Horsemanship traces its roots to the beginning of civilization, but organized jumping is a recent development that arrived only with the modern era.
This young professional sport is fun to watch and participate in, and has certain qualities that encourage both humane horsemanship and public participation:
A high level of trust between horse and rider is required to jump even a small course of obstacles, testing a bond that can be formed only through quality care and humane treatment. The exacting nature of jumping demands not only athletic skill and inner control, but the habit of humane practice.
Jumping was heavily researched by former cavalries across the world, in order to develop a system to effectively and safely train inexperienced horses and riders. This research has been adapted and expanded over the past decades: the educational structure of riding is outlined, explained, and well-tested.
The nature of the jumping challenge is objective: a 3-foot fence is the same in all locations, whether in an arena setting or a backyard pasture. This key fact allows for transparent and fair testing of different levels of skill, and opens the door to wider public participation.
The facility space requirements to conduct show jumping are modest and flexible enough to adjust to either urban, suburban or rural spaces. The sport is modular and adaptable enough to accommodate the schedules and space requirements of modern society.
The sport has enormous potential as a public–and cultural–activity that can help preserve and continue our partnership with horses into the future. Show jumping encourages humane attitudes toward the horse, and offers a valuable, time-tested educational experience of horses updated for the modern era.