Tag Archives: jumps

How to Make Scale Jump Cups

Since I’m showing a different horse in performance at the next show, I need a different jump set up. Previously I had made jump cups and glued them to my standards- but that only allows one height of jump. I like my props to be as flexible as possible so they can be used in lots of different combinations. So I set about to make a new set of jump cups that could be reused and repositioned. And I took pictures so I could share the process.

Do note that this tutorial is only for the jump cups, not the standards. I’m using my lovely standards from Mountain Home Models. You can make your own with hobby wood, glue, and patience.

This tutorial is for stablemate scale jump cups, but could be adapted for other scales. If you’re making a traditional scale jump, I recommend that you check out this post on home made jump cups from Jennifer Buxton of Braymere Custom Saddlery and this jump cup tutorial from CK Tiny Tack.

I made the standard jump cup style, but there are numerous other styles out there that would all be accurate in for model horse performance. This is the basic style I’m going for:

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 9.45.35 PM

Standard jump cup from Dover

Materials for this project:

  • thin cardboard (think cereal boxes)
  • super glue
  • paint
  • wire (about 20 guage)
  • thin string like embroidery or cross stitch thread

You’ll also need a pair of small pliers and a wire cutter.

The first step is to cut your cardboard. For lack of better terminology I’m going to refer to the part that grips the standard as the wrapper. You the wrapper to cover three sides of the standard, or very close, just like in the picture of the real jump cup above.

jump cups - cardboard base

You’ll also need to cut a thinner piece to form the actual cups. This piece should be roughly the width of one side of the wrapper. Gently bend the strip around something round (for best results, use your jump poles) so that it forms the cup shape.

Use super glue to attach the bent cup to the wrapper. Bend or trim the cup as needed so that the edges are within the width of the wrapper.

jump cups - basic shape

Set the assembled cups aside to dry thoroughly.

jump cups - assembling cup

Next you can paint your cups. Jumps cups are commonly black, white, or silver, but they can come in pretty much any color you can think of. I went for the classic metal look, which I achieved with a mix of dark grey and silver. Leave the inside of the wrapper unpainted- this will make it easier to use later. But don’t forget the edges of the cardboard that will still be visible.

jump cups - painting

Next we start making the pins. In this scale, the pins don’t actually go through the standard to hold the cup on- they just look like they do.

First, bend you wire to make a tiny hook. Loop your string through the hook and hold it there as you bend the hook shut to form a loop.

jump cups - making pin

click to enlarge the image

Next, bend the wire coming off the loop so that it is straighter, like below. Glue the string to itself to attach it, and make sure it falls at a 45 degree angle to the pin. You can then trim the excess wire- the pin only needs to be a few millimeters long.

jump cups - finished pin

Then, attach the pin to the cup. This is tricky with such tiny pieces and the super glue, but don’t get discouraged if it takes a few tries. You make need to adjust the pin as it dries so it comes out of the cup straight- in the picture below it is slanting down too much.

jump cups - glued on pin

Wait for that glue to dry thoroughly before the next step. Carefully, without putting stress on the pin, bend the string around and glue it to the inside of the cup. Avoid making it lumpy as that will make the wrapper not fit your jump standard.

jump cups - glued string

To show the pin coming out of the other side of the cup, glue a tiny scrap of wire to the other side of the cup. Again, you want to make sure it is perpendicular to the wrapper.

jump cups - glued pin end

Let that dry and voila, jump cups!

jump cups - done

I recommend that you make extras, just in case a pin pops off right before your jumper class.

To affix your jump cups, just use sticky wax (the same kind you use for bits and such) on the inside of the wrappers and mold them onto the standard. Since they come on and off, you can adjust the height of your jump and make different pole combinations.

jump cups - on standard

Here’s my jump all set up with a low obstacle and my new jump flags (toothpicks, cardstock and paint). I left this set-up on the shelf overnight and neither the sticky wax or the jump cups failed.

jump cups - finished jump

Jumps are super fun to make because the combinations are endless and you can get very creative. I hope this tutorial was helpful for some folks out there making mini jumps. Got questions? Just ask!

Building a Plank Jump

For Robyn’s birthday this year I had a brilliant idea: why not build a plank jump with her stable name on it? Most plank jumps are actually pretty simple- they’re basically a plank with the ends cut so it will rest in jump cups.

plank jump example

That’s what I originally planned to do. But as I planned further, I realized that I really needed more space if I wanted to paint the design I had in mind. I needed something bigger!

I drew up some plans and then I enlisted a most needed helper: Robyn’s dad. He was an invaluable part of the project for both his expertise and his wide range of tools.

And so it began!

First we gathered the materials and did some measurements. I wanted to make sure that the plank jump would be combinable with Robyn’s existing poles, so it was important to check the size.

Jumbo plywood sheet, two 2x4s, and hardware

Anyone who buys wood glue by the gallon is clearly a total badass.

Building the frame

Once the frame was built, we added the plywood sheets to either side with wood glue and screws.

The finished frame! To make painting easier, we hung it so I could work on it standing up. Not pictured: fun with the electric sander.

After priming the whole jump, I started tracing my design onto each side.

More tracing

For the next month or so I added new coats of paint in each color whenever I could sneak the time on my weekly visits. It took a lot of coats to get nice bright colors, especially since I had a decently intricate design to go around, and two sides to paint.

Getting there…

Finally, long after the actual birthday had passed, I finished the jump. I sealed it with polyurethane to protect it and presented it to Robyn. The awesome thing is that the jump doubles as a sign- when not in use, it hangs on the arena wall.

The finished jump

And that’s what I did this summer, among other things :)

More Jumping Please All the Time

I had my first taste of cross-country jumping last weekend and I’m itching to do more. Unfortunately the rain here has closed the course. But I nonetheless had a lovely ride yesterday, and managed to make some weird new jumps to scare Cochise with.

I also made a liverpool, which I thought we’d conquered the other day. But apparently this liverpool had a HORSE-EATING MONSTER living inside of it. So that was fun.

fearsome liverpool

I also made this rather inspired (if I do say so myself) pumpkin jump. I was at a garage sale a few weekends ago and this woman had a ton of these. I’d seen people use little toy pumpkins as model horse props with jumping and trail set ups, and I thought well, why not extrapolate that out to real horses?

jack o lantern jump

In my quest to add fun new toys to our arena, I’m trying hard to find things that are widely applicable. For example, the brush boxes and gate that I shared previously make nice jump fillers, but they can also be used in obstacle or trail courses. The jack-o-lanterns are fun for jumps, and can also be used by the kids when they play horseback games. Or maybe that’s just something I tell myself when I’m loading bags of plastic jack-o-lanterns into my trunk…

An recent unrelated but excellent acquisition are these fun shiny crops. Robyn bought two one day and then sent me back to the tack store for several more that she’d regretted not buying. The red star one is mine :)

fun crops

So I’ve been doodling courses on scratch paper and morosely watching the rain, thinking about the muddy cross country course. But at least there’s lots of sweet videos online. So I’ve been watching a lot of videos from past Three Day Events like Burghley and Rolex. I also watched this interesting three part series on finding your distance. Meanwhile, I’m putting the first layers of color on the two MEPSA horses and working to finish up the Saddlebred’s remaking before I add a new mane and tail.

Cheap Thrills from Desktop Stables

Nichelle of Desktop Stables posted pictures of a lovely jump she just finished, featuring home-made but awesome looking jump cups made from recycled pop cans! I used a similar technique when I made jump cups on a micro mini scale, only with very stiff paper.

Of course, jump cups and standards are optional