Top Horse Breeds for Jumping

Last Updated on June 18, 2020 by Allison Price

All horses can jump. They are capable of jumping in some capacity, as long as they are well trained and have a good attitude. But when you are competing, you obviously want the best one. Looking for an enthusiastic equine partner in the jumping competition arena? There are several breeds best suited for the sport.

Top Five Breeds for Jumping

The following are the top horse breeds for jumping:


They are known primarily for being racehorses. But they also make excellent jumpers. Their body build gives them great height and needed speed while leaving them agile. They are also bred for show jumping, dressage, polo, and fox hunting even though their main use is for racing. They stand between 15 and 17 hands. Most of the time, you can see them in bay, brown, chestnut, black, and grey. But they can also be seen in roan and palomino.

Quarter Horse

If you are new to this jumping, the Quarter Horse is perfect for you. They have a solid build and are generally sturdy. These horses love to get out and do their best. They are used for trail riding. With a population of about 3 million, this breed is popular. The American Quarter Horse stands between 14 and 16 hands.


They are smaller and thinner yet more agile than both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred. The Arabian has plenty of energy to get it over a jump. For beginners, they are a bit difficult. They are the best-known breed of horse. They existed as far back as 5000 years ago and have been bred throughout its history. Arabian horses have a lean body that stands between 14 and 15 hands. They perform in variety shows. Shows like hunting, jumping, racing, dressage, trail riding, and various working roles.


This is a less popular desert breed. But they have an incredible heat tolerance and notable endurance level. They have a similar appearance to Thoroughbred. Horses with this breed are docile and sweet in nature, as well as amazing jumpers. They make good companions. Trakehners stand between 15 and 17 hands. They can be bay, chestnut, and black in color.


They are strong and determined and won’t balk at a jump that another horse may find scary. Excellent for younger learners. Because they are a versatile breed with great endurance and excellent disposition. Though they can be stubborn at times, they are also extremely intelligent. This is a light breed used in a variety of contexts including showing and riding. They stand at 14.2 hands.

Qualities of A Show Jumping Horse

If you are planning to take show jumping, you may wonder if your horse possesses the right qualities. If you are looking for a horse for show jumping, you may wonder what qualities you should look for. We will discuss the most important qualities of show jumpers.

You should take your own height into account when choosing the height of your horse. A taller rider basically needs a taller horse. Also, a horse’s conformation greatly influences his abilities. When it comes to show jumping, taller horses may have more natural abilities. A good jumping horse should have a long, upright shoulders to give good form when jumping. The shape and length of horse’s legs also plays a great part in his jumping ability. They should have long, straight, sturdy legs. Check for signs of past injuries. Be sure to have a veterinarian check the horse before buying.

How the horse looks when jumping is equally important as how he actually performs. Look for a horse that displays good form and appearance. But don’t go on looks alone. When shopping for a jumping horse, it’s better that you take a test ride. Watch also the horse ridden by another rider.

A horse who has show jumping experience will provide you with a sure investment. When looking for a horse who has competed in the past, be sure to check his record and test his performance.

The Best Horse Breeds for Show Jumping

The training you give is an important aspect of the performance your horse can deliver. But no matter how good your training is, a horse not suited in jumping competitions will not perform well. For this reason, there are breeds that are preferred for show jumping.

Warmbloods of different types are well-suited to show jumping and many equestrian events. They are intelligent, athletic, muscular and strong. These qualities make them versatile and popular.

Belgian Warmblood

It is a recent breed. This type of horse is athletic, muscular and intelligent. They make an excellent showjumper. They have an interesting and agreeable personality.

Dutch Warmbloods

They are bred for competition. They are tall, muscular and athletic. These strong horses present an excellent appearance. Dutch Warmbloods are ideal for show jumping performance. They are typically about 16HH.


They are strong, athletic, courageous and versatile. They have a good reputation for show jumping. These horses usually run 15 to 16HH.


These are horses with a great deal of stamina. They are excellent in long-distance competitions. But they also have the versatility for a wide variety of other events. They’re quite tall at 16 to 17HH.


Originally, they were bred as workhorses. But their breeding became more refined as time passed. They soon became well known as good competition horses. Oldenburg horses are tall and powerful. They display good action that is often described as elastic and rhythmic. They run about 16.2 to 17.2HH.

Types of Horse Jumps

Whether you are curious or interested in learning to jump, this guide is a good place to start.


These consist of poles or planks placed above another. There is no width to this type of jump. Planks make a fence appear more solid for your horse. So, they may tend to back off slightly. There is no ground line with vertical fences. Your horse will be drawn closer to them, necessitating extra power to clear the obstacles.


These fences feature two verticals close together. This is to make the jump wider.

Triple Bars

These are spread fences having three elements of graduating heights. Triple bars are inviting but are wider than oxers in height. They must be tackled at pace but it is important to take off close to the fence. Otherwise, your horse may not be able to traverse the extra width.

Cross Rails

They are rarely used in competitive events. They feature two poles crossed with one end of each pole. The center of the fence is lower than the sides. Cross rails are useful for schooling because they help horses to jump in the center of the fence.


These fences are constructed to look like brick walls. But they are made of lightweight materials so the bricks fall easily when knocked by your horse.

Water Jumps

Water jumps tend to be low but wide. They include a tray of water which must be cleared by your horse.


These are tricky fences made up of rustic or unpainted poles or rails. How they look makes it hard for your horse to judge the height and distance. They are not allowed in some competitions; they can be found at a higher level of sports.


Over the years, many different sports with horses have been developed. Show jumping is one of those equestrian sports. Participants jump over fences without knocking down the obstacles. We have compiled top horse breed for jumping. Also, we added a suggestion on the qualities to look for an excellent jumping horse.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!