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Wood Jumps vs. PVC Jumps - Trying To Decide Which To Go With

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  • Wood Jumps vs. PVC Jumps - Trying To Decide Which To Go With

    For decades we have always had wood jumps (standards, rails, walls, rolltops, etc.). However, we are now looking to get some new jumps and are contemplating the PVC jumps.

    Several years ago we went to the PVC rails and love them (although the horse that doesn't care about a rub really doesn't care about rubbing these!).

    The cons we have with our current wood standards and walls and such is twofold. One, they are heavy to move, but we are used to that and do manage okay. Less out of our control is that for several months out of the year they are in the ring and the sprinklers go off to water the ring at least daily (sometimes twice daily). This tends to rot the jumps more easily and quickly, despite our using pressure treated wood.

    However, other than the rails, we have no experience with the PVC jumps and are looking for some input.

    One friend told us that they like them, but have put wooden feet on the standards because in the cold the feet freeze to the ground and when the wind blows hard the jumps obviously cannot blow over so they snap off. Our experience has had the wooden standards freeze to the ground but never ever snap off due to wind.

    Also wondering what happens when horse crashes into something like a wall or even a picket. How easily do the break?

    Trying to figure out what is the better long term investment . . .

  • #2
    I am personally not a fan of PVC rails since I have seen them shatter and cut up horses pretty badly. Those shards are sharp. I only use wood rails and repaint/replace as necessary (we tend to stain them rather than paint, which helps with the moisture issue you mention. Looks just like paint but a lot more durable.)

    That said I would not be too concerned about having PVC wings (with the wooden feet as described, to prevent them falling over in the wind.) We have a few and they've stayed outside in the Northeast winter with no problems.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

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    • #3
      I think it depends a lot on the brand you get. I have worked with three different types. We have PVC standards in the indoor with wooden rails. Love this set up and the wind is no problem. I have used JUMP USA standards outside. They blow over all the time. Never thought about changing out the feet. Not sure I could get DH to do that. I use sandbags. Uggg. The one horse I have that is casual about rails is casual about a 4x4, so it makes no difference. I don't like the jump usa or jump4joy cups and they also have too many holes in the sides of the standards for my taste. Next to impossible to get them level when you are rushing.

      The ones we have in the indoor are drilled just like regular wood standard. I don't know the brand off the top of my head.

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      • #4
        Definetly go with the wood jumps! PVC are dangerous as another poster stated and also horses get sloppy about hitting the jumps over time because they don't really feel much when they hit a PVC rail as opposed to hitting a wood rail.

        Comment


        • #5
          Try Plastic!

          I have these jumps & LOVE them!
          They are plastic, rather than PVC & do not shatter or crack they way PVC does.
          Come in lots of colors & I live in the the northeast & leave them outside during the winter & they still look great & I've had them for 5+years.
          They are a little more pricey then PVC, but I think they last so much longer, it's worth it.

          ://www.dressagearena.net/pages/horsejumpsindex.html?gclid=CKXqxP6l0KMCFV195Qods2t Mtw

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          • #6
            Aluminum standards are getting a lot of votes these days (Europe)

            We also use PVC rails but with a wood core to have the same weight as wood rails (to discourage the rubs)
            "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same"
            Rudyard Kipling
            Quartz Rouge

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            • #7
              Wood, as another poster said horses get sloppy with PVC as it doesn't "hurt" when they hit them.

              I've seen a horse PLOW through a PVC fence jump at an IHSA show before. Horse didn't seem to care one bit.
              "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Though I said my rails are pvc, and I think they are, I am not 100% positive.

                However, they are REALLY thick and have lasted for years without even a hint of shattering despite what the horse or environment might throw at them.

                That said, they DID NOT come from a jump dealer. Our former handy man got them from a plumbing supplier and cut them to the approptiate length.

                The entire rail is slightly fatter than a "traditional" rail, but if you didn't have a regular rail to compare it to you wouldn't notice easily.

                Not being a "horse jump rail" may be the key to why they have stood up well . . .

                Comment


                • #9
                  PVC standards, wood fillers/rails is my favorite option, although we do have PVC "brick" wall, roll top and box. All of our gates, rails, planks, etc are wood.

                  My favorite company is JumPVC. http://www.jumpvc.com/

                  (I like Burlingham's roll top better, though).

                  We've had our most of our jumps/standards for about 6 years with no major issues. The foot of one of the brick wall pieces did snap off when the wind blew it over but a rail was on it. It was easily solved, though. Horses have laid on/scrambled over the box a few times and it's not the worse for wear. Roll top's astroturf is torn from a stop.

                  Being the one that had to paint, or organize the painting parties for the wood stuff, I LOVE the PVC standards.
                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like wood rails. For indoors we use landscape tiles that are under 9' wide...take up less room and encourage riders to pay attention and stay straight!

                    We did have some PVC rails, but as others stated, they shatter. We do still have one, but its ends are capped (for added strength) and it is filled with sand for weight...which makes it VERY awkward to carry.

                    This year we bought some plastic stackable standards as they are easy to carry (I can carry four at one time easily enough), and take up very little room in the arena. They are also less painful to fall off into, or bang with a knee! We do still use wood standards for bigger jumps, as the stackables needs a special addition to go past 3'6"...but we don't usually jump that big, so these are perfect for us.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                    • #11
                      I don't mind the standards. I do remember Thermal one year when they had PVC standards in the hunter rings. The wind came up, as it tends to do there, and the standards kept blowing over, even with sandbags on them. Something to keep in mind.

                      If you live in a hot climate, the PVC poles will tend to bow, crack and break. A barn I used to ride at experimented with them for a while and got rid of them. I disagree that they last longer than wood poles, even in a wet climate. If you keep wood poles painted, they pretty much last forever.

                      You can't paint PVC poles...the paint doesn't stick very well. How does that help you with your jumper? Just curious...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have fallen on a PVC standard (many years ago) and had it break into shards that cut me up fairly dramatically. It stung, but I didn't realize quite how much I'd been cut up until I got home and DH wondered if I'd been in a knife fight.

                        I think it really matters what grade of PVC you get - the cheaper ones will degrade fairly quickly in sunlight, the better ones will hold up better. White PVC out in the elements also has a way of getting dirty that is difficult or impossible to clean.

                        I don't have jumps of my own specifically, but at the end of the day, seeing what holds up and doesn't around my place, seeing what has held up in the barns I've been in, I think wood with paint is probably the better choice for durability. Yes, you have to paint it. Yes it can rot and degrade. But, when the plastic degrades there's nothing you can do. You can't paint it. You can't really fix it. It just becomes trash.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                        • #13
                          WE also have some of those THICK PVC plumbing rails. They are not 4" but closer to 5" and EXZTREMELY think they absolutely DO NOT BREAK or shatter! Now the thinner ones do, we have had some of those and they break badly. The thick ones are also much heavier and horses respect them. Altho I would love to have PVC standards, it is just too windy here and they don't hold up.
                          www.shawneeacres.net

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                            My favorite company is JumPVC. http://www.jumpvc.com/
                            I think this is what we have in the indoor with the wood rails. All are candlesticks. They are great.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would say if you want to have a bunch of wing standards, consider PVC because they're a lot easier to move than wood standards. If you're considering a lot of schooling standards (do wing bases, not the cross bar bases, with treated wood) then I'd go wood because you can paint and repair them as needed.

                              As far as the rails...I've always used wood rails and it takes a long time before they get completely demoted to ground rails as long as you keep them painted/coated. I agree that you have to be very careful about what kind of PVC rails you buy because if they shatter it's bad news. I guess with PVC rails you can use colored tape to change the color of the rails...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you are considering PVC standards, I can't recommend the hollow ones. They are a royal pain when you are trying to go "up two" during an intense school and you can't get the pin through the hollow standard and out the hole on the other side in a hurry!
                                Derby Hill~The Outside Course

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Cindeye View Post
                                  If you are considering PVC standards, I can't recommend the hollow ones. They are a royal pain when you are trying to go "up two" during an intense school and you can't get the pin through the hollow standard and out the hole on the other side in a hurry!
                                  This is true. Thankfully, most of our cups are the Paperchase cups, so there's no need to go through...and you can raise/lower them one handed. LOVE them.

                                  JumPVC has hole sleeves to avoid the hollow problem.
                                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Cindeye View Post
                                    If you are considering PVC standards, I can't recommend the hollow ones. They are a royal pain when you are trying to go "up two" during an intense school and you can't get the pin through the hollow standard and out the hole on the other side in a hurry!
                                    For sure. It is the same reason I hate the JumpUSA and Jump4Joy. You cant get the cups moved efficiently.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                      PVC standards, wood fillers/rails is my favorite option, although we do have PVC "brick" wall, roll top and box. All of our gates, rails, planks, etc are wood.

                                      My favorite company is JumPVC. http://www.jumpvc.com/

                                      (I like Burlingham's roll top better, though).

                                      We've had our most of our jumps/standards for about 6 years with no major issues. The foot of one of the brick wall pieces did snap off when the wind blew it over but a rail was on it. It was easily solved, though. Horses have laid on/scrambled over the box a few times and it's not the worse for wear. Roll top's astroturf is torn from a stop.

                                      Being the one that had to paint, or organize the painting parties for the wood stuff, I LOVE the PVC standards.
                                      This^^^

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We went through this a couple of months ago. We were purchasing a full set of new jumps for our new farm and were in serious debate. After a lot of researching and digging around and thinking, we opted for a set of wood show jumps (Old Dominion Jumps). The prices were comparable and we figured if we were going to spend the money, it was better to spend on something we were familiar with (wooden jumps) rather than spend the money and find out we HATE the PVC fences. I don't think anyone regrets the decision. They are BEAUTIFUL, bright, and well constructed. While they aren't as light as PVC jumps would be, they aren't too bad (except for the wings...those are heavy).

                                        We've talked about adding some PVC pieces to try them out, but now I think we're so happy with what we've go, we might not!
                                        Amanda

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