I have always wanted to learn to jump. The first time I went to a hunter jumper show as a spectator, I was in awe over the Grand Prix, and watching the talented horse and rider teams that seemed to be fearless over intimidating jump courses. I remember getting up close to the jumps and thinking how on earth would I ever be able to do something like that? The horses seemed HUGE and they floated effortlessly over 5 foot tall jumps. The winged standards that held the jump rails were so impressive, almost as large as the jumps themselves.
I decided at that point I was going to become a jumper, even though I had never done it before. I just got the idea in my head, and I wanted to do it.
About 10 years ago, I was driving to go into town and I remember looking at a beautiful barn and I was able to catch a glimpse of their riding arena. It was tucked at the back of the property, and it was sheer perfection. There was a complete set of jumps set up, the ground was perfectly groomed, and I remember feeling how it would be to have a set of jumps like that.
It was at that moment I decided I really wanted to have my own set of jumps.
So when I got home I started my search on the internet and in catalogs in hopes of having my very own set of jumps. I did Google searches for horse jumps, looked at Craigslist, and every set of jumps I found cost over $5,000.00.
I tried to figure out a way of how I could afford to buy some jumps. I thought about ways to save money, and how long it would take me to be able to afford them. The best option I could think of was to get a second job working nights and weekends in order to fund my dream purchase. The way I figured, it would take me about 6 months to be able to buy the jumps.
I really didn’t want to get a second job, and 6 months seemed like an eternity to wait for the jumps. But I decided it would be worth it, eventually. I searched through jobs, and couldn’t find anything that would work with my schedule and still allow me some time to work with my horse. I started to feel defeated.
But, I am resourceful, and where there is a will, there is a way. I then wondered if I could build my own jumps.
Again stated my internet search of trying to figure out how to build horse jumps. 10 years ago there was not the vast amount of blogs and tutorials showing someone how to make their own jumps. So I was left to my own mind to figure out how to do it.
My first pair of jump standards were horrid to say the least. I used nails for putting on the feet, and a ¼” drill bit to make the holes. I think it took me an entire weekend to build a pair of schooling standards. This was the first time I had ever used a circular saw, and trying to figure out how to make the power drill work was an act of frustration.
I had no idea how to make rails, so I went to Home Depot and bought PVC pipe and spray painted stripes on the PVC. And even though they were barely functional, and a little bit dangerous, I have never been more proud of myself. I had made my own horse jumps.
Fats forward a few years later, and I continued to make horse jumps. I then started to taking riding lessons and learning how to jump. I felt a little overwhelmed with these size of the jumps at first, so I continued to build jumps at home and I got used to creating larger jumps with more pieces.
Not only did this improve my jump building, but also my confidence with riding. The jumps didn’t seem so large, and I started going over more jumps at home. I built larger jumps, and they didn’t frighten me anymore because I had literally submerged myself in the process of how they are constructed.
Building horse jumps started as a way to get what I wanted, but in the process it has also helped me to overcome my fear of jumping. This has helped me to become a more effective and confident rider. And now I am sharing what I have learned with others, because I am sure there is at least a couple of people like me who have dreamed of jumping, but did not have the confidence, or the money to buy pre-made jumps.
How about you? Have you ever wanted to make something? How did you overcome the obstacles that were placed before you to create something awesome? I would love to hear from you! Tell me about it in the comment section below!