Jumper Classes

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2006
Reaction score
Mt Pleasant N.C.
I have been watching the youth Jumper Classes on the web and enjoying it very much

We show mostly AMHR but we do dabble in AMHA some. I guess I did not realize just how

different the jumper class rules are. Both seem to be the the same on the first round with every-

one just trying to make a clean round no matter how slow. However the jump offs are

so very different. In AMHR they raise the jumps and you are timed so everyone is taking

the course as fast as possible. The only tie would be if two people have the same time and

clean round. In AMHA it seems the jumps are raised but there is no timing

as the exhibitors are still going only as fast as need be to get the momentum to get over the

jumps, at times even pausing to rest. I noticed that 3 were tied for 9th place and other ties in the

class I was watching.

I was just curious as to how the rules were decided on. I don't know how the big horse jumper

classes are . Was either system based on them?

It looks like more people and older people could participate in the AMHA System.

Maybe even me. LOL But it is sure is fun to watch the excitement of the timed runs also.

I am not knocking either method but its just so unusual that they are so far off on the rules.

We are having our Annual East Coast Miniature Fun show in Oct. and our show committee has

decided to include both types of classes . Thats a great idea and we all appreciate it.

Maybe someone in the know can give me some history on the differences.

Mary ann
They are different, but I like watching both of them. Watching people chug around the AMHR course is fun for sure, but I also think the height of the AMHA jumps is a real challenge. I would be interested to know how both chose their formats too.
Bumping and hoping someone with some knowledge chimes in here. I don't like the timed event in AMHR as it keeps me (at 63) from showing my own horse. There's no way I can run at the speeds of the younger people --hey, I couldn't even come close to the 2 old guys times in Golden Age at Nationals. To me the timed event makes the show go quicker for those that don't like to "sit though" performance classes. Well, I have to "endure" the halter so why should my horse be placed lower simply because I can't RUN?
I personally like the speed of the AMHR jumper classes. Not only is the horse asked to jump higher, but also take jumps at angles (to cut time), jump more efficiently (jumping lower over the jump because it's faster), and be able to change their stride to accomidate for the speed.

AMHR has a golden age jumper to help "even the playing field" per say.

To each his own.
wow, it seems like they are very different. I don't know anything about AMHR jumping.

In AMHA Jumper:

You are judged on faults occured.

4 faults- knockdowns

3 faults- refusals, crossing your own path

Jumping height:

1st round: 18''-28''

Maximum height: 44''

(32'' jump needs a 2nd rail)

Whips are allowed, you can jump with your horse

Can walk between jumps

In and outs are 2 jumps.

Elimination: off course, 3 refusals, fall of horse/handler, failure to pass thru start/finish cones, loss of control
I show jumper (and everything else) mostly at the Pinto shows, but have also done jumper at one AMHR show and shows that use their rules. And I am about Sandee's age. Pinto runs it more like AMHA, except the jumps our club owns only go up to 30". Not timed, just raise the jumps and go again. But if there are only 4-6 entries in the class, which is usual, there isn't much time to recover between rounds!!! More than once I have conceded to younger entries because I was just too hot or tired to continue. (That was usually right after showing two or three minis in hunter and 2 in jumper on a hot day, just so you don't think I am a total wimp). I like the courses where after the first round they raise the jumps in ways to make it more challenging, so that often it gets decided (at small shows anyway) in the second round! I do like the speed of the AMHR classes as long as it isn't me on the lead.
Sandee That is too funny
LOL !!! The "old guy" that won the golden age jumper class at nationals this year is my husband. He also placed 4th in the open . Not too bad for an old guy.
The comraderie in that class was fun . They were all cheering for each other. You don't see that too often at the national level. They had a blast.

However there is no way I could ever run those speeds. So I understand what you are saying. It sure

is fun cheering them on though!!

And Targets mom I don't think anyone thinks you are a wimp. Goodness thats a lot of running . I am impressed. Wish I could do it.

Any one have any thoughts on what each registry based its rules on yet?? Maryann
Last edited by a moderator:
My husband, who's 52, also considers himself an old guy. He prefers AMHR's style of jumping to AMHA's because he said there is more of a synergy between the horse and handler.

Bob and the horses he jumps have a nice synergy. Bob won both Amateur Jumper Under and Adult Jumper Under at AMHR Nationals this month with Classique's Phantom Gold, and finished Reserve National champion in Amateur Jumper Over. Since 2005, Bob has won eight national titles in jumping classes (five in Jumper and three in Hunter) at AMHR Nationals and Shetland Congress and has four Reserve National titles (three in Jumper and one in Hunter).

It was his proposal that became Golden Age Jumper. Bob proposed a jumper class for people 50 and over, and it was moved to 55 to conform with Golden Age Driving classes. He still complains that it's a lot easier to sit in a cart and drive at 55 then it is to run around a jump course at 50.
Well, now I know who the "old guy" was in that class at National! Congrats to him!!! I LOVED watching that class and seeing how much fun everyone was having. Yes, the comraderie was great! Maybe some day.....

BTW, as I mentioned to someone recently, I am not so much training my horses when I take them over the jumps during the week, I am conditioning MYSELF!
I do prefer the synergy of horse and handler in AMHR Jumper classes over AMHA Jumper classes.

I also worry about a 34-inch or shorter horse jumping up to 44 inches. There is the potential for a lot of stress on their backs and legs.
I do prefer the synergy of horse and handler in AMHR Jumper classes over AMHA Jumper classes.
I also worry about a 34-inch or shorter horse jumping up to 44 inches. There is the potential for a lot of stress on their backs and legs.
Well, taking jumps at speed and sudden turns are not necessarily good for backs or legs, either. It is important that the horse is fit enough for the class...

Both systems have counterparts in the show jumper world. AMHR style is more of a scurry or speed class - or like the jump off after 2 rounds when the fastest time with the least number of faults wins. AMHA is more like a Six Bars class... with horses continuing round after round to a maximum of 5 ....and the jumps getting slowly higher until only one horse remains. Or also a bit like a basic Grand Prix before the jump off. There is a maximum time allowed there - but the rider can set their own pace as best suits their horse...
Last edited by a moderator:
Sanny, we watched Bob at Nationals in awe at his speed and loved the way he and

the horses move so well together. A big thank you to him for proposing the Golden

Age Class. However I agree with him that it should have been 50. Jim participated in

both the Golden Age Jumper and Driving. Driving was just another class to him but

the Golden Age Jumper class does give our more mature participants a better chance

to show their skill.

I think both registries offer a risk to the horses. The Smaller horses jumping the higher

jumps in AMHA . We have a little horse in our club that just jumped his heart out for

a youth last year and would have attempted any height. His owner finally pulled him before

he got hurt. The quick turns at fast speed in AMHR look pretty scarey too. I have watched the video

of Jim jumping Slash several times in the Golden Age Class and still have no idea how

that horse made that jump. But I guess any preformance can be a risk just like any game

is to a human athelete. I enjoy both styles and believe its pretty nice we have a choice.

And Tagalong Thanks for your history and knowledge of the big horse world.

I won't let my horse show in AMHA Jumper. For one, I've done the math on the proportions, and I won't ask that of my horse. Not to mention, he just won't do it. I'll let someone else show him in AMHR Jumper. I know I can't run that fast, and its not important to me to be able to do jumper.

A 34" horse jumping 44" (the maximum AMHA height) is equivalent to a 17 hand horse jumping 7'4"

The maximum height in Grand Prix jumper is 6.5'

The world Puissance record is 7'10" (one vertical jump followed by a wall)

The world High Jump record is 8' 1.25" (one wall made of brush topped with timbers)

IN MY OPINION minis aren't typically bred or conditioned for jumping. Show jumping "big" horses are usually bred, trained and conditioned for jumping.
Sanny, we watched Bob at Nationals in awe at his speed and loved the way he and the horses move so well together. A big thank you to him for proposing the Golden

Age Class. However I agree with him that it should have been 50. -------- .

If they lower that age they need to make yet another class for us "really" oldies. The two guys in my class (that I've since heard were in their 50s) were SOOOO much faster than I was that it was dissapointing to even try to compete against them. I know when BOB gets to the division that most of us "older than dirt" had just as well give up!

When I compete at the local level it's usually with someone that is like me --panting and just glad to make it around once!
We have done both styles. I prefer AMHR.

My hubby has been reserve national champion in Over jumper last year(ammy) and this year (open) and is 51 this year.... beat by teenagers both times

Even though I could never keep up with these guys (Bob or my hubby) in running, I can be close in a tight technical course (I have managed a couple 3rds). We did AMHA jumper one year with my daughters 30" stallion. And due to the height of the jumps by the 5-6 round and his small stature, I refused to continue to allow him to jump against the 34" horse that won (we settled for 3rd). If you are going to continually raise the jumps, then for safety the class needs to be split by horse height. They do this in driving to allow the smaller horse a fair chance and we will not regularly participate in AMHA jumping until this is done.

Humhill - very good job in converting for us!
One reason I am particularly fond of the Jumper class -- in both AMHR and AMHA -- is that it is the only class that, for the most part, takes the outcome out of the hands of the judges.

That's not a knock at judges. I just like that when you walk away from the Jumper class, you know you've won because you've had the fastest time (AMHR) or cleared the highest bar (AMHR) and it's difficult for other competitors to gripe that the judges didn't know what they were doing when they placed the class.

That said, I do believe that AMHR should invest in an electronic timing device similar to what is used for USEF events. That way, there can be no dispute of a timed outcome, particularly at AMHR Nationals. (As a backup, there can be hand-held timing just in case the electronic device fails.) Show Jumping timers are not outrageously priced, by the way. They can be purchased for $1,009 (on farmtek.com) or less.
My horse is only R registered so I have only shown him in that style, but I event and show jump so I have alot of experience as far as training him correctly for the AMHA jumpers which is indeed much like a Pussiance class. I think jumping a horse who is BUILT for jumping and TRAINED correctly for the class over these heights is fine as long as they are not overjumped at that height. In the big jumper world those horses are only jumped at the Grand Prix height or above in prep for a show. Any other time they are schooled through gymnastics at much lower heights. The gymnastics teach them to use their hindends to push themselves over the fence without the added concussion on the front legs from a high jump. This has been my philosophy in training my mini. He does tons and tons of gymnastics and walk-ups to get him to use his hiney but most of the time the jumps are only 2 foot max. He easy and confidently jumps 48 inches.


P.S. if you have watched any big horse show jumping those horses jumping at the Grand Prix height are typically no younger than 7...there is a reason for this...
Wow, Lauren thanks for putting the height in perspective with the

big horse world!! I knew these guys were jumping pretty high

in relation to their size but seeing the numbers is pretty neat, and

scarey too. :DOH! Maryann

Latest posts