If you know a kid who rides horses, chances are pretty good that she loves jumping jumps. No, we don’t mean on a pony… we mean on foot! Horseless horse jumps are incredibly popular with young equestrians! These small scale replicas of real horse jumps are fun to jump on foot, sometimes with a stick horse also called a “hobby horse.” Hobby horse jumps are often custom made and NOT cheap. Check out this dollar store version that we came up with! Use pool noodles and garden hooks to create your own hobby horse jumps that the kids will LOVE!
Hobby Horse Jumping
A few years ago as I was scrolling Facebook one day, I had a good laugh at a viral video that was gaining all sorts of attention. The video was of kids riding stick horses over jumps… competing against each other for real prizes! I wasn’t laughing at the hobby horse enthusiasts, but rather at the general public who had no idea that this kind of activity existed.
When I was a kid, my siblings and I owned a whole bunch of stick horses. (For reference, the term stick horse is used interchangeably with the term hobby horse. They are essentially the same exact thing.) My mom found the horses at a local shop and bought my sister, brother and I each one or two.
We used to ride these hobby horses ALL OF THE TIME! Hours and hours spent trotting and cantering around our lawn! We would ride for fun, we’d build intricate courses with obstacles to jump, and we would compete against each other (and friends and neighbors) to see who could clock the fastest course times without knocking the jumps over.
Jumps were made from anything and everything: from long branches propped on lawn chairs to using the ditch as a “water jump,” we got pretty darn creative.
These days, you can actually buy horseless horse jumps for kids. As you might imagine, these smaller scale replica horse jumps do not come cheap. They are expensive and must be custom made and ordered.
DIY Pool Noodle Hobby Horse Jumps
Last week my kids went outside with their hobby horses and I watched them use pool noodles from our pool to set up a jump course to jump. The pool noodles were colorful and lightweight and worked great for poles. They used chairs and other backyard objects to prop the noodles up, and that got me thinking about what else we could just to hold these “jump rails.”
Lo and behold, as I was strolling around the dollar store picking up more pool noodles, I saw some simple metal garden hooks. I thought, “Hmmm.. they just might work!”
You only need two supplies for these jumps and I found both at my local dollar store.
How to Make the Jumps
There are various styles of jumps that you can make with the pool noodles and garden hooks! The basics are the same for all of the jumps.
Place 2 garden hooks in the lawn, 1 pool noodle length apart.
Poke a hole in the end of each noodle with the garden hook tip.
Place the hole that you just made onto the hook.
Crossrail Hobby Horse Jump
Place one end of each pool noodle on a garden hook and rest the other end of the noodle on the ground. Do this with 2 pool noodles so that they form an “X” or crossrail shape.
I also used some sports cones for a shorter crossrail jump. Here is what that one looked like:
Vertical Hobby Horse Jump
You can set these jumps up a couple different ways. The first option is to use one pool noodle and stick each end on opposing garden hooks.
I gave this one another look by adding a 2nd pool noodle to each jump, on a diagonal towards the ground. (I propped the diagonal noodle on the vertical noodle and it stayed. If yours keeps falling off, you can always duct tape the noodles together.)
The kids are having SO much fun with these! They love rearranging the course and building different jump combinations to soar over. I have watched them time each other, and even try to jump in tandem like a hunt teams class.
I hope this gives you some ideas for some good, old fashioned, budget-friendly hobby horse fun!
If you end up giving this DIY a try, let us know how it turned out for you!