“What The…” Wednesday: Extreme Overjumping

If you’re on facebook at all, you’ve probably seen the video thats been going around this week of the gray sale horse freejumping and clearing the fence by about 3 miles. I think at least half of my friends have shared this freaking video (or pictures of it) by this point.

 

The general concensus from most people is “wow” and “I’d love to own that horse” and “so much talent”. I guess I am in the minority when I’m sitting over here with this face:

Image result for yikes gif

First of all, if that horse hasn’t been poled/hot wired/worn pinch boots/been prepped in any other myriad of ways, I will eat my helmet. Literally. Eat. It. The fact that a lot of other horses from this same place also have a tendency to majorly overjump makes me even more sure of that. Sure, horses sometimes get taken by surprise or are quite green about things and they’ll overjump, of course, but a) not THAT extreme b) not repeatedly. It’s very hard on their bodies to do that, so sometimes a very extreme effort can scare them a bit and make them not want to jump at all.

If the horse HAS been prepped, you’re going to have to un-train that, mentally. Sometimes the ones that get prepped too much end up overly careful, which can turn them sour or make them want to stop. If the horse HASN’T been prepped (which again, I’ll eat my damn helmet if it hasn’t) and jumps like that naturally, who the heck could ride it? Definitely not me. Probably not you. Maybe McLain could stick that.

Not to mention that I sure hope you have a really freakin good vet and equine (and human) chiropractor, because good luck keeping something like that sound.

So I guess, yeah sure, that jump is an impressive feat as far as sheer athleticism goes… but I just can’t get on board beyond that. I don’t like it. I don’t like how it’s produced and I don’t like the effect it has, mentally and physically, on the horse. Someone explain to me why the rest of the internet does.

52 thoughts on ““What The…” Wednesday: Extreme Overjumping

  1. HAHAHA

    you know i never really thought about someone actually riding that horse. it exists in an abstract world where horses are only run through chutes and never actually sat on.

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  2. Oof yeah. I am with you on this one. My first reaction was, “I would never want to ride that.” We would both need ring-side chiropractors to have any hope of walking straight after that. It also reminded me of those REALLY expressive Dressage horses. You know, the ones that win the 4 and 5 year old divisions in Europe and then fall off the face of the planet? They are so talented that they (often) break. None of the above looks good for the horse.

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    1. Exactly. The superstars of the future are rarely the ones that are really dramatic or extreme as a young horse. Either they don’t hold up physically or they don’t hold up mentally. I’m always a little leery of one that looks too expressive at a very young age.

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    1. It isn’t the first time this particular farm has had a pretty extreme free-jumping video. It’s not fake. Well, the video isn’t. The type of jump that has been “produced” here, well…

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  3. I had a friend show that to me Monday, and we were both like “WOW!!!” Then both promptly agreed; “No WAY would I want to ride a horse over a jump like THAT!!!”

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  4. I agree with both the “I could never ride that” and the “how are their knees not already destroyed?” trains of thought. Sure the horse has raw scope and talent, but you actually need to ride it. Unless you just want to have it free jump over and over and over…

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  5. I cringed as it landed thinking about the impact shock running through its body. Nope. And what good is a horse like this in competition anyways? It will be exhausted by the fourth jump… if you can stay on it that long.

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  6. People who don’t know green horses only see the talent sometimes and not the pitfalls, holes, caveats, the rub. I’m guessing most people just view this as a ‘talented horse that loves to jump’. Meaning less they have to train said horse to get to that level to jump the big sticks. However… When is anything as it appears?

    My main point: people want to jump big without putting in the work… This makes it look like it is possible.

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  7. I thought the exact same thing while watching this video: I bet this horse has been manufactured by artificial means to overjump like this, and I would never want a horse that wastes that much effort over every single jump. Sure, a green horse that overjumps once or twice, that’s normal. A horse that has been trained to consistently jump out of their skin? No thanks.

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  8. Though I will say that when they over-jump because they’re green, it makes it really, really exciting to think about just how far they can eventually go! This is a photo of a friend’s horse at training level and he’s still green but holy cow his scope is crazy (he’s since gotten a lot better at judging height and adjusting his efforts accordingly, but at least we know he can make it over the bigger jumps with minimal effort if he needs to!)

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  9. “What the…” indeed. I cannot find that fascinating or desirable.
    The only thing going through my head is “ouch”….the force of that impact on the front legs is just..staggering.
    I remember a horse Rodrigo Pessoa had in the first years after he became successful that always overjumped. Not as much as the grey but he cleared GP sized jumps with nearly a foot of air. And I remember that Pessoa lost do many jump offs with this horse because he lost so much time in the air. So this is def. not something a top rider would look for. An amateur usually doesn’t need a horse wirh this much jumping “ability” either which brings me to: what’s the point? Where is the market for horses like this?

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  10. I was also in the “well, yeah, but can you ride it” category. And I feel dumb for not thinking about things like that horse having been poled/etc, but now that you mention it… yeah- could believe that.
    Wouldn’t poling also make for a reticent jumper? Starting to wonder about the logic of that- like why punish the horse for trying? Despite being obviously inhumane and cruel, I just don’t get how that would work to accomplish a better jumper.

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    1. I am old enough to where I remember seeing horses poled (usually with bamboo) in the warmup ring at shows, waaaaaaay back in the day when it was still quite common. It was legal up until fairly recently, although it’s definitely gotten less common (at least “in public”) over the past 20 years.

      Some horses get wise to what you’re doing, but for the ones who tend to just be a little bit less careful, a well-timed rap was intended to serve as a reminder to give the jump a bit more room to spare. However when the horse is green and/or already trying pretty hard, you definitely run the risk of them either losing heart and not wanting to jump anymore, or going to some kind of very extreme style like this. Not particularly fair.

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  11. IMO…the reason we have so many atrocities, bad training, painful tools and poor practices done to our horses…is because humans find this level of unnatural movement “impressive”.

    And I don’t limit this comment to jumpers. You see some form of horses moving badly being rewarded in just about every discipline.

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  12. This is exactly my thought EVERY time I see one of these overjumping videos. No I don’t want that. Aside from all the points you make about it being not so good for said pony, no chance in hell I could stay on!
    And I really don’t think it’s impressive. If you’re looking for a jumper, you want a horse that’s fast. And if your horse is jumping 3 miles too high, it’s wasting an awful lot of time in the air. Not to mention the aforementioned not being able to stay on.

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  13. I’ve been seeing this video around a lot, and I have been gritting my teeth at everybody proclaiming “oo, pretty!” because I am with you, if that horse hasn’t been caned I will eat my helmet.

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  14. All I could think as the horse reached the apex of his jump was, “Oh dear God, he’s gotta come down!” and “YIKES.”
    Yeah – no way that horse hasn’t been prepped somehow. And no way would I want to ride that. I’m sure to non-horse people it looks like flying but omg, my knees and ankles ached just from watching him. I cringed for the entire video.

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  15. Thank you! We must have been sitting at our computers making the exact same face. The first thing I thought seeing the photos (and later the video) was a) what they did to produce that jump and b) no one wants that jump under saddle, for about 101 reasons. It makes me sad that they are getting any positive publicity from this video.

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  16. Well … Videos of madly over-jumping warmbloods in European trials are not uncommon. I never thought of the prepping. My understanding is that young horses tend to over-jump, and these are very powerful, conditioned horses with big energy that is not yet schooled in jumping with a rider. Once they are carrying a rider they become far more conventional in jumping style.

    What interests me about this video is how tight the horse is holding his ankle curl. Youngsters are likely to jump big but hang below the knee and hock. So maybe that does indicate some prep.

    I well remember poled horses. The many that I saw didn’t over-jump as much as they would suddenly jerk their feet up into an even tighter curl over the top of the fence. That ankle-jerk was the dead giveaway of poling.

    This is one of those things where I will reserve judgment until I know more of the inside story.

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  17. I watched the video 3 or 4 times and all I could focus on was it’s front legs as it landed i don’t think it will be long before it has tendon issues on its fronts with the way it lands

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  18. Most comments that I read were in agreement that this overjump was i desirable and almost certainly artificially produced.

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  19. I agree… my first thought was “ouch those front legs!” I suppose a puissance jumper might occasionally jump like that in its big classes, but first glance at this horse and my mind goes to soundness

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  20. I may be obviously late to the party here, but is this horse from the same place as that bay horse a couple of years ago also massively overjumping? I seem to recall it was a french bred horse that time….

    I’ve also seen tons of sale videos from one particular barn in EU where all of their horses have a super expressive hind end in all of their sale videos, and later on I remember seeing a conversation online from someone who’d been there and said they all wear pinch boots for the first time and are fresh AF when they do the sale videos and it made a looooot more sense. If I were looking for a new horse (particularly an import), show me a kid or a trial ride from another NA rider trial. Don’t show me the horse being schooled by a 6′ tall male pro…cause my 5’5 scaredy ass self will not pilot the horse like that!

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  21. How do I find a link to this video? Somehow wasn’t able to find it from the video you posted and my YouTube searches were painful. It hasn’t done the rounds in my equestrian fb network yet (as far as I can tell) and it should. People are too easily impressed with the athleticism shown, without considering why the horse is making that effort or the long term consequences.

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  22. I wouldn’t want to try and ride that. So many horses are over jumped “Big” is not all that it is cracked up to be. Proper training takes patience and schooling.

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  23. Im so glad i wasnt the only one who was appalled by this. If you see the video, you can see the woman snapping the whip on the horses legs right before take off. Very sad!

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  24. Oh well. At least it will look pretty as someone’s lawn mower soon, it will go lame or be unridable soon. Poor thing will probably just end up sitting in a padock somewhere. But we can only hope that someone takes this horse in the near future and teaches it properly before its too late and will go far and be sound and happy

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  25. From someone who used to ride (but saddle seat), what does “prepping” mean, and what are pinch boots? As a now dog sport person I cringed when I saw the video and kept pointing out that she is whipping his hocks, but I don’t understand some of the terms you all are using. TIA.

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  26. Give me a break. Yes, he’s over jumping. Yes, he will court unsoundness if he continues. Yes, it’s a little hard to watch.

    Claiming the owners/trainers/breeders must be “prepping” to achieve that on purpose? You’d better be absolutely sure of yourself and prepared to back that claim up in court, because if that was my business you were bashing on supposition and baseless guesses, you can be sure I’d sue you. Seriously? You have NO physical evidence to back that up. If you do, if be delighted to see it.

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  27. Thanks for speaking about this. Evidentially there needs to be more education regarding artificial aids used for this type of jump.

    With that said, yes, I have seen some youngsters massively overjump. But it goes away with time.

    My request is that you do a blog educating people on artificial aids used in the jumper world because forums show a complete ignorce regarding it. Apparently few people know.

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