ancestors’ hot-blooded relatives’ cold-blooded breeds, they often have a calm temperament. 
  • Examples of warmblood horses include Dutch Warmblood, Belgian Warmblood, Oldenburger, Danish Warmblood, and Hanoverian Horse.
  • What is a cold blood horse? Due to their size and friendly personalities, cold blood horses, which are heavier, are frequently referred to as “gentle giants.” 
  • They typically have calm, friendly dispositions and accommodating personalities, making them excellent for riders of all skill levels.
  • Examples of cold blood horses include Shire, Dutch Draft, Percheron, and Belgian horses.

Warmbloods are ideal for show jumping, but many riders simply cannot afford them. Breeds like the Thoroughbred, which don’t receive as much attention in competition but are just as skilled, exist.

Happy jumping!