I’ve said it before, but it’s true so I’ll say it again; equestrians love our Clearspan Hercules Truss Arch Buildings! Equine indoor riding arenas are one of the most popular applications for our buildings. Although it may be easy to see their obvious appeal to this industry, it may not be as easy to see how they benefit each individual style of riding. Saddle up everyone and get ready for this multi-stop trail ride where I’ll discuss the advantages of our fabric structures for each riding style; the first stop – hunter/jumpers.
Hunter/jumper is a very popular style of English riding, especially in North America. It originates from fox hunting. Hunters would ride on horses chasing foxes through the woods and over stone walls until they or their dogs caught up with the creatures. This activity translated into showing both the riders’ and horses’ skills on the flat and jumping over fences.
The better the rider and horse worked together and the smoother they hurdled obstacles, the more likely the hunter was to catch the game. Today, hunter competitors are judged on the fluidity of the horse’s movements and form. The competitor is also judged in equitation, which is the rider’s ability and form on the flat and over fences. In the horse show circuit these categories include hunters, equitation and jumpers. Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds are both common horse breeds used for this style of riding.
How do our fabric structures fit in?
Hunters need large courses of jumps to showcase the movement of the horses. There are usually five or six strides between jumps which require an arena with long sides and deep corners. Usually there are also fences on the diagonal. High clearances are important as these fences can sometimes be more than 3′ high in more advanced levels of competition.
Equitation classes on the flat often have moves such as lead changes or counter canter which take up more space. Riders encourage horses to use the corners to make them feel more comfortable on a lead that is unnatural to them. Flat classes at horse shows are often very crowded, too.
ClearSpan Fabric Structures solve this crowding issue by offering the space needed to prevent accidents and allowing riders and horses to complete their movements with ease. Although our buildings come in any length and up to 300′ wide, a common hunter/jumper fabric arena is usually 83′ wide x 120′ long. This size building provides the proper height and side clearance this style of riding requires. Sometimes our customers will decide to go a little bigger to accommodate bleachers or a viewing area. We can customize seating so viewers and judges are comfortable at horseshows that occur during inclement or cold weather.
The abundant natural light our facilities provide allow riders to see where others are going. This is important in schooling rings as well where multiple people are jumping and may forget to call where they are going. Plus you’ll save a ton on daytime artificial lighting!
Do you show on the hunter/jumper circuit? What do you feel is the most important feature in a riding space?