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War Admiral
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:16 AM
NOT meant to degenerate into a "back in the day" thread - honest! :lol: - but watching the Hunter Derby last night I confess I did find myself wondering why we never see coops in the hunterz any more. Why did this style of jump fall so far out of favor? Hey, I hated them TOO (and flattened more than a couple in my day!), but they still seem like a legitimate question to ask... So why are they never used any more?

MHM
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:19 AM
Safety. The base-wide design means the jump won't fall, the horse will.

War Admiral
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:32 AM
Interesting... I can't say I ever saw a horse fall over one. Scramble, yes; knock it over, oh HECK yes (pick a decade and that horse was probably mine!), get "stuck in the middle" on occasion, but I honestly don't think I ever saw a horse fall...

Kryswyn
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:46 AM
Too cumbersome to move and to adjust for course heights. You put more than one rail on top and it becomes a vertical (IMHO), so you'd to be swapping out coops for almost every section. And, a 4' coop is really, really heavy!

War Admiral
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:48 AM
Yeah, THAT makes more sense. Still, I'd love to see one in the Hunter Derbies. It'd make a nice change!

goodmorning
Apr. 3, 2011, 11:01 AM
My SO built my a 2'9 coop (so smallish) and its very, very cumbersome :lol: Gets a hard, clean jump - the horse does not want to hit it. Smart horse ;)

mojo7777
Apr. 3, 2011, 11:22 AM
I was just wondering that same thing, and glad to get the answer. We have an old one hanging out at our place, and I have to admit that seeing it gives me a little nostalgic thrill.

GrayCatFarm
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:00 PM
We built a roll top and a coop last year, both in two sections, with holes in the sides to make them easier to move. Love the look in the ring, and love the jump we get over them. Only about 2'6".

neigh.neigh
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:19 PM
They use one almost every year at the USEF Medal Finals

MHM
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:24 PM
I remember a girl MANY years ago who spent the summer flat on her back in bed after her pony flipped over a coop and squished her. I think she had a broken pelvis, but she was lucky it wasn't worse.

katie+tru
Apr. 3, 2011, 01:18 PM
Gets a hard, clean jump - the horse does not want to hit it. Smart horse ;)


I love solid fences for this reason. Not to mention, I event, so solid fences are a given in my world. You get the real power and careful jumping you desire over solid obstecles. The horse can judge them better too, as compared to pole jumps which can be deceiving.

shedllybip
Apr. 3, 2011, 02:11 PM
You should come to my area. One of the managers rents jumps a lot from the same guy - and the same course designer always sets up a 3 to a 2 across the diagonal usually using coops at all 3 jumps. Biggest looking line at every show.

Go Fish
Apr. 3, 2011, 03:06 PM
We jump coops and roll tops at home. I'm trying to remember if I've seen them at shows. I think I have...but probably, it hasn't been too often.

I'll have to start paying attention. I worry more about the height of the jump than what it's made up with.

BeastieSlave
Apr. 3, 2011, 04:16 PM
I love 'em, but they sure are a bitch to schlep around the ring!

Hunter Mom
Apr. 3, 2011, 04:36 PM
We see them from time to time. Have a couple at our barn in fact. They are indeed heavy, nasty things to deal with when setting the course. HATE them for that! We also see a lot of roll tops. One venue we show at regularly has the new plastic type - it's not bad to set but will definitely get a horse to look at carefully. Height is hard, too, to adjust with a solid filler like that.

justmagic
Apr. 3, 2011, 06:25 PM
We did jump them in Wellington this winter. They just must have opted not to use them in the derby.

kahhull
Apr. 3, 2011, 06:29 PM
One of my horses once hit the top and stepped in the middle of a coop, then dragged it halfway around the arena in a panic. It was a small one but she clearly didn't have the judgment of goodmorning's horse. :) Needless to say she did not end up a jumper, and I haven't been a fan of coops ever since. I had a friend who had a similar incident but her horse had the sense to just stand there and wait for someone to remove the jump from her leg. They look nice and *most* horses get a good strong jump over it, but I can't really say I miss them.

SLW
Apr. 3, 2011, 06:41 PM
I watched the Derby online and wondered the same thing WA.

I giggled thinking to myself to truly mimic a honest to goodness feild hunter they need to have a few cows in a pen on the side, if not loose in the arena, a few sheep/goats somewhere in the line of vision and a steep bank to go down. :) Otherwise, those were beautiful horses and a joy to watch. I do wish if the gals are going to wear a shadbelly they would wear regular breeches. Low cut breeches with a belt take away from the elegance. :(

toomanyponies
Apr. 3, 2011, 07:10 PM
Could you imagine if there were cows in a pen? I bet some of those horses would lose their mind. . .!!! and a few that could care less. I guess it would all depend on their upbringing!!

lesson junkie
Apr. 3, 2011, 07:13 PM
We jump them at every local show.

The barn where I lesson has two-one at 2'3", and the other at 2'9".

War Admiral
Apr. 3, 2011, 08:05 PM
Maybe they're only out of fashion in my area.

I will say this - that when we made them at home, we just used 2 painted pieces of plywood leaned up against a rail in typical jump cups - so when a horse DID hit it, the whole thing collapsed in a heap. It made a hellacious racket when it toppled, too, so they were usually a lot more careful after that! :lol:

I got to thinking about it b/c we took my baby greenie for an "away day" schooling at a neighboring farm, and a different baby greenie also present had a complete meltdown at a gate which had been set at an angle in order to lower it for some pony kids. I thought "that horse needs to jump COOPS" and then we watched the Hunter Derby later and there wasn't one...

Thanks all! :yes:

Janet
Apr. 3, 2011, 08:31 PM
I will say this - that when we made them at home, we just used 2 painted pieces of plywood leaned up against a rail in typical jump cups - so when a horse DID hit it, the whole thing collapsed in a heap. It made a hellacious racket when it toppled, too, so they were usually a lot more careful after that! :lol:

I'd call that a "panel", not a "coop".

fordtraktor
Apr. 3, 2011, 08:46 PM
I think they are uncommon for safety reasons. When I was riding the ponies my pony trainer told me about seeing a pony kid die falling under a coop, her pony stepped on it and it collapsed and crushed her skull. Her coops sat unused behind the barn. I did not see it personally so I can't attest for the truth of the story, but you can see how it might happen, many coops used to be hinged. The one at issue supposedly sort of snapped shut on the kid's head.

So never, ever use a hinged coop, they are not as good an idea as they might seem at first.

Janet
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:06 PM
The hunter rules explicitly ban hinged coops.
HU122.2

ASB Stars
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:12 PM
I have a picture of me, jumping the last fence I ever did, in hunter competition. It is a coop. I hated them. They were "half round" on the front, around here, and flat, on the back. And nasty.

The one I was jumping was in a 3'3" class, and it looked MUCH larger, on the filthy stopper I was riding. Hated. Them.

Oh, he was Reserve, that day. Sold him.

equidae
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:18 PM
I like coops. I always thought they got a good jump out of the horse and were easy to see a distance too. Better than roll tops!

fordtraktor
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:24 PM
The hunter rules explicitly ban hinged coops.
HU122.2

Thanks Janet, glad that is in the rules.

justjumpit278
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:43 PM
They are definitely a pain in the rear to move, but I LOVE jumping them. My barn has both a roll top and a coup. They get the horse to use themselves the best, by far. :)

Mimi La Rue
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:03 PM
We have half rounds and coops at my barn. We've had the same ones for 15 year plus. When I was a teen I remember being so excited the first time I got to jump my horse over the coop. I don't dare jump a coop now or half round now. :lol:

HunterRider992
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:29 PM
I have a picture of me, jumping the last fence I ever did, in hunter competition. It is a coop. I hated them. They were "half round" on the front, around here, and flat, on the back. And nasty.

The one I was jumping was in a 3'3" class, and it looked MUCH larger, on the filthy stopper I was riding. Hated. Them.

Oh, he was Reserve, that day. Sold him.

That is not a coop. You are describing a rolltop.

paint hunter
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:05 AM
I just went back and looked at my pictures from the WEG of the Hunter Derby exhibition. There were several coop fences and something resembling a green astroturf wall with rounded edges. Most of the fences did have a top rail. There was also a rail fence with a fake tree trunk log underneath it. I think I remember seeing the grey "weathered" coop fence in the Derby Finals.

pm59
Apr. 4, 2011, 07:04 AM
WE have them here,( Pa) in all the M&S classes , hunter and Eq, my 7 yr old jumps them and her pony has no problems. As long as they are appropriate to the fence height in the class I am ok with them.

Trixie
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:10 AM
I feel like I rarely see them in the show ring here, but they're pretty much in everyone's field somewhere.


Could you imagine if there were cows in a pen? I bet some of those horses would lose their mind. . .!!! and a few that could care less. I guess it would all depend on their upbringing!!

My horse would just about die. He's been hunting, been ridden out extensively, shows in the 3'6" jumpers and hunters when we feel like it, but is just ever loving terrified of cows. We were out on a hunt trail ride and boy, did he jump hard and clean out of the cow field... :lol:

Some day we're going to take our friends up on the offer of letting him stay a few days near their cows, to learn that they are not All That is Evil.

Renn/aissance
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:47 PM
You should come to my area. One of the managers rents jumps a lot from the same guy - and the same course designer always sets up a 3 to a 2 across the diagonal usually using coops at all 3 jumps. Biggest looking line at every show.

That sounds like a gorgeous-looking line but I pity your jump crew having to move the suckers!

Thoroughbred1201
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:47 PM
a different baby greenie also present had a complete meltdown at a gate which had been set at an angle in order to lower it for some pony kids. :

I remember those. That was pretty common way back when, when most of the gates were 3 ft at a miminmum. The gates were just angled to make them lowere.

When you mentioned coops, I had an imediate flashback to my junior days. The barn I rode at had a coop of rails. It was the shape of a coop, but was just three railes on each side: bottom, top and middle. So you could see through it. The horse I was riding stopped and slid into it, getting his foot stuck in the middle of it. We careened around that arena for what seemed forever, dragging that thing with us, and the horse panicking trying to get loose the whole time. I was convinced that I was going to die.

It was a really pretty hunter jump, but I did notice they didn't use it much after that.

LaurieB
Apr. 4, 2011, 06:44 PM
When I showed ponies back in the dark ages, there were coops at every show. I would imagine that over the years, I probably saw 5-6 horses/ponies flip from catching a leg and one little girl was killed when her pony flipped and landed on her.

In most cases they were two hinged panels that could be adjusted in height from 2'6 to 4' by narrowing or widening the base.

Due's Mom
Apr. 4, 2011, 07:28 PM
I always loved jumping coops but Tiger traps I hated! Those things were far too airy and I could never see my distance to it.

Crown Royal
Apr. 4, 2011, 08:18 PM
Couldn't tell you why coops aren't used anymore, other than what's been said; they can be dangerous and are just more difficult to move around and adjust than your typical rails, brush boxes, and standards.

I, personally, am thankful I don't encounter them now with the horse I ride and show. Technically, we wouldn't have them in our courses (jumper) but I do occassionally do some small-height hunter classes at local shows. He's not overly brave and despite being a jumper, he's not always the most careful over his fences. He always overjumps by a lot, but he's tricky about distances. Therefore I choose to just do jumpers, not eventing. The cross-country just wouldn't be safe enough on him.

On the other hand, I would have loved little coops when I was showing my pony a few years ago. He's fantastic- super brave, can make most distances work, a blast cross-country (LOVES the solid fences), and he has a nice big solid safe stride and way of going. I wish they had pony-sized hunter derbies- I would have so done them on him.

But yeah, current horse? I'm a weenie over scary solid fences on him. He's a super athletic TB but his mind isn't always where it should be. A safe good horse? Sure!

Swale01
Apr. 5, 2011, 09:49 AM
Perhaps the issue with coups for some show managers would be the same as the issue with roll tops? I asked my trainer why he doesn't have any roll tops at shows (despite having some very ornate fences with different gates, boxes, flowers, etc) and he said that they are just too expensive to repair or replace if a horse damages them - they are cost-prohibitive in his mind to use for shows. Much cheaper to repair or replace a damaged gate or box.

JLD
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:01 AM
I don't mean to ask a stupid question but can someone post a pic of a coop that a horse would "step in"? Like a coop with an open top?

My memory may well be failing me (as usual lately) but I can't remember jumping coops like that. I thought the coops of my youth were solid and completely closed in at the top. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly or the ones I jumped weren't traditional coops?

whbar158
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:34 AM
How is a coop any more dangerous than the boxes that most shows use? Where my horse is there is a coop, the coop is about 2' high though, but I don't find it any heavier than boxes the same size. It has a flat top, not pointed, but I have seen horses land on the normal box and drag it around in panic around the ring so I fail to see why a coop is any different?

MHM
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:11 AM
How is a coop any more dangerous than the boxes that most shows use? Where my horse is there is a coop, the coop is about 2' high though, but I don't find it any heavier than boxes the same size. It has a flat top, not pointed, but I have seen horses land on the normal box and drag it around in panic around the ring so I fail to see why a coop is any different?

The coop is more dangerous because it will. Not. Fall. Over. It's not so much the dragging around the ring part as the horse who might hang a leg at a solid heavy coop and flip over it, since the coop won't fall over, unlike a wall or a box. a horse can make a pretty big mistake at a wall or box and still land on his feet on the other side, since the jump components give a little when they get knocked over. A coop, not so much.

Coops are also hard to repair, move, and change heights for different classes, as others have said. But to me, the safety factor is the biggest issue.

whbar158
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:50 AM
Roll tops don't fall over either. I guess that just doesn't bother me because I really enjoy jumping solid jumps. I also have been lucky that I have ridden smart horses that usually have stopped instead of crashing through the solid ones. But that does make sense, I hadn't thought of the falling over aspect.

Kryswyn
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:19 PM
I have a picture of me, jumping the last fence I ever did, in hunter competition. It is a coop. I hated them. They were "half round" on the front, around here, and flat, on the back. And nasty.

The one I was jumping was in a 3'3" class, and it looked MUCH larger, on the filthy stopper I was riding. Hated. Them.

Oh, he was Reserve, that day. Sold him.

For the record, that was a roll top and yes, they look much bigger than they are.

Thoroughbred1201
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:20 PM
I don't mean to ask a stupid question but can someone post a pic of a coop that a horse would "step in"? Like a coop with an open top?
?

A basic coop is a triangular shaped wall, wider at the bottom and flat on top. The open coop I was talking about was a triangular shaped box shape of rails. Kind of like a frame you would build to then cover with solid plywood. Only it was made of natural rails. They would wind brush through it. Like I said, very pretty, but really airy, like a natural gate. Only like a coop, this wouldn't fall.

Kryswyn
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:33 PM
I don't mean to ask a stupid question but can someone post a pic of a coop that a horse would "step in"? Like a coop with an open top?

My memory may well be failing me (as usual lately) but I can't remember jumping coops like that. I thought the coops of my youth were solid and completely closed in at the top. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly or the ones I jumped weren't traditional coops?

The kind with hinges in the middle would have a gap that a hoof can get through, which is why they are illegal. I never liked the ones with the 2x4 flat on the top that the planks or panels butted into. Those did seem like an invitation to "Put hoof here" :eek:

MHM
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:36 PM
I never liked the ones with the 2x4 flat on the top that the planks or panels butted into. Those did seem like an invitation to "Put hoof here" :eek:

Often painted with a sign only the horses could see: Bank me!

I did see a pony decide to try the bank option off a solid-looking jump at a show last year. Luckily for him, nothing terrible happened, probably because the pony wasn't too heavy. :eek:

DMK
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:39 PM
Really? Was that like the invisible sign on all the rolltops my old hunter ever galloped up to:

"Here there be Dragons... BIG MEAN NASTY TB EATING DRAGONS!!!"

MajfrmNY
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:40 PM
The horse's would probably PEEK and actually use their neck and back which would in turn pop most of the rider's out of the tack like a cork from a champagne bottle.

MajfrmNY
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:41 PM
The horse's would probably PEEK and actually use their neck and back which would in turn pop most of the rider's out of the tack like a cork from a champagne bottle. Especially so if the rider is doing the step on toe and drape pose.

Kim
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:44 PM
I loved coops because my horse had evented as a young horse - and therefore would jump the coop when none of the other hunters would! :)

Linny
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:34 PM
There were two big coops in the hunter derby at the Skidmore/Saratoga show last year.

What I miss are verticle gates. Every show used to have a big gate that would just hang there. No filler, no fluff or flowers or hay bales, just a big ugly gate.

LaurieB
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:03 PM
There were two big coops in the hunter derby at the Skidmore/Saratoga show last year.

What I miss are verticle gates. Every show used to have a big gate that would just hang there. No filler, no fluff or flowers or hay bales, just a big ugly gate.

No ground pole either. Just that big ole gate swinging in the wind. :D

ASB Stars
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:36 PM
I hated big, airy verticals Yuck.

Many years ago, I showed a big TB hunter to a client, out at a friends place. They did not have a ring, and they didn't have and standards. They had a couple of poles.

The two of them held the pole at about 3' to start, and I cantered this horse back and forth over it, on their screened driveway. Then we got up around 3'6"- no ground line, nuthin'-- just two nuts holding a rail.

The client bought the horse.

Ride'emCO
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:50 PM
Then we got up around 3'6"- no ground line, nuthin'-- just two nuts holding a rail.

The client bought the horse.

I would guess so! LOL! :eek: Great story. :cool:

Ravencrest_Camp
Apr. 6, 2011, 01:38 PM
There were two big coops in the hunter derby at the Skidmore/Saratoga show last year.

What I miss are verticle gates. Every show used to have a big gate that would just hang there. No filler, no fluff or flowers or hay bales, just a big ugly gate.

For years the trend in course design was away from true verticals. In order to encourage good jumping course designers started to build very rampy and wide "verticals".

With it becoming harder and harder to differentiate between rounds, that trend is slowly starting to reverse itself with course designers re-introducing true verticals. For the most part this is not done in a line, but as a single fence.

Sonoma City
Apr. 6, 2011, 01:46 PM
If the concern is with the coop not falling over, I would think a clever jump designer could design one so that the top few boards were stackable so if the horse hit the top a section would slide off, like the large walls they use in the jumpers. It would be a rather arduous process since you'd have to angle each section so that the whole looked like a solid coop, but considering how much jumps at these big shows costs I bet it wouldn't break the bank!

Linny
Apr. 6, 2011, 02:22 PM
No ground pole either. Just that big ole gate swinging in the wind. :D

I had one blow out of the cups one day as I was approaching the jump beside it. My saintly boy never batted an eye, but then I wasn't sure what to do as I cantered down the line, after the line came the now defunct gate! The ring crew hadn't seen the jump fall (I guess they just stood there waiting for the sound of demolition before swinging into action) and I looked at the judge for guidance.
It was a local show and the judge signaled for me to walk while by now the crew was en route to the fallen gate. I resumed my canter and finished the course. We pinned second to a very fancy horse and I have to guess that the horse's non-reaction to the falling gate moved him way up in the judge's eyes.

Madeline
Apr. 6, 2011, 02:25 PM
There were two big coops in the hunter derby at the Skidmore/Saratoga show last year.

What I miss are verticle gates. Every show used to have a big gate that would just hang there. No filler, no fluff or flowers or hay bales, just a big ugly gate.

I believe that there was one of those last weekend in the handy round. I only saw one horse go flying through it.