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I recognized a bunch of obstacles in an area where I often hike lately. They popped up half a year ago and are spread along our local river. It seems like they are aligned to a trail.

I have not managed to photograph one yet, but they look like jumping obstacles for horses. A few are made out of wooden beams and others are just a straight cut hedges.

What are these and what are they used for? Is my assumption correct that they may be used for a cross horse jumping course?

(I'll take a photo and add it soon)

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    Could they possibly be to stop motorbikes/quads or cars/vehicles of some type? If horses were using them surely there would be some evidence, hoof marks, dung for example. – dougal 5.0.0 Mar 15 '17 at 9:42
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    Post a picture. – Olin Lathrop Mar 15 '17 at 12:29
  • When you say "aligned to a trail" do you mean that a trail appears to lead straight into the obstacles, and away from the obstacles on the other side (obstacles are perpendicular to a trail)? When I first read your question I thought you were saying you were walking on a trail next to a river and the obstacles are parallel to the trail you were walking on. That would mean that any jumpers would have to repeatedly go in and out of the water to make a series of jumps. – Erik Mar 15 '17 at 16:05
  • @Erik that's true they may go in an out of the water to jump, but that is not too uncommon over a short stretch. If it's a long length of river then it would be ridiculous really yeah :) – Aravona Mar 15 '17 at 16:58
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    Do the wooden beam items look constructed? Are they level and supported by constructed means? Are they easily knocked down? That would by typical of horse jumping obstacles while permanent support would indicate a use as a barrier to vehicles. If they are haphazardly placed then perhaps they were caught in the vegitation on the bank during a recent flood. I am not imagining how a straight cut hedge could just pop up. There must have been some plant there in the first place to cut. Are these being maintained or allowed to grow back to wild shapes? – Pooneil Mar 16 '17 at 16:36
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Yes these could very well be for horses, especially if they are all between 2 foot and 3 foot high (feet and inches are the usual terms for all horse jumps). They could be cross country obstacles for eventing. Eventing is the term for either dressage, show jumping, or cross country, or more usually all three in combination (also known as horse trials). However these can be set up for sponsored rides as well - which is cross country where you raise money for charity.

These can be anything from telegraph poles, to trimmed hedges, to tree trunks, to small poles held up, to actual gates / fences. I've done these before and even jumped an RAF glider. These can also include drops (vertical leaps down onto grass or water) or ditches (jump the ditch) or also water to traverse.

Sometimes these are just convenient natural items though or have been placed for other sports and simply utilised by riders, and have not been placed deliberately by anyone for the sake of eventing but have been utilised for convenience. There is every possibility these are for another sport entirely, or to prevent trespassing.

  • Downvoter, any reason? – Aravona Mar 15 '17 at 10:52
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    I don't see a reason for a downvote either, +1. – Olin Lathrop Mar 15 '17 at 12:29

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