I am the 4-H educator in Delaware County NY for the horse program. The 4-H horse barn at our fairgrounds was set on fire and we lost the barn and all of our jumps. Since we have to replace everything, I am looking for information on wood vs pvc jumps, plus good manufacturers. We only use the jumps in the spring and summer. Any input is greatly appreciated. you may email directly at email@example.com. Thank you!
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
In my experience, PVC is OK if you have sandbags to weigh them down or weighted feet. Plain unweighted PVC standards have a nasty habit of blowing over with little wind. PVC fillers like gates are wonderful, but only with wood rails over the top. Some horses (not mentioning mine by name or anything) can spot a PVC jump from 100 yards and calculate his jump just so to hit it.
I'd go with wooden just for the fact that they're more customizable than PVC. You can repaint them if you want. I can only imagine a worst case scenario where a horse knocks down a PVC standard and runs over, shattering the PVC.
To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
for we have not deserved it.
We just had a tragic loss in the eventing world -- an Olympic-caliber horse who crashed into a jump that included a narrow PVC "gate" (the rest of the jump, standards and rails, were wood). The PVC gate shattered and apparently the jagged edge sliced his hind tendon.
After several surgeries and about a month in a vet hospital, he ultimately succumbed to laminitis and was euthanized.
I know that's a freak accident, but it definitely turned me off of PVC fences.