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Clever horse or bad fence ?

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  • Clever horse or bad fence ?


    Is this a smart horse or a badly designed question? I don't like these 'bank/bounce' fences, and this is exactly why.

    Thoughts ?
    "Friend" me !


  • #2
    I don't know much about those...but I feel like that bounce should be more defined or a big wider so the horse KNOWS to put in a step there.


    • #3
      It's a badly designed question, since it isn't a natural bank and doesn't really look like a bank-- the horse reads it as a really wide fence. That said, she came in off WAY too long a stride, it is something you would want to jump from a short, really bouncy canter, NOT a gallop. It's obviously a scopey horse but possibly not a very rateable one--it looks like it leaves long to the next fence as well.

      We schooled a bounce to a sunken road the other day, our first time doing an xc question like that, and really struggled with it because I shortened Apollo's stride and lost impulsion and then he stopped. This is the other extreme.


      • #4
        I think that rider went flying up to it... just my opinion. I jumped the bounce question at VA Horse Park and saw no issue with it, but wanted to make sure my horse understood to put its feet down on top (and this was on a mare that, if we'd galloped up to it like that, would have tried her darndest to jump the whole thing too)...
        “They were not sitting backwards on their horses,” he said with a sly smile. “But they had no dressage preparation..." - Bert de Nemethy


        • #5
          I absolutely do not have the knowledge or experience to comment on that, but I would think that in eventing, questions should not be "trick questions" to the horse. They can be difficult without being misleading, but I feel like reay6790 and HF said what I was thinking - but then I suppose it should also be part of the rider's job to help dictate the striding and take-off, so.. I don't know? But what I really had to say was, WOW, that's a BOLD horse.


          • #6
            We can't see what the horse sees. Without being able to walk the whole fence, from the other side as well, one shouldn't pass a judgment, I think, but I would love to see this fence as it was ridden, from the take off side.

            However, course design is all about just this. What a horse does when he sees something, and how a rider can affect what he does by training. Bouncy canter=must be something tricky, horse thinks. Big canter=must be something big to jump out of stride, horse thinks.

            If the horse did not understand it, or read it differently than it was meant to be jumped -- then there can be two reasons why. The first is, what did the rider do to prepare him? Too much? Not enough of the right thing? Nothing? The second is, is the question unfair -- and if it truly is, then no matter what the rider does, the result is bad. It's very rare that a recognized course designer with some experience creates an unfair question, but it does happen.

            Horses are amazing, especially a horse that has been around and jumped a few things. I love watching them figure stuff out, but when you look at it later, you realize, wow, that was scary!
            Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
            Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


            • #7
              is poor set-up to the fence an option?
              Barn rat for life


              • #8
                Originally posted by wcporter View Post
                is poor set-up to the fence an option?
                Very clever and athletic horse. Athletic horses don't always do things the easy way. :-)

                I don't know the rider or the horse but it's hard to judge whether they over-rode the fence or not without knowing the whole story. Maybe the horse had a history of stopping at similar questions. Maybe they had a sticky fence just before. It's easy to arm-chair quarterback later but unless you were there (and capable of riding that question) there are too many unknowns to pass judgement.

                My take on it was that the rider sat incredibly still through the whole thing and kept the horse in a good (albeit bold and forward) balance thus making it possible for the horse to cleverly extricate itself from the situation.
                He attacked everything in life with a mix of extrordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
                - Douglas Adams


                • #9
                  I think the horse read it as a very wide fence. He doesn't flail around in the air or spook or stutter. I have no idea if the rider could have ridden differently to explain it to him better, but the rider sat the fence well enough it was almost like she expected it.


                  • #10
                    From what I could see she had him in a big gallop coming into the fence. I would have thought that the horse would have a more powerful bouncey canter.

                    BTW- is that considered dangerous riding? if not was because it turned out ok? if the horse had crashed would it be called dangerous riding. Just a curious question since that seems to be such a vague area and a lot depends on the outcome.


                    • #11
                      To me, you can't consider this ONE fence dangerous riding. To me, DR is a repeated display of incompetency, not a mistake at one fence. ANYONE can make a mistake at one fence-- and yes, that one bad fence can kill you. That is a risk we all must face in this sport, and do our best to meet each fence as prepared as possible.

                      In this video, I see a bold horse presented perhaps a bit too forwardly, but in balance (which is why he was able to do what he did). Only 3 strides of her approach are on video-- it's hard to know what happened before that. Without seeing more, I can't say if she was too aggressive or not-- maybe she was just moving up to a distance. Horses DO occasionally make mistakes sometimes; they aren't machines, and just because we "input Program A-- Bank Fence" doesn't mean we will always get the desired result. Kudos to the clever horse for using his xc insticts to fix the mistake. I'd ride him, he looks fun.

                      As to the course design -- Normandy banks have been around for ages, especially in water complexes. They can ride sticky sometimes, but usually horses understand the question and handle it just fine.
                      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                      ? Albert Einstein



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                        We can't see what the horse sees. Without being able to walk the whole fence, from the other side as well, one shouldn't pass a judgment, I think, but I would love to see this fence as it was ridden, from the take off side.
                        My thoughts exactly.
                        "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure it would be enough for a penalty (and the TD would have to be right there, I would think) but it should be enough for a "keep an eye on this one." Assuming that it looked the same in person as it did in the video, of course. I do think it appears to be a very bad choice on the rider's part, regardless of whether the horse has a history of being sticky/ stopping or not. Yes, it is a clever, bold horse but she was also LUCKY. And it's not something you want a horse to think is okay to do, because eventually there is going to be a time when it doesn't work out. This is not a situation where moving up to a distance is a correct choice, this is a situation where you are far better off chipping in and kicking on.


                          • #14
                            Maybe just a little more rebalance and shortening needed, but that said... I WANT A HORSE LIKE THAT!!!


                            • Original Poster

                              I agree that the rider did an admirable job of staying still, centered, and not making the situation worse. And the horse displayed a fantastic 'fifth leg'/'save us both in a pinch' quality.

                              I can't tell what level/height the obstacle is, but it seems it is "small" enough that it is not obvious to the horse that it is meant as 2 jumping efforts.

                              There does seem to be a trend by course designers to try to 'trick' both horses and riders more and more. Instead of the question being 'can you jump this,' the question seems to have evolved into "can you figure out what the hell this is ?"
                              "Friend" me !



                              • #16
                                Absolutely amazing horse who realized the problem and acted to save himself. Defines the "fifth leg!" the rider was in the right balance and didn't hinder the horse from his self preservation. I really wonder if she knew what was going on - and I hope he earned many carrots and thanks!


                                • #17
                                  Seems to be a reasonable question, clever horse, really bad ride. Would we say it was an inappropriate question if the fence was a coffin and the rider FLEW into it and chested the fence? Rider walked the course, knew it was a bounce bank and rode it like a freakin' huge table.

                                  Third Charm Event Team


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
                                    Seems to be a reasonable question, clever horse, really bad ride. Would we say it was an inappropriate question if the fence was a coffin and the rider FLEW into it and chested the fence? Rider walked the course, knew it was a bounce bank and rode it like a freakin' huge table.

                                    I agree with this. Rider's balance was good but the approach was ?????.

                                    There is no trick or mystery about the right way to approach this kind of jump, rider just didn't execute it.


                                    • #19
                                      The jump in question is a Normandy Bank.
                                      It looks like the horse was very close on take-off which may indicate that there is not a ditch line in front.


                                      I LOVE LOVE LOVE this question. They are sooooo fun.

                                      That said, you sure as hell don't gallop up like it's a fly fence. You gallop up in a show jumping stride and pop up the bank before continuing on. Also, the ditch should offer a free half halt.

                                      Looks like the rider tried but control was an issue.

                                      What a lucky save.
                                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                        I agree with this. Rider's balance was good but the approach was ?????.

                                        There is no trick or mystery about the right way to approach this kind of jump, rider just didn't execute it.
                                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog