They jump kind of like what I would imagine a brontosaurus would jump like, and it's kind of hard to overcome gravity and get that big old front end off the ground, but it can be done.
And when you're done going over the cross country course with them (admittedly a teeny tiny one) they are very forward!
I joined in the kid's group lesson today just for grins and giggles, and looked at my trainer like she was crazy when she ordered me to join them on the cross country course. Me? Jump? On him? She suggested that it might be good for him, as our last show experience was a bit...hairy. So out we went, trucking cross country with my 14 year old daughter and her friend, braving squirrels, water jumps, and logs, but it was really fun. I will definitely do this more often, now that we have our course constructed.
We didn't jump anything higher than 2', but honestly, he really seemed to enjoy himself, and the kids had fun watching him.
I KNOW shetlands can jump - mine used to use that as a way to get me off!
I was joking, actually - I've only seen a couple of pictures of them jumping, but it doesn't seem to be done much. He did act like the first couple of jumps were going to kill him, but after that he seemed to get interested in it.
After the last show I'll pretty much expose him to anything including working cows to get him seasoned. We'll be out on the river for the fall doctoring as soon as I can wrangle an invitation with my ex's family and figure out a way to keep his mane out of the mud...
I am glad to hear all these stories, as I didn't know much about the breed. I got him by accident after other horse died (it was a happy accident that brought him to me) and no one in this area really has anything like him. I've always had working cow horses and any of the English breeds are slightly mysterious to me . I did have my share of TB's as barrel racers, but nothing this fancy . I'm glad to find him so versatile. I do ride him just like he's a regular horse, albeit one that's slightly heavy in the front end, like a brontosaurus, or a moose.
Edit: Oh, and he did go through his keuring in 2004 but I had never been to one so I didn't know exactly what was involved, or that they jumped.
The first time I saw my Friesian jump, he was only three years old. I had only recently bought him and turned him loose in our indoor to run and buck. On his own, and with no input from me, he cantered toward a stack of jump rails and planks piled up in the middle of the ring, jumped with a lovely bascule, swapped leads and cantered off off in the other direction!
He is now five. His balance on the flat has improved greatly and we're jumping more and more (so far nothing bigger than 2').
Honestly - he jumps like he was born to do it!
I'm not particularly partial to the tendency to pre-judge what Friesians (or any horse) can and can't do. They're not only for Dressage or Driving. They are a War Horse breed, meaning they should be able to deal with whatever comes their way.
I think any horse can jump.
Granted, some will always jump better than others (conformation).
Some will enjoy it more than others (heart).
... maybe I just got lucky
Originally Posted by thatmoody
I do ride him just like he's a regular horse, albeit one that's slightly heavy in the front end, like a brontosaurus, or a moose.
The heavy front-end stuff is a training issue. You rarely see a Brontosaurus competing at level 3
... It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Shwung
One of my friends has a Friesian who can jump! He schooled x-c up to Training level, though *very* rarely as he developed minor hock arthritis and she did not want to put unnecessary pressure on them by jumping him for fun when Dressage was his forte.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
I'm really enjoying playing with my horse, and cross-training with him. I've only had him a couple of months, and can't believe he's never been out! In any case, I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, and enjoying exploring new avenues. I haven't been riding English for very long (a couple of years, after a lifetime of working cows) and I'm certainly not bored yet, but it's kinda nice to be able to get back to my roots, even with my new-fangled horse...
Ah, I wondered about that, as I have seen videos from his keuring, and didn't see that part. Although different breed associations (FHNA FHS or FPZV) seem to have different keuring papers - mine includes a canter score and I don't see that on the FHNA paper I just looked up online. He got an 8.5, btw, overall on his canter .
There are two different styles of Friesians, the driving more baroque (?sp?) type and the more modern dressage sport horse type. Although any horse can jump, Friesians were not developed to do so. They are missing a vertibrae in their neck (hence the higher neckset) and have an extra vertibrae in their back. This makes it harder for them physically to jump over things, but it is certainly not impossible. I know quite a few Friesians who are fantastic jumpers and others who just have a difficult time doing so. I really apprecaite when people take their Friesians, who have been cast into a dressage or driving only mold, and show their athletic ability. If your Friesian can jump & enjoys it why not go for it!
P.S. narcisco - FHANA is certainly not slackers, they demand perfection and are an incredable organization for keeping the Friesian breed true to style. Their stallions are put through multiple tests and are tested each year tomake sure good stock is being born. FHANA is anyhting but slackers with the amount of work they put into the Friesian horse. I'm not saying that FPZV isn't good, although those who aren't good enough for FHANA are generally accepted by FPZV just a wink, they just are more lenient in what they accept into their registry.
That was a joke, because there is a huge rivalry between the two organizations, as you've demonstrated. I've heard the identical argument come out of the other side. I'm sure both are amazing organizations.
This whole post was a joke, and I'm glad to see that we can all have a sense of humor about our horses . There IS a bit of rivalry between the organizations (how could there not be?) but I think we're all here for breed improvement.
I know, I know I'm just pulling your leg. There is and awlays will be a rivalry between the two as there are in any organizations. Sorry to start the argument here. thatmoody- you're right lets just stick to expanding hte knowledge of a beautiful breed.
1-Friesians have an extra vertebra in their spine!
2-FHANA demands perfection in their horses! Is that why they do not score their canter? And why they do not give the horses an opportunity to run at liberty to evaluate their unhindered natural movement, versus having a runner jack their head up high like a park horse to get those knees snapping? And that's why I have seen them measure the height of the horses with their necks held vertically, rather than lowering the head to get a true and accurate measurement?
Sorry-the 'modern' 'sport' type Friesian is only a refined, almost saddlebred type looking horse (not bashing SB's...I actually like the old ones!). Most of the 'sport' assigned Friesians I have seen I would not touch with a 100 foot pole. They may be refined, but there is still nothing athletic about them. Most of them can't move their way out of a paper bag.
By the way, I own 5 imported Friesians. All but one of them have just enough room on their backs for the saddle to sit just so. No room for error. Most warmbloods have longer backs. They are not bouncy to ride, quit smooth actually. They can jump pretty impressively if required. They have excellent 3 beat canters. Quick to learn, very trainable, none of the 'common' health issues that we hear about all the time, and *gasp* do not move like park horses. Dressage judges have commented that my stallion has 'great potential for FEI level work!'.
Snarky yes, having a bad day. But making a valid point all the same. Sorry if I offended anyone. But I get offended by the inaccurate remarks repeatedly made about the breed as well. A horse is a horse is a horse.
I agree with you that FHANA should judge a horse at all gaits and at liberty, but the part about the snappy knees I would have to disagree. As a breeder of the Friesian horse (and a has been breeder going back to when you had to be a Dutch citizen to own a Friesian) I would say that the driving horses are breed to have the snappy knees, but the dressage horses are breed to move like warmbloods without the knee action.
I believe that the judges measure the horses with their heads in the natural vericle position because thats just it, natural for them to stand with thier heads up. I have never seen a holder purposly hold a Friesians head at an unnatural erect position when they are being measured at inspection.
I think its a shame that you are degrading the sport horse type Friesian by saying that they are not athletic. Sure there are some who don't have the athleticism, but there are plenty of others who have come a long way in modernizing the Friesian for dressage.
I really don't want to argue with you, but typing that rant was really uncalled for. Let's celebrate the breed not criticize and degrade. There is no need to have a nasty attitude towards others opinions, you have a right to yours and I have a right to mine, but please don't make a scene.