|Careful schematics (I defy 'smart'phone world!)|
Buying them, drilling holes that aren’t too crooked, losing pins, dropping poles on your foot while adjusting them, breaking plastic cups, bending metal cups, deciding you don’t even like the kind you have…but do we have a choice?
Nostalgia had me paging through my well-worn Encyclopedia of the Horse (a 1977 masterpiece), when a training photo caught my eye. It wasn’t the jumper, but rather the obstacle: a simple, versatile schooling jump with ZERO moving parts. Out came the pencil & some very rusty geometry.
A beautiful Saturday & a newly expanded stockpile of junk reclaimed lumber meant go time. A few hours (there may have been some wandering & catching up with friends involved *ahem*), an assorted collection of leftover screws, & some
|Possibly best safety poster. Ever.|
Standard Preface from the Safety Nazi: Dude. Tools are awesome, but don't mess around. Wear your safety glasses, close-toed shoes, ear protection when necessary, & pay attention. Work smarter, not harder. You can do anything you set your mind to, but make sure you have been properly instructed, know your equipment, & always plan ahead.
Ready, Set, Go
Rule #1 of Redneck Construction (we’ll consider safety to be Rule #OptimusPrime - hey, he wears a helmet): never be afraid to try! No one was born with knowledge, so ask questions, google your heart out, & don’t hesitate to click my email button if you want to know more – I consider it all “paying it forward” in thanks to those who taught me.
|Let it begin...|
- Drill (pilot holes are especially useful in treated and/or scrap lumber, reduces cracking & other lumber fail when you drive the screws)
- Impact Driver loaded w/ screwdriver bit (optional; you can use a screwdriver bit in your drill or a hand screwdriver)
- Measuring Tape
- Pencil (or Sharpie, crayon, paint pen of your choice)
- Wood Screws (I maintain a collection of leftovers)
|Lumber:||Two Frames||(2) 6’ scraps (dimensions optional, but this is your base, so wide is good)|
|(4) 5’ scraps (dimensions optional, mine don’t even match)|
|Pole Supports:||As many as you like at any height you like (naturally, none of mine match here either)|
Pertinent Notes: I wanted a 4’ standard, as I need to be able to school up to ~3’7”. My secret ulterior motive: this also makes the geometry EXTREMELY easy, because one vague concept I remember is the standard 3-4-5 right triangle (hello, sophomore year of high school flashback). The frame now measures itself: with a 4’ line from the apex down the center, it is simply two right triangles back-to-back. Each angled side must then be 5’ and the base, 6’ (two triangles combined = 3’ X 2).
Yeah, just look at the picture up top, I’m a visual learner too, LOL!
|Damn straight, it's the TFS Official Eventing Stick!|
The 4’ board is NOT included/attached to the standard, I just used it as a guide for the other three boards. And I may or may not have gotten a little excited with the Sharpie & decided it needed to have the levels pre-marked & labeled too (hey, I might need a back-up measurer).
|4' reference upright|
Since there will be cross-boards screwed on to the frame, you don’t need to worry if your joints are a little gappy (not the ones in your body, I can’t help with those). The support boards will reinforce the frame & your finished product will be very solid. At present, there is only one screw at each joint.
|First completed frame|
|Adding the first crosspiece|
I laid out my 4’ guide upright, but I don’t have a t-square & didn’t feel like getting fussy with the level. After laying down each cross-board, I also measured the vertical distance from the base to the top of the crosspiece on each side. Now I could be sure that my poles would be supported at the heights I wanted & I marked the positions with my sharpie before I drilled.
|Labeled by USEA level!|
|One standard, AH AH AH!!|
Step 6: JUMP SWEET JUMPS! Ok, I haven’t gotten this far yet, but if you do, picture submission is required!!
|All done! Well, for today.|
I have a few touches left to finish (after significant snack-age). Extras for you to consider:
- Add a short scrap perpendicular to the end of each base if feet are needed for stability.
- Cut the corners off crosspieces to reduce pointy edges.
- Use molding scraps or other small wood pieces to make blocks on the end of crosspieces to prevent pole rolling.
- Cut scoops or notches in crosspieces to hold poles like a cup.
- Cut multiple notches in crosspieces on the inside of the triangle; you can make cavalleti, oxers & triple bars with just one pair of standards!
- Paint it pretty, or stain to seal if you prefer the natural wood finish.
- Drill holes in the baseboard for flowers, pinwheels, or other decoration.
- What else can your imagination dream up??