Where cups and fences are concerned, here talk is not about teacups with saucers or beautiful white-painted picket fences. No, the conversation here revolves around those special horse jump cups and fences used on the training courses by both horse and rider in preparation for that crowd-pleasing and magnificent series of events otherwise known as showjumping. But as far as long distance or endurance race track events are concerned, the jury may yet be out.
Just witness world famous events like the Grand National and it is almost common but so disheartening to witness the tragic regularity of jumping accidents. At terrific speeds over long distances, both horse and jockey are required to mount one fence after another. In order to achieve prestige at famous events like this, both horse and rider need to be in peak condition throughout, both physically and mentally.
This is not an endurance sport for the faint-hearted participant or viewer. And it remains debatable whether horseracing should proceed for the benefit of those willing to place wagers on the likely or unlikely outcome. Nevertheless, under proper and caring administration and coaching, equine sports can always remain quite noble. The horse is a complex creature. Just how such a huge beast can be so docile and enter into a close relationship with its rider remains a miracle of nature.
Equine professionals, both specialist veterinary surgeons and coaches, have decreed that the use of wooden horse jump cups and fences are a lot safer to use than plastic cups and fences. Practical research has shown that the horse instinctively hesitates when approaching a plastic obstacle, perhaps knowing from previous experience that this is going to be a jump too far that is likely to hurt.