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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2006
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    Question Event Prospect?

    I'll preface this by saying that I am far from an expert on eventing. I used to do a little bit as a teen at some local shows in upstate NY many, many years ago. Now I am mostly a low level dressage and trail rider.

    I have a friend's 5 year old mare with me to get gently started under saddle. Until now, she has been a pasture pet, halter trained, trimmed, handled, but that's about it. I've had her for 2 weeks now and we are working on basics, like lunging without running off or running me over. She's a dominant personality with tons of energy, smart too.

    I get the question, "Can she jump?" So I set up a jump chute last weekend. She is 14 hands tall and easily cleared the 3'4" rail.
    http://www.akalranch.com/images/090405BonitaJump2.JPEG
    http://www.akalranch.com/images/090405BonitaJump3.JPEG

    If she learns to tuck her knees, she'll clear higher. The video that the stills above are from is here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdAGn...e=channel_page

    I'm not going to be the one to take her on past these next few months, but I'm curious to know what others think might be a possible career for her. She might end up being a trail horse, but I wonder if she couldn't do more than that. I'm asking here, because of my lack of real world experience in jumping and eventing. I'm truly interested in honest opinions. I don't want to put her out there as something she's not.
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  2. #2
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    Sep. 8, 2006
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    That's a darling little mare, and I'd ride her in a heartbeat, but with that hanging forearm, I would not ride her cross country. Not only does the leg dangle below the knee, the shoulder does not allow the forearm to raise any higher. She looks catty and athletic enough, but not in the way that an event horse needs to jump...just my opinion. Someone else will come along and say that their horse that hangs it's lets is a GREAT event horse...(at Beginner novice )

    But, she is cute a s a bug, and at the lower levels you could have fun with her. More low cavaletti (it does not matter how HIGH she can jump right now...keep the fences low) might tighten her up from the knee down...the forearm thing is what it is...not much can change that.



  3. #3
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    By forearm, are you meaning elbow to knee? Good to know. Thanks.
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  4. #4
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    Mar. 16, 2009
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    NH
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    she looks like a cute one but i would strengthen her back and top-line before jumping her much. We had a 6yr old that always hung his knees before we got him. It turned out that 6 months of full dressage training really helped and he actually tucks when he has to (only over about 4ft or higher... )

    so really work on getting her back stronger so she is more willing to jump forward rather than up.



  5. #5
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    Yes, this was her first formal jump experience. I did hear later that she had jumped out of 4+ foot pasture fences as a youngster, just because she wanted to be somewhere else. I don't plan on doing any jumping with her. I'll just be working on the basics toward a sensible ridden horse, in the ring and out.

    I took my horse to a long lining clinic recently and figure that will be a good way to develop her strength, once she learns to lunge well enough, that is.



    Thanks for the input.
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simrat View Post
    By forearm, are you meaning elbow to knee? Good to know. Thanks.
    Yes, from elbow to knee. Ideally, the forearm should be able to rotate high enough to be parallel to the ground, and if you will look at some photos of some really good jumpers, you will see that, as well as the leg from knee to hoof tucked up too. Some till even get the forearm angled up higher than perpendicular. As the other poster said, strengthening can help, but the shoulder is what it is. If the conformation will not allow the knee to get high enough, the horse will not be as clean a jumper (or as safe, in my opinion)

    A horse that dangles is more likely to catch rails in showjumping,and scrape over larger cross country fences...which is often the cause of falls.
    Now, if you go on with this horse and make an advanced event horse out of it, and prove me wrong, good for you ...but as a prospect, I would not think of going there.
    Last edited by Mach Two; Apr. 10, 2009 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Change word Perpendicular to the correct word, parallel..reason..lack of sleep.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 14, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mach Two View Post
    Yes, from elbow to knee. Ideally, the forearm should be able to rotate high enough to be perpendicular to the ground, and if you will look at some photos of some really good jumpers, you will see that, as well as the leg from knee to hoof tucked up too. Some till even get the forearm angled up higher than perpendicular. As the other poster said, strengthening can help, but the shoulder is what it is.
    Do you mean PARALLEL to the ground? I've seen bad jumpers with their forearms perpendicular to the ground (knees down) and good/great jumpers with their forearms parallel to the ground, or slightly angled above parallel, but now I'm picturing some freaky deformed horses with their forearms straight up in the air and their knees above their own necks.

    Or am I misunderstanding something?



  8. #8
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    Oct. 22, 2001
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    Look, it doesn't have to jump perfectly to be a nice BN/novice/training prospect. Would I pick this one for an upper level horse? No. But she's adorable and fun and I suspect would be absolutely fine at the lower levels. Go for it - find a good coach who can help you through the basics and have at it!



  9. #9
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    I think she's cute and has a nice attitude. If this is her first time doing this kind of exercise, then I like her a lot because she seems to be figuring it out as she goes along. She didn't over jump the barrels after the first time. Her jump over the bigger fence looked like she was experimenting with her body and having fun.

    If she's 14hh, a small adult or kid could have a lot of fun with her.



  10. #10
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    She seemed to enjoy it, until she got bored. It really didn't take a lot to push her through. And yes, she was figuring it out for the first time.

    She's just starting to get voice commands on the lunge, so we have a ways to go...

    Again, thanks for all the feedback. I do appreciate it.
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashykatt View Post
    Do you mean PARALLEL to the ground? I've seen bad jumpers with their forearms perpendicular to the ground (knees down) and good/great jumpers with their forearms parallel to the ground, or slightly angled above parallel, but now I'm picturing some freaky deformed horses with their forearms straight up in the air and their knees above their own necks.

    Or am I misunderstanding something?
    Doh! I was up WAAAYYY too late...yes, I meant parallel.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 15, 2008
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    Versailles, Ky
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    I love her! I thinks she's adorable. Will she go upper levels? Probably not, but I can see her being a blast at the lower levels. I'll agree that how high she can jump is not the big thing right now, but figureing out (over smaller fences) where the legs are supposed to go, when, and how...with good help, she ought to tighten up naturally as you start to teach her about jumping under saddle, grids, and exercises. Have a great time with her!



  13. #13
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    I actually really liked her in the video. The two things that caught my attention were:

    1) She appeared to be really trying to figure out the best place to take off. Some horses will canter through a chute, and they seem to be unable to pick a "spot". If they happen to come to the jump when it fits in the middle of their canter stride, great, they'll sorta canter over, sorta jump it. But if the jump doesn't happen to occur in the middle of their stride, fuhgeddaboudit. This little girl seemed to be at least watching the jump, planning a takeoff, and JUMPING, not just cantering.

    2) She seemed to really LIKE it, based on how she seemed to be all impressed with herself and proud when she'd get to the end of the chute each time. I like a horse to enjoy its job!

    I wasn't actually bothered by her loose front legs, it looked pretty easy for her to loft herself into the air, she cleared the jumps by a reasonable amount, if it's easy for her to go UP, she might not have tight legs and high knees until the jumps get higher.

    I would think that she could do Training level, going higher might be harder, but not impossible either.

    anyway, she gets extra points for extreme cuteness!



  14. #14
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    I disagree with Mach Two. This isn't a bad jumper hanging her knees. This is a green horse who looks pretty catty in a grid of fences not set the best for a green horse and who looked a bit tired by the end of the video jumping the bigger fences. The distances also looked a bit tight for her at this stage. I would have done fewer elements and kept it simple.

    A horse that hangs it's knees in a dangerous jumping style points it's knees down....this mare didn't do that. This mare also looked very careful and was very good with her knees early on in the video. I would not be writing her off based on that first school but would be keeping an eye to see how she improved.....her other instincts looked quite good.

    No...not an upper level event prospect...and no...probably not a show hunter prospect. But a very cute little mare who looks capable as a low level eventer or local show pony depending on how easy she is to ride.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    I disagree with Mach Two. This isn't a bad jumper hanging her knees. This is a green horse who looks pretty catty in a grid of fences not set the best for a green horse and who looked a bit tired by the end of the video jumping the bigger fences. The distances also looked a bit tight for her at this stage. I would have done fewer elements and kept it simple.
    I realized that I had created a more challenging situation than I should have, when I watched the video. I did move the first cross rail out a bit half way through, when I notice her taking a tiny stride in front of it. Three strides would have been better than two. I was limited by what materials I had to work with. That was every jump element at the barn...

    Thanks for the differing opinions, bornfreenowexpensive and flashykatt. Yes, I think that she did LIKE it.

    Last edited by Simrat; Apr. 10, 2009 at 10:09 PM.
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simrat View Post
    I realized that I had created a more challenging situation than I should have, when I watched the video. I did move the first cross rail out a bit half way through, when I notice her taking a tiny stride in front of it. Three strides would have been better than two. I was limited by what materials I had to work with. That was every jump element at the barn...

    Thanks for the differing opinion, bornfreenowexpensive.

    The good thing about the challenge was it showed she has got some good jumping instincts. A really brave little thinker. I like that. And it wasn't so much of a challenge to her that you have done any damage. Just not the sort of exercise that is going to elicit the best form from her at this stage of her training.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  17. #17
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    Sep. 8, 2006
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    I usually am in agreement with bornfreenowexpensive...and some good comments are raised. Maybe if I'd seen more in the trot, but then, I was also considering this horse was 14 h...with a low set neck, and some restriction in the shoulder...yes, certainly cagey and catty in figuring out...and like I said, I'd think she could do the low levels. I'd still like to not see that lower leg dangling...and have seen horses jump the first time with the snap of the knee and getting that leg clear, instead of lofting higher..that's tiring

    This is why I love to come visit the forum...it's fun to discuss!
    Thanks for sharing your cute mare. Like I said...I'd ride her...not eventing, but I'd ride her!



  18. #18
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    I forgot about this still, where she wasn't making such a huge effort. I think it was a bit lower jump.

    http://www.akalranch.com/images/090405BonitaJump.JPEG
    Akal Ranch Blog - http://akalranch.com/
    Simrat Khalsa Fine Art & Photography - http://www.simratkhalsa.com/



  19. #19
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    Jul. 20, 2006
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    This is a great thread! There are so many different perspectives on the same image of one horse. She's a cutie that's for sure.

    One question: What do you all mean when you refer to her being "catty?"



  20. #20
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    Jul. 17, 2003
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    Maine
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    I think it means agile, as in the way you can drop a cat and they will twist themselves to land on thier feet.
    Theres more tuck in the still shot.



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