Horses are very beautiful and big animals that are very athletic at the same time. That is why it is amazing to see them in action galloping fast or jumping as high as they do even though most of them way 1,000 lbs or more.
So how high can a horse jump?
Most horses on average can jump around 2 1/2 to 3 feet high. This is something that a wild horse or domestic horse can do without training. They may show restraint at first in this this so be patient with them when first getting them to jump.
Just because the average horse can jump 2-3 feet doesn’t mean that a lot of them can’t jump much higher then that. If you talk to a lot of experienced horse people most will say that a horse can jump as high as their withers which seems to be the correct standard.
Horses can jump very high when trained to do so as you will see below we also gathered information from many sources on real horse owners that say how high their horses jump.
Now don’t go out today and put a jump in front of your horse and expect them to do it. They need proper training before doing so. This will help keep it safe for the horse and yourself.
How High Can Most Horses Jump?
Most all horses can jump at least 2 feet. If they are trained they can jump much higher then that all the way up to 8 feet? We love horses and watching them jump but we wanted to get information from other jumpers and their experiences so here they are.
We gathered these from horse forums and sub reddits. We corrected some grammar and spelling but the answers remain the same.
Real Owner Answers
1. ErikaLynn “High as 7 Feet” – So the trainer said horses can only jump as high as their withers? I’ve seen small ponies jump way higher then their withers and I’ve seen huge horses jump as high as 7 feet.
2. JustDressageIt “Topped at 4 feet” – Interesting question. My first mare (15.3hh) topped out at around 4′ – I think she could have done a single fence higher, but I’m certainly not confident saying she may have made 5’1″. My 17.1hh gelding was a bit of a klutz – he could trot a 3’6″ fence, but might demolish a 3′ one. I don’t think he could have done 5’7″.
If every horse could jump as high as their own withers, everyone with a horse would have a potential GP horse. That simply isn’t the truth; though it does beg another question – how many horses could jump higher, but aren’t pushed to their full potential due to a rider’s limitations?
3. Chiilaa “Depends On Rider” – I would extend on JDI’s lovely phrasing and continue with that though. Sure, every horse COULD jump as high as their own withers, discounting unsoundness issues. However, the reason we don’t see dime-a-dozen GP jumpers is simply the fault of the rider. It is our job to get the horse to use himself to the best of his ability, and anything less than that is a failure on our part. So while every horse has the potential to be a GP jumper (and for the most part, they do), not nearly as many riders and trainers have the potential to take them there.
4. Ridergirl23 “3 feet with older horse” – My old 15.1 horse jumped 3 ft once, but it was exteremely hard for him, soooo I dont think he could jump his withers height. But he was an older thoroughbred, past his prime, so maybe when he as younger and trained in jumping at an earlier age he could?
5. DustyDiamond “Very High” – The official world record is 8ft 2in jumped by Huaso and rider, Captain Alberton Larraguibel Morales.
The (unofficial) highest jump was 8ft, 3 1/2 inches, jumped by Fred (Freddie) Wettach, Jr. riding his horse King’s Own.
6. Maura “Depends On How Many Jumps” – If we’re really going to have a conversation about horse’s jumping abilities, yoiu have to clarify if your talking about a single fence or an entire course of fences at that height.
Most of my old school horses could easily clear 3’6″ – 4″ as a an oxer/last fence in a combination where the striding and take off were clearly defined, most of the same horses struggled to put in a calm, consistent trip around 3′ course. The skills asked for are just different.
I think “horses can jump at least as high as their withers” is a vague generalization that loses it’s meaning when applied to individuals. Perhaps its the answer this instructor has come up with after answering the same question year after year.
7. BlueEyedPony “Around 3 to 4 feet” – I had a 12.1hh pony that would probably have easily been able to clear his height and more – he could jump 3′ from a trot, and a really crappy one lacking in impulsion at that (not my crappy riding so much as his sheer laziness – it was all you could do to GET a trot). He was REALLY bold too, so long as the striding was ok he would try.
My 15.1hh Anglo jumped 4′ within the last 12 or 18 months (can’t remember which) and he will be considered 16 in august. I think, had he been given the training at a younger age, he could well be capable of doing courses at that height and higher. Single jumps like in puissance, I don’t even know. He is a horse with enormous heart and athleticism. He was evented consistently, at a medium-high level (I don’t know what it’s called in America, but here it’s called prelim/B grade) from 4yo to 10yo and then ruined by crap riding, left in a paddock for 4 years, and eventually rescued. I bought him from his rescuer. I have had a few people tell me they remember him from his younger days. He is the horse that has that ‘x-factor’ that makes the difference between a C-grader and a B- to A-grader. Could he jump more than his own height? Frankly, I’ve no idea. He is considered ‘small’ for a showjumper as here they tend to be 16hh+.
8. Thyme “4 feet no problem” – My 14 hh Aqha cant jump a coarse more than 3′, in her current condition (fat, and starting work) but last weekend she cantered and jumped our 4’2″ fence no problem then just trotted off.
What Is The Highest Jump Ever Recorded?
The highest a horse has jump that has been recorded in the Guiness World Book Of Records was 8 feet and 1 1/4 inches. This was done by Huaso Ex-Faithful who was ridden by rider Alberto Larraguibel Morales. This took place in Chile.
Here is a video of the jump that took place back on February 5, 1949:
How High Do Olympic Horses Jump?
Olympic horses go over 10 to 16 obstacles and go up to 5 feet 3 inches and up to 6 feet 7 inches across. It is amazing to watch these animals do what they do. You can get a good look at them on Youtube like the video below.
How High Can A Pony Jump?
Ponies are a lot more agile then they look and have been known to jump around 3 feet in the air so you will need at least a 4 foot fence to keep a pony in that is a bit wild anyway.
Great video of pony jumping: