Horse Jumping History

 

Horse Jumping History

Horse Jumping History, Strength, Agility and Courage.

 
Lusitano-Horse Jumping HistoryHorse Jumping History:   How Did the Jumping Competitions Start? People have used their horses to jump over streams and other obstacles in their way to wherever they are going forever.   It was just the natural way to cut the distance and arrival time to their destination.   Most of the fields were open land.   They were called common land and they were cultivated or used as pastures by the people who lived around them.   There were no fences or walls surrounding them.   So as long as you did not mess up someone’s wheat or barley plantation by walking through it on your horse, it was okay to cut cross country just to save the time it would take you to follow the long curve on the road or go around the hill.
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Lusitano-Horse Jumping HistoryAll this riding freedom ended in England between 1604 and 1914.   The Enclosure Acts was enforced all over the country.   It established property rights and surrounded the land plots with fences and stone walls. In fact between 1604 and 1914, more than twenty eight thousand square kilometers were fenced in Great Britain.   Being the fox hunt was one of the British royalty’s favorite pastimes, all the fences got in the way.   They started breeding horses that were capable of long, high jumps so the fun could continue.   It was in France where it actually started as a competitive sport.   They would ride across the country jumping fences and natural obstacles. Unfortunately it was not very popular.   The on-viewers could not run after the jumping horses to watch the competition so they did not know who won or lost.
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Lusitano-Horse Jumping HistoryIn 1869 the first “Lepping” competition was held in Dublin, Ireland.   England followed in 1907 with the first Jumping competition at Olympia.   The competition at Olympia was successful except at judgement rules.   Each judge gave or took away points according to his own criterion.   Some of them did it based on the rider and horses’ style.   Others gave or took away points based on the difficulty of the obstacle.   A consistent set of rules was finally established in Great Britain in 1925.   This served as guidelines similar to those used today.
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Lusitano-Horse Jumping HistoryAt that time European cavalry schools like the French school at Saumur, the Pinerolo and Tor-di-Quinto in Italy and the Spanish school in Viena used a deep seat saddle with long stirrups.   These saddles provide safety for the riders but interfered with the horse’s’ performance.   It was an Italian Captain, Federico Caprilli who designed the saddles used today.   These saddles have a more forward position.   This helps the horse when starting the jump and gives it momentum as he flies through the air.   The short stirrups do not interfere with the horse’s movements and allow the rider to stand on them.   This takes the weight off the horse’s back when it starts the jump.
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