Buying Jumps VS Building Jumps

Lets talk a little about building vs buying jumps and standards. We all know you get what you pay for. So if you know someone who does an amazing job like I happen to its easy to see their work and wonder why you can’t do the same thing. Normally I would say you can do anything you put your mind to but this isn’t the case. Someone who works at their trade doing labor intensive activities and painting has to have a skill. Am I saying go out and buy all your jumps? No. I’m saying like anything thing else way the pros and cons and what will work best for your situation.


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Mandy’s Custom Jumps & Repair photo.

Pro here are easy you don’t have to do any work or order supplies. Times is your big pro on this one!

Con is you are going to have to pay and buying a course of fences isn’t cheap and you also have to think about where the jumps are made and how they will be delivered.

Mandy’s Custom Jumps & Repair is a beyond great place to buy!


Pro is you will save a little money if done correctly and looking for great deals on your items. You will also have complete control over what you have as far as fences.

Con is you will be investing a lot of time and labor hours into this project.

Lets Say You Want To Build:

Remember to consider safety when jump building.  For example, watch out for materials that could make sharp edges if your friend’s horse crash-lands in the middle.  Avoid gaps just the right width to get a hoof stuck.  Prefer using screws to nails and check over jumps for wear from time to time.



Landscape Timbers

Usually 8′ long and oval shaped rather than round.  That makes them awesome “flower boxes” because they don’t roll.  Just drill holes all the way through the flat side, every 6 inches, and stick in some plastic flowers or plants.

Cheap!  Less than $4 each at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

They come treated so withstand weather and lying on the ground, and the cherry-stained ones look just fine without paint.  Of course you can also paint them too.  They make outstanding ground lines because they fit inside the ends of X-rails, or between the feet of standards.

The 8′ length makes a great “skinny” jump to develop straightness and accuracy.  And they take up less room in a small arena.


PVC Poles

They come in 10′ lengths, 2″ or 3″ wide ($7 and $16).  They are light so very easy to move.

I have heard about breaking, but we have never had problems with the big ones.  I also store them inside to save them from the UV.

The stripes are fun colored Duct tape wrapped around.  (There are SO MANY colors of Duct Tape these days!  Maybe easier than painting wood poles….)


Wood Poles

If you are lucky and have access to a saw mill that carries peeled poles (United Wood Products).  They have all kinds of fun lumber, including treated and untreated 8′, 10′, 12′ and longer poles in sizes from 2″ diameter on up.  I think a 3″ 10′ or 12′ treated poles is ideal (around $10).



Get a 10 or 12′ board.  Make sure it’s not warped.

Cut out a rectangle more than half the width (so it will hang and not twist).


These are old fence boards.  We pulled out the nails.  Made a “plank holder” out of scraps.  The planks just slide in to the desired height (this is about 2’3″).  The “wings” are brush boxes turned on their sides.


End view of “plank holder”.  Just a 2′ 2×6 for the base and 2 leftover 2′ 2x3s screwed on with a gap between for the planks.




Use to prop up pole ends as “standards”, or lined up as a “rolltop”.

Put a landscape timber ground line or pole on each side to prevent rolling.

Cut one in half to make an instant roll-top.  Cover with green astro turf and it’s just like a “real” roll-top but so much lighter!

Got poly (plastic) barrels cut in half lengthwise.



Add feet to make brush boxes.

These are branches from an artificial Christmas tree.


These are real branches from trimming the junipers.


Lean halves together in an “A-frame” to make a Coop jump


Single large pallet with 2×4 legs attached with bolts so they can swing in/out and adjust the height/lean.


TOOLS: Saw or chainsaw and circular saw, drill with ¼-inch bit, ½-inch spade bit and Phillips head screwdriver

MATERIALS: One 8-foot length of treated 4”x4” wood, two 8-foot lengths of treated 1”x4” wood, box of 1 1/2-inch wood screws and pair of jump cups

Step 1: Prop the 4”x4” beam up off the ground; sawhorses or bags of shavings/hay bales work equally well. Measure and saw into two four-foot halves. Step 2: Measure 18” away from the ground end on each of the four-foot pieces just cut. Start marking for jump cup holes in the center of the beam every three inches until you get to the top.
Step 3: Using the ¼-inch drill bit, make a hole at each mark, all the way through the beam. Switch to the ½-inch spade bit and widen each existing hole. Step 4: Prop a 1”x4” plank off the ground, measuring and marking every 20”. Using the saw or circular saw, cut the board into four “jump feet.” Repeat with other 1”x4” plank.
Step 5: Prop up a four-foot 4”x4” beam so one of the feet lines up at a 90-degree angle along the bottom. Use two screws to mount the foot to the base of the beam. Step 6: Rotate the beam and continue mounting the other three feet in a pinwheel pattern, using two screws for each one.
Step 7: Set up your new standard to make sure it’s sturdy, then try mounting a jump cup and pin to check the fit through the holes.  build horse jumps | How To Build A Jump Standard - Colorado Horse Jumps:

For more jump ideas check out Pinterest!


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