How High Can Horses Jump

How High Can Horses Jump

Horses compete in many different equestrian contests, and one of these is show jumping. It can be amazing to watch the elegance and grace of these creatures during a show jumping competition and can be shocking to see how high some of the horses are able to jump.

They are certainly able to get much higher than a person would be able to if put in the same situation.

Read on to learn more about how high a horse can jump, as well as some other details about show jumping and other related records! 

How High Can Horses Jump

The height that a horse can jump will depend upon a few factors, such as whether or not they are trained for show jumping or are an untrained horse. Of course, things such as age, physical condition, and health can factor in, too. The average horse that is untrained can jump an average of 2 to 4 feet with ease. In comparison, a trained competitive show jumping horse can jump anywhere from 5 to 7 feet. There are some horses that have been able to jump even higher than this, too! For instance, the world record is held by a horse called Huaso ex-Faithful. In 1949 in Chile, the rider Captain Alberto Larraguibel Morales rode Huaso ex-Faithful and made the record of a jump at 8 feet and 1 inch high. This record has still yet to be beat by another horse! 

Horse Jumping Events

There are a few different events for horses that involve jumping, not only show jumping! Show jumping is simply the one that seems to come to mind the quickest. We will go over a few of these types of events below and what they entail. 

Show Jumping

One of the reasons that show jumping is often the first to come to mind is that it is the most popular discipline, and it is practiced around the world. It is part of a group of English riding style equestrian events. In show jumping, the horse is directed by the rider to jump over different obstacles, such as verticals, spreads, and double and triple combinations. The horse must jump over these obstacles cleanly, and they are timed, too. If they exceed the time limit or knock over any obstacles, they are faulted when the score is tallied up. 


Steeplechasing is an event that is a distance horse race. It is typically conducted on a turf racecourse. Throughout the race, the horse and rider are also required to avoid obstacles. These obstacles include fence and ditch type obstacles, so the horse must jump over them in order to avoid them. It is not simply a straight shot type of race! Due to this, a steeplechase race is also known as a jump race, or jump racing. Steeplechasing is commonly practiced in areas such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Canada, and the United States.


Agility, or horse agility, is another equestrian discipline where you may see your horse jumping over obstacles. It is internationally competitive, too, so there are plenty of areas where this is practiced. In agility, the rider is not usually on the horse. Instead, they are on foot, and they help to direct their horse so that the horse can navigate through an obstacle course of sorts. There are various obstacles involved that will require different methods to avoid them. One such method is to jump over them! The focus of horse agility is clear communication and strong, positive horsemanship. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest height a horse can jump?

Horses often compete in jumping competitions, and some of them are able to jump amazingly high. You may be wondering how high, exactly, a horse can jump. The highest jump on record was 8 feet and 1 inch. This record is for the equestrian high jump, and was set by Captain Alberto Larraguibel Morales. He was riding the horse Huaso ex-Faithful in Chile in 1949 when he achieved this. 

How high are the horse jumps in the Olympics?

Many horses compete in the Olympics in the equestrian events, and these events include horse jumping. In the Olympics, the riders are jumping their horses over fences that are about 5 feet tall, or 1.5 meters tall. Every time a horse does not clear the fence and knocks it down, they incur four faults. Also, a horse and rider incur one time fault per four seconds over the time that is allowed. If the competitors do not incur any faults, which does sometimes happen, there is then a jump off to determine the winner in the final. 

How high can a show jumping horse jump?

Of course, the height that a show jumping horse can jump may vary. It can depend upon the skill of the horse and how long they have been training, as well as their age and physical condition. The average, untrained horse is able to jump to a height of about 2 to 4 feet. However, when it comes to competitive show jumping horses, which have been trained to jump, of course, they can average jump heights of about 5 to 7 feet instead. The world record for a jump height is  8 feet and 1 inch. 

Can horses jump higher than humans?

If you have ever seen a horse training for show jumping, or gone to a show to see it, then you were probably amazed at how high these animals are able to jump with the proper training and direction from their rider. It is hard to compare a horse jumping to a person, as it is not something that people typically do at the same time. However, the general consensus is that horses are able to jump higher than humans. The world record for the highest horse jump is 8 feet and 1 inch. The world record for humans was 5 feet and 7 inches by Christopher Spell of the USA.