In this and the following horse jumping picture you can can get an idea of what this thrilling sport looks like. By only seeing a picture it is hard to capture the true magnitude, skill needed, and difficulty of this sport.
Guiding a thousand pound animal over a series of obstacles of varying sizes and jumping distances is not for the faint of heart.
Hunters and Jumpers are done while riding english. The size and difficulty the jumps and courses varies through levels.
Generally, riders start on small cross rails, or "x"s made by placing one jump pole on each standard and the other end on the ground. A properly schooled rider will be very solid riding at the walk, trot and canter, and over ground poles first.
The rider above is tackling an oxer with a small "spread" or width (the second set of standards and pole that makes the jump wider).
In this jumping picture, this combination is tackling a tall "vertical" jump. Look how his mount has his knees snapped up tight to clear the height.
Jumps in advanced shows can easily top 5 feet high, some with "combinations" consisting of two or three obstacles tightly spaced together.
Faults are accrued by knocking down rails in the jumps.
I hope you've enjoyed these pictures, but to feel the intensity of the sport I recommend you go see a show in person.