At my previous barns, we usually set up four jumps approximately one stride (22-24 ft) apart. The first fence is usually an "x" and followed by a verticle, then 2 oxers. We usually had the horses trot in and canter out, if you do this, then you have to make the distance in between the first two 18 ft, followed by 20-22 ft, then 22-24ft. You can vary it, you could make it just two jumps, but I would recommend having a cross rail to an oxer and only one or two strides (36 ft). I think trotting in is ideal to a predetermined distance and continually raising the oxer is ideal. For boots, I would use open fronts, that way if your horse knocks the jump, he can really feel it, which will in turn encourage him to be more careful. Back boots are only essential if the horse has a tendency to knock his back legs and the same goes with bells, if he over reaches then I would use them, it never hurts.