Building Jump Standards


If you board your horse at home or a small local stable, chances are you don’t have a fancy course of jumps on which to practice. The good news is that you can build your own standards with a few common power tools and materials. Inexpensive landscaping poles can be purchased for around $3 each to complete the project. Here’s what you’ll need to get started, followed by step-by-step tips.

TOOLS: Saw or chainsaw and circular saw, drill with ¼-inch bit, ½-inch spade bit and Phillips head screwdriver

MATERIALS: One 8-foot length of treated 4”x4” wood, two 8-foot lengths of treated 1”x4” wood, box of 1 1/2-inch wood screws and pair of jump cups

Building Jump Standards Step 1

Step 1: Prop the 4”x4” beam up off the ground; sawhorses or bags of shavings/hay bales work equally well. Measure and saw into two four-foot halves.

Building Jump Standards Step 2

Step 2: Measure 18” away from the ground end on each of the four-foot pieces just cut. Start marking for jump cup holes in the center of the beam every three inches until you get to the top.

Building Jump Standards Step 3

Step 3: Using the ¼-inch drill bit, make a hole at each mark, all the way through the beam. Switch to the ½-inch spade bit and widen each existing hole.

Building Jump Standards Step 4

Step 4: Prop a 1”x4” plank off the ground, measuring and marking every 20”. Using the saw or circular saw, cut the board into four “jump feet.” Repeat with other 1”x4” plank.

Building Jump Standards Step 5

Step 5: Prop up a four-foot 4”x4” beam so one of the feet lines up at a 90-degree angle along the bottom. Use two screws to mount the foot to the base of the beam.

Building Jump Standards Step 6

Step 6: Rotate the beam and continue mounting the other three feet in a pinwheel pattern, using two screws for each one.

Building Jump Standards Step 7

Step 7: Set up your new standard to make sure it’s sturdy, then try mounting a jump cup and pin to check the fit through the holes.

Now you’re ready to tack up and try your new jump!

Learn how to make your own Cross-Country jumps here>>

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Holly Caccamise has been with Horse Illustrated and Young Rider since 2007, and in August 2019, she took over as head editor. She’s been instrumental in the production of both magazines and helped Horse Illustrated win a 2018 American Horse Publications Media Award in the General Excellence Self-Supported Publication (circulation 15,000 and over) category. Before getting involved in the editorial side of print media, she worked as an award-winning ad copywriter for Thoroughbred Times magazine. Caccamise has her MS in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky, where she studied equine nutrition and exercise physiology, and her Bachelor’s from UCLA in Biology. Caccamise has also worked as a research assistant, horse camp counselor teaching riding and vaulting, and as a top-level show groom in the eventing world, where she continues to compete her horse, Artie, at the lower levels.


  1. The instructions are clear and easy. My problem is that I can’t read the entire thing on the website, only steps 1-4. The rest of it is cut off. I tried sending it to myself, but it is still cut off. Can’t print the entire thing, either. I am very dissappointed-this is an error with the website that should have been caught and corrected.

  2. Cutting a board as in step 4 will lead to a pinched sawblade everytime and is dangerous. The short end of the board should be free to fall away.

  3. This was very helpful- I made four standards. Next time I would use 2×4’s for the bottem though, because the 1×4’s aren’t very sturdy/heavy so you have to make sure it’s on level ground. Other then that- they turned out GREAT and our barn uses them all the time!

  4. These worked great! I have made 4 sets so far and am going to make a few more. I used 2×4’s for the feet for extra stability. Thanks for very clear and easy to follow instructions!!

  5. yeahh! this is great!im so excited, gonna go make the standards today, this helped a bunch ! ill prolly use 2X4 for the base tho..


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