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The Best Horses for Show Jumping

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 7, 2018
The Best Horses for Show Jumping

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Many people love horses, as they are noble, beautiful and athletic animals. Horses have accompanied humans for years, as transport or farm workers; over the years, many different sports with horses have been developed. One of these equestrian sports is show jumping.

Show jumping is a type of equestrian competition that involves English riding - that is, riding with an English or flat saddle. Participants jump over fences without knocking down the obstacles, and they are awarded points on speed and precision. It's an Olympic sport.

Just as we discussed the best horses for dressage, in this AnimalWised article we will discuss the best horses for show jumping. These horses must be athletic, skillful and brave; most show jumpers are warmbloods, who tend to dominate the international equestrian scene. These horses are of European origin, and they include different breeds, each with their own characteristics.

Do you want to know more? Read on to discover the best breeds of show jumping horses, and start practicing it!

You may also be interested in: The 5 Best Dog Breeds for Beginners
  1. Hanoverian horse
  2. Dutch Warmblood or KWPN Warmblood
  3. Holsteiner horse
  4. Belgian Warmblood
  5. Oldenburg horse
  6. Selle Français horse
  7. Westphalian horses
  8. Irish Draught horse
  9. Lusitano
  10. Shagya Arabian horse
  11. Hispano-Árabe horse
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Hanoverian horse

The Hanoverian warmblood is the best known breed of this type of horse. It's considered the best horse for show jumping due to its balanced character and beautiful appearance. Of German heritage, the Hanoverian is bred and trained and under strict guidelines that steer it towards excellence.

This horse is usually around 1.65 m (65 in) tall. It has a long, thin neck with an elegant mid-sized head, which is light but imposing. The back is mid-sized and very strong. The legs are slightly short but very strong. It has a friendly and docile temperament.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Hanoverian horse

Dutch Warmblood or KWPN Warmblood

This extraordinary equine, the Dutch Warmblood, stands out for its lightness and fantastic temperament. When its beauty is also taken into account, it becomes easy to see why this breed is one of the best horses for show jumping.

It is a mid-sized horse, of 1.60 m (63 in) in height. The Dutch Warmblood has a muscular and arched neck, defined withers and very powerful and muscular hindquarters. The rump is short and flat.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Dutch Warmblood or KWPN Warmblood

Holsteiner horse

The Holsteiner is an old and well-respected breed. It is somewhat heavier than those previously mentioned, but its elegant structure and obedient and gentle nature make it a widely appreciated horse. This breed originates from Germany.

The Holsteiner horse has a small head, with an arched neck and very powerful hindquarters. It also has a strong back. It measures 1.73 m (68 in) in height.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Holsteiner horse

Belgian Warmblood

This is a horse with a very light figure, always willing to exhibit its well-renowned jumping technique. The fact that the Belgian Warmblood has a strong thoroughbred influence is noticeable during its upbringing.

The Belgian Warmblood has an attractive, muscular head and a strong back. These horses are usually about 1.73 cm (68 in) tall. Their joints are strong, and they have a broad chest. Belgian Warmbloods have a friendly and willing temperament.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Belgian Warmblood

Oldenburg horse

The Oldenburg is a very powerful horse that was originally conceived for dragging carts. It is a highly developed, very powerful horse. It comes from Lower Saxony, which was formerly called Grand Duchy of Oldenburg.

It has a slender and noble head. The Oldenburg also has a strong back and long, muscular legs. Its hooves are well formed, and it measures 1.78 m in height (70 in).

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Oldenburg horse

Selle Français horse

The Selle Français horse is a breed with a strong temperament because of the genetic influence of the English thoroughbred. The Selle Français is a very elegant and powerful horse, which has bundles of energy and intelligence.

It measures 1.73 m (68 in) tall and is easy to train, brave and audacious. It is extremely flexible and possesses a robust bone structure, which makes this breed one of the best horses for show jumping.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Selle Français horse

Westphalian horses

Of German origin, the Westphalian is an extraordinary horse of good fame in all international competitions. Its attractive appearance is the stuff of legends. It is a gentle horse with a very balanced temperament, making it rise to the demands of the jockey. Many champion horses belong to this excellent breed.

It measures 1.78 m (70 in) in height. It has a harmonious, powerful and excellent structure, and is considered one of the most beautiful and suitable horses for show jumping.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Westphalian horses

Irish Draught horse

The Irish Draught horse has a beautiful appearance. This is the national horse of Ireland, prepared for carrying out lots of heavy work thanks to its powerful structure. This horse measures 1.70 m (67 in) in height and has a long, arched neck. It has strong bones and very muscular hindquarters and hocks.

The Irish Draught is very obedient, courageous and intelligent.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Irish Draught horse


The Lusitano horse comes from the Iberian Peninsula. It was previously noted for its abilities as a war horse. This breed is about 1.63 m (64 in) tall. The Lusitano has an attractive head with short and thick neck. It has short and compact back with straight, strong shoulders. The hindquarters are strong and muscular.

This horse has an excellent temperament: It is intelligent, austere and courageous, and is a noble and generous horse.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Lusitano

Shagya Arabian horse

The Shagya is an Arabian thoroughbred, and it's a breed with an amazing capacity for jumping. It is about 1.63 m (64 in) tall. It has a head, as is typical of Arabian breeds, with small ears and very expressive eyes. It has a long and slender neck with a slightly sunken back. It has strong legs with dry joints.

This horse's temperament is characterized by its docility and friendly disposition, in addition to an excellent determination.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Shagya Arabian horse

Hispano-Árabe horse

The Hispano-Árabe thoroughbred is a beautiful horse that behaves excellently in a range of equine sports, including show jumping.

It measures 1.58 m (61 in), and it has a straight face, big expressive eyes and small ears. It has a medium-sized, arched neck, with a straight and short back. Its legs are long and strong. It has a broad and deep chest.

It has a vivacious temperament; it is very brave and versatile, with sharp intelligence and high levels of energy.

The Best Horses for Show Jumping - Hispano-Árabe horse

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What did you think of this article?
I'd like to get show jumping horse like calm demeanor with nice smooth trot not jerky trot
Administrador AnimalWised
Yes Nicole, of course a lot depends on the individual horse.
This was really helpful; I'm looking for a horse to adopt and this allowed me to figure out some of my preferences and will lead to me to further research the breeds that stood out to me.
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The Best Horses for Show Jumping