a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Dog Agility Shows vs Horse Jumping Shows

Friday, May 06, 2011

Dog Agility Shows vs Horse Jumping Shows

SUMMARY: Compare and contrast.
Went to watch my sister compete today. It was fun.  I was surrounded by horses and riders, so of course, what did I take photos of?

But, SERIOUSLY now--I did note that dog agility shows are exactly like a horse jumping event--except (a) a whole lot smaller and (b) with a whole lot less money involved in every aspect. I'm used to being at dog agility trials and having someone yell "Loose dog!" and then we all try to catch it. I was much surprised to encounter "Loose horse!" and then have it charge straight at me down a narrow aisle. For a moment I considered trying to stop it, then realized I had no idea how, plus it was a whole lot bigger than a dog, so I stepped aside. Apparently I was supposed to stand in front of it and look big and in charge. Next time I'll know.

Here are some of the comparisons:

Dog agility-- transportation:

Horse jumping -- transportation:

Dog agility -- looking out of one's enclosure:

Horse jumping -- looking out of one's enclosure:

Dog agility -- putting your animal friend over a jump:

Horse jumping -- putting your animal friend over a jump:

Dog agility--waiting to run:

Horse jumping--waiting to run:

Dog agility -- Draperies around one's set-up:

Horse jumping -- Draperies around one's set-up:

Dog agility -- jump bars:

Horse jumping -- jump bars:

Dog agility -- typical canopy set-up (note feeble attempt at matching teals and purples):

Horse jumping-- typical canopy set-up (note art, urns, potted plants etc.):

Dog agility -- ribbons, kind of randomly arranged and slapped up there with clips:

Horse jumping --ribbons--how organized and obsessively neat can one be?:

Dog agility -- birds decorating jumps:

Horse jumping -- birds decorating jumps:

Dog agility:
There's just no comparison to all the...
Horse jumping-- matching gear boxes, stalls, chairs, etc.:
But--horse jumping can't match these!

(I should note that the photos of me and my dogs doing agility are by an assortment of other people; the rest are mine.)


  1. Horse competition=rich
    Dog Agility=not so rich!!

  2. I love the two birds-decorated jumps. Kind of says it all! :)

  3. What a cool idea for a post! Love how you showcased so many differences. I did some horse jumping in my teens and when I first started agility couldn't get over how cute the equipment was in comparison...

    Now when I watch horse jumping on tv I can't get over how slow, lumbering, and calculated it looks -- nowhere near as exciting as any local agility trial IMO.

    Wonderful to see those photos of Jake and Remington too...

  4. @Diana: You said it! I keep thinking how expensive dog agility is until I go visit a horse thing.

    @Joy: Actually it's even worse than that--we retired all our fancy decorated jumps because they're too heavy to haul around in the trailers, even that bird one. Now it's all lightweight metal uprights and PVC wings.

    @Mutts: It did intrigue me how carefully they all counted their horses' strides and took long detours around other obstacles to get straight lines and so on. Even the really fast ones (that I saw) aren't anything like agility, but not sure that I've seen the top-tier competitors. And, yeah, I was sticking up photos of my dogs doing agility equipment and realized I could get two birds with one stone--variety of dogs and of equipment.

  5. LOL..love the canopy set ups! They don't need a hotel- they bring their own!
    Wouldn't it be fun to see an equine agility course- really BIG teeters, dog walks..tunnels would be impractical, but horses have balance too!

  6. @Maggie: But of course someone *has* done it with horses. No teeter, but dogwalk, tunnel and weaves in this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmkxnpkPjWE

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  8. You are so right anout horse jumping = rich. Here is the 2010 Gucci Masters in Paris for Horse Jumping. I love the part where the horses go right by the dining area. http://www.gucci.com/us/worldofgucci/articles/gucci-masters-2010

  9. Wow. Can you picture the TV cameras swooping in on the spectators at the Cynosport World Games to watch them eating their gourmet hot dogs and corn dogs in the bleachers while the dogs run?