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Types of Cross Country Jumps


Cross Country riding, usually reserved for the most fearless of horses and riders, due to the bold nature, needed to gallop and the solid and scary jumps, that not only include jumping efforts but water complexes, hills, ditches, banks and other usual terrain within increased the difficulty of the jumping efforts.

Cross County riding can include a course as part of an Eventing competition, hunter trails as well as a requirement as part of drag hunting.

Here we look at some of the different types of cross country fences.

Hanging log, this is a log, that isn't touching the ground, and is there for 'hanging' in the air

This Type of log fence is probably one of the easiest you will find on a cross country course.


This fence isn't very wide and the v shape guided the horse towards the skinnier edge, encouraging a run out. The horse and rider need to be very accurate to jump this fence successfully.

Brush fence

A brush fence has a 'brush' at the top, the brush is soft and allows the horse to go through the brush rather than needing to jump clean over it.

Steps complex

This steps complex shows and example of up and down steps, horses have to be brave to jump down the step and bold to jump out, a rider had to be very balanced to avoid getting thrown over the horses head as he jumps down and avoid getting left behind as the horse jumps up the step.

Skinny with a brush top

A skinny fence requires a lot of accuracy from both horse and rider, the rider has to make sure the horse is listening and paying attention in order to avoid a run out on either side, something easily done with such a narrow fence.

Arrow head Palisade to step up to another arrowhead

This is an example of a combination where there are 3 elements to jump in succession, the first is a arrow head, where you can choose to jump over the extended arrow or between the arrows for the more upright rail. The rider would then need to quickly set the horse up again to jump up the step, a nice jump is needed up the step to make sure the horse is balanced and ready to jump for final arrow head out of the combination.

Box fence

A relatively easy fence on a cross country course, they can be quite wide, allowing for some creative decorating on top of the fence, in this case some flowers.

A cleverly designed log fence

This log has been cleverly calved to resemble an otter, although it looks very cool it should cause no difficulties for horses and riders trying to jump it.

Barrel fence

This barrel has been encased by a small wooden fence, this is for 2 reasons, the first is to provide a correct ground line, as the round shape of the barrel provides a false ground line behind the point in which the front of the barrel actual starts. The second is to stop the barrel moving, it would be very dangerous if the barrel were to roll away whilst a horse was jumping it.

Tire fence, Palisade fence and Cart

Course designers can use objects such as tires to build a fence or design fences based on everyday objects such as this miniature cart.

Spider fence

This cleverly designed fence resembles a spider, although it might look quite scary for horse and rider the part they have to jump is actually quite straight forward.

Lego Fence

Here we have a slightly brighter cross country fence, that could be quite surprising to a horse in among all the other natural coloured fences, but a brave and bold cross country horse shouldn't be fazed and should jump it with ease.

Boat fence

Another brightly coloured fence, built to resemble a boat.

Water complex

Perhaps the most exciting jump on a cross country course, because if it goes wrong the rider can end up getting very wet! There are endless ways to enter a water complex from walking down a gentle slope to jumping down a step or even over a jump into the water, course designers can even add a jump in the water itself to increase the level of difficulty. Horses need to be brave and trust their rider in order to canter or jump confidently into a big pond of water when they often cant see how deep it is.


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