• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Natural Jump vs Developing a Jump: Opinions?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Natural Jump vs Developing a Jump: Opinions?

    Ok so this is a question I've been playing with and I'd love to hear a few others opinions on it.

    How much of a horse's jump is natural talent/power/scope vs how much is learned, developed and taught? Do you think a horse that shows limited scope when free jumping as a young horse (with little or no training) is able to develop that jump with a good trainer, or is what you see pretty close to what you get? I'm not talking form, I'm talking ability to handle tall and wide jumps.

    Opinions? Experiences?

  • #2
    I think every horse has its limitations just like people do. With proper training you should be able to improve it some but as far as how much height/scope, I don't think it would be much.

    One of my TB's jumps the pasture fences when he feels like it. No matter much training you do with my QH, he's never going to be able to jump the pasture fences.
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


    • #3
      I'm a runner. I run a LOT. I train, I follow schedules and I'm sure I'm faster than most people. In my area that doesn't even put me at the top half of my age group. I think there's a median line that just about everyone can do running and horses, say 2'6" I can probably teach almost any horse to jump that just fine. Anything over that, probably not. Just like I can pretty much guarantee you if you give me enough time and effort I can get you to run a 10 min/mile 1/2 marathon (though I can't guarantee you'll like me).


      • #4
        Jumping skill can definitely be improved...but only up to the horse's natural limitations. With some horses, their first jumping impressions are a good indication of "what they will be," for others, not so much.

        Example 1a: As a green horse, my Advanced mare jumped novice level fences like they were 4'6", with knees to her eyeballs and hocks snapped up over my head. Her talent was readily apparent and her "improvement" was not so much style/shape/scope, but rather strength/balance/rideability and education.

        Example 1b: my former 1* horse free-jumped 4' willingly, but you could tell it was in his upper range. He was not going to be a 2* horse, but he was a fun, successful prelim horse for many years. He was eager when learning to jump, and showed good technique despite a lack of strength/balance early on.

        Example 2a: A beefy, lazy, stock-type QH thought jumping was for the birds, thankyouverymuch, and if horses were meant to fly they'd have wings. I didn't get the chance to free-jump him, but I'm sure it would not have been a success. His first impressions were not good. It took several "strong rides" (using a stick liberally) to get him over a tiny cross-rail, but on the second day the lightbulb went off and he eventually enjoyed it. A few months later, he packed kids over 2' and the occasional novice fence. Perhaps teaching him to jump wasn't such a good idea, as he then took to jumping out of his field (up over a 3'6" log-drop bank) whenever he wanted. From his gaits/conformation, 3' is his safe limit...but from his first-ever jumping attempt, you'd never think 2' was possible!

        Example 2b: OTTB oozing with athleticism wasn't sure he likes the idea of going over things. Reluctant in his first free-jumping attempts, and a bit disorganized going over cross-rails, his beginnings did not seem very promising. He also had a tendency to rush and jump over his shoulder, not too pretty. However, after months of developing better balance, strength, and work over canter poles/gymnastics, horse was greatly improved. Better response, better understanding of the aids, and greater relaxation allowed him to access his natural scope and style. His first impression over fences did not match his inherent talent, though from his natural canter you could believe it was there. Thankfully his ability was "unlocked" and he gives you the feeling there's no jump too big for him!

        In my experience, I've had more horses fit into Category 1 than Category 2; first impressions give a good general outline of the horse's ability and willingness. However, Category 2 does exist with some frequency, so don't give up on a "failure" until at least a few months or so of taking it slow and giving him a chance (and tools) to figure it out.
        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
        ? Albert Einstein



        • #5
          I agree that a lot can be improved. The horse's fitness, balance, strength, the ride the rider gives, etc., can all help (or hinder), and definitely can make a difference. I do think that horses do have a natural physical limit as well as an attitude towards work/jumping that can limit their scope and jump. An old lease of mine was plenty athletic enough enough to get over 3'+, but really did not have the patience or attitude for jumping. My TB, on the other hand, will happily leap all day over whatever you put in front of him.
          I also think that it's not just the size of the fences, but the striding in between, that can limit horses. My Morgan is pretty athletic and a great jumper when it came to jumping singles, we could go up to 4'3 and have room to spare. I knew I had to move up from him, however, when he couldn't get down the lines at a comfortable pace. He had short legs (and a big Morgan body) and he really couldn't land from one jump and have enough strides to get him over the next one without really moving out.


          • #6
            I've definitely seen both. My retired advanced horse, who raced until he was 6, and started eventing as an early 7 yr old, was quite baffled by show jumps at first. He is 16.1hh, extremely well put together, and very balanced. I announced after my first jump lesson that I didn't think he was cut out for the job. He jumped from under the fences, no matter what, and always jumped over he shoulder. Didn't dangle legs, but dropped knees a bit. At our first training level event, he ran through several fences, just couldn't figure it out. We went back to work at home, and worked with all the typical exercises (a v set of rails set on the jump, placing rails, etc). Slowly, and as the fences got bigger, his form and understanding of jumping improved. By the time he retired, due to pasture injury at 12, he was running advanced and could be easily counted on for either a clean round, or 1 rail. At that point in his career, he was jumping with his knees to his eyeballs, no longer jumping over his shoulders, and dropping knees. I should post a timeline of photos, which make the difference in form an scope pretty apparent. The biggest thing with him, was that he wanted to try for his rider. This was a horse that after our first lesson I said we should sell him, as he obviously wasn't going to jump well enough to go at the upper levels. He ended up my heart horse, and the best event horse ever if you ask my opinion.

            My first horse, a 15.1hh (on a tall day) QH gelding who is long backed and down hill built, but ran prelim with me, shouldn't have the scope to do novice just by looking at him. When we bought him, he was 4, and had never jumped. I remember trying him, (I was 12) and we just kept putting the fence up. He kept jumping....we stopped at 3'6 I think. He had stellar form (although flat) from day one. Knees to eye balls, every time. He did lots of 3'9 jumpers with me as a kid, and eventually we did prelim somewhat successfully (the jumping ability was not the issue....he was just an occasional punk XC). That little horse can still jump his eye balls out at 22, straight out of the field, and out of shape. He is a rockstar! No one thought he'd go training or prelim, but he ate it up!

            I've had those in between, as well. The ones that have the ability but hate it, and the ones that love it and try, but can't get out of there own way. I think form can offer be worked on and majorly improved, so long as they have the desire to do it, and scope can improve, but often not quite as much.

            "Animals can sometimes take us to a place that we cannot reach ourself"

            ** Support the classic Three Day Event! Ride a Long Format **


            • #7
              Agree with AJ. While I don't think you're going to create massive scope when there's none inherent in the horse, you can often tighten up some technique, particularly in the front end.

              When I see a young horse jump or free-jump, the things I look for are whether it instinctively uses its body and hind well. I don't mind if it's a bit drapey below the knee in front, so long as it wants to pull its forearms at least to the horizontal (I'm not looking for a champion show hunter), but I want it to be very correct behind. An athletic horse often won't show much interest or effort over a very small jump (if they jump perfectly over this, either consider selling them as a hunter, or ask if they're maxed out), but lunging or free jumping over something a bit bigger or looky should give you an idea of how they are going to jump.

              As youngsters develop, I do find that increasing their strength and footwork will improve their front end and their jump overall (hence why my young ones do gymnastics), but go in knowing you're not going to create a 4' jumper from one who is hauling himself over a 2'9" vertical.


              • #8
                I think the answer is both.
                The talented "natural" jumper is actually a pretty hard horse to ride. That's the one you see in the scroll pictures on the COTH Hunter Classics reports on the right......with the infinite bascule, tight high forearm and tucked hooves. They have "developed" that pretty jumping form with a variety of techniques designed to encourage the horse to have THAT form. some involve not really jumping very much at all, or NOT teaching the horse to be comfortable and familiar with things, so that they get that alert bascule. While that form is beautiful, for the event horse, it's not all that we need.
                When you take a "careful" jumper, and add some knowledge, and condition for power and speed, you've got a show ring jumper. They do school and learn much like our event horses without the added athleticism we need for the distance and terrain.
                If you take a "natural" jumper and just go spinning down the trail or across the field at logs and coops you can pretty easily ruin that good form by allowing the horse to learn to hurry over a jump to please you. I've seen good horses ruined by really poor riding while they were young, and I've had to fix a few really nice horses that would otherwise have been long snapped up by an ULR, but for someone in a rush, or with bad hands or horrible habits.
                A scopey horse seems to be able to jump themselves out of whatever trouble you can get them in on cross country. I think MOST horses have a "jump" of some kind. If by "natural" you mean "scope", then yes, I think it can be developed and improved to a point. (Well, you can't make a Shetland pony into a grand prix jumper...)
                I've had a lot of horses that jumped their first cross rails and made one want to run and hide behind the barn, yet turned out to be champions. I think an average jumping horse can be improved, and a good jumping horse can be improved, (especially if they are Thoroughbred) but an excellent jumping horse can always be better with good riding.
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • #9
                  I don't think free jumping shows you much beyond the horse's natural willingness (or not) and the talent (or lack thereof) of the handler. I always cringe when I go to look at a horse and the seller wants to free jump it for me.

                  I do believe that you can improve technique, but you can't teach the horse scope. Just like the person (me) who will get hit in the face with the Frisbee over and over and over. They are born athletic, or they aren't.