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Causes for rotational falls over fences?

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  • Causes for rotational falls over fences?

    I was recently having a debate with someone at show about this. They believed rotational falls happened over fences because of bad distances. I disagree. I believe they are due to a horse having bad form. I believe that maybe when a horse crashes through a jump its mostly likely because of a bad distance. What do you guys think?

  • #2
    Bad distances, too much/not enough pace, a green horse that loses focus or can't think fast enough and fences that don't come down is my opinion. Horses with such bad form that it would cause them flip head over heels from an ideal distance usually are not competing. Of course all horses can make mistakes and hang a leg, but usually that's due to one of the above reasons. I don't think form is the problem in general.
    Last edited by keepthelegend; Apr. 13, 2013, 04:53 PM.

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    • #3
      Not only bad distances, but also a horse that for whatever reason, comes in too flat, and just doesn't get to rock back and launch, up and over. Not enough engagement behind.
      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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      • #4
        At a "physics"level, a rotational fall is caused by the horse hitting the fence with the legs above the knees.

        It is not possible for a horse to "crash through" a cross country fence.

        But it usually isn't caused by the horse "hanging its knees" over the fence in bad form.

        For some reason, the horse CAN'T get its knees up in time.

        My own rotational fall was caused by the horse's front feet being stuck in the take off footing at a jump a stride after the water jump.

        Sometimes the horse gets in too close, on the forehand and can't get the front end up.

        Or too flat and can't get the front end up.

        I don't see how you can separate "distance" from "form". It s a combination of the distance, the balance, and how quickly the horse gets its front end up.

        But not due to how tighhtly the horse folds its knees over the top of the fence.
        Janet

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          "It is not possible for a horse to "crash through" a cross country fence"

          I wasn't referring to cross country, there are rotational falls in showjumping. Even though they are rare, they still occur in hunter/jumper events.

          Comment


          • #6
            While this isn't a completely rotational fall, it's a pretty close example of one in show jumping. As you can see in the video, I didn't get the horse to a hail Mary distance or anything - the horse just failed to get her left leg up and ended up clipping both the gate and the pole with her knee/higher than her knee.

            I'm not sure why this happened exactly - we had just put the jumps up from about 3'3-3'6 to the height that the crash happened at, so she may not have realized that the height had changed and processed it quickly enough off of such a short turn, or possibly she got stuck in the footing or slipped off the ground.

            She's not a "dangerous jumper" (she's actually usually very correct in front) and this has never happened since (touch wood!) but is an example of how it can happen outside of the cross country field and from a decent distance. Like Janet said, it's from a combination of factors, usually. I have made this horse jump from underneath things and from 100 feet away from things. 99.9% of time, she gets her front end up and all is good. Occasionally though, a number of factors combine and you have a crash. I don't think you can attribute it to just bad jumping style or just a bad distance.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hKYkATzy6Q

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            • #7
              Most of them can get over without landing on their noses and flipping even with bad distances. IME, it's always a combination of things. Long and weak is a prime suspect and so is a sloppy take off with no impulsion or help from the rider. Or it's opposite- running at a fence. And some horses just can't fold up and have riders dumber then they are.

              But the worst ones I ever saw were simply accidents with no " smoking gun" you could use to blame somebody or thing for. One AO horse slipped in mud at the base and slid halfway thru a big oxer before flipping against a standard. One stupid and clumsy youngster got a front foot tangled with a CROSSRAIL and went right over.

              But no single cause exsists to place blame or correct. It happens. Sometimes for absolutely no reason despite Internet theories and "eyewitness analysis" by cyber experts.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                "Most of them can get over without landing on their Long and weak is a prime suspect and so is a sloppy take off with no impulsion or help from the rider. Or it's opposite- running at a fence. And some horses just can't fold up and have riders dumber then they are"

                I like how you added running at the fence. This tends to be a huge issue in jumpers. People think jumpers is just about speed and running to fences , and thats not what its about at all

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                • #9
                  Go watch the children's jumpers at a lower level show if you want to witness a rotational fall.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I actually caused a rotational fall with my last horse by jumping up her neck at a horrible long distance that never should have happened. She fell head first and completely sommersaulted over top of me. We ended up on the ground with me underneath her.

                    Luckily she wasn't injured - apparently I broke her fall.

                    I'd say it was the scariest moment of my life, except I can't remember much about it due to the major concussion I received.

                    (I joke about it now, but it was NOT funny at the time!)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I nearly had a rotational fall on my boy once. Mine was caused by bad distance. We got there long and I did not support it, my horse thought about putting another in, then decided against it. Because he was already putting his front legs down before deciding against it he could not get his front end up again. He hit the front of the oxer above the knee, but thankfully closer to chest level. I sat up and completely let go of the reins to allow him to use his head and neck as much as possible to save us. Cross country fence, we would have flipped.
                      Not a great video of it since it's far away and partially blocked by jumps but a good slow mo of what happened.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zexH2...6A6CQ&index=35

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A true rotational fall is less likely n stadium jumping as there is no fixed obstacle for the horse to pivot over. Unfortunately a much greater risk in eventing where cross country fences are solid.

                        This series of photographs shows how easily it can happen:
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCanJ...e_gdata_player

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have also had a rotational fall. Oddly enough it was with a simple hunter fence. Standard with a rail. Could not have been over 2'6. I think that is all I was jumping way back when it happened. I was schooling some jumps and said just 2 more! Well for some reason (I do not remember) the little arab mare I was on flipped over the jump (I think she hit it badly. Maybe scissored it, again I do not remember) and all I remember is hitting the ground and a split second later the horse landing on her back/side right next to me. Both were fine though! So goes to prove it can happen with any size jump and it does not have to be cross country!

                          P.S. I think I was like 11 years old so way back when!
                          "People who think their brains are not worth protecting are probably right!"
                          - quoted by Martha Drum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by findeight View Post
                            Or it's opposite- running at a fence. .
                            This is the when I've seen a true rotational fall in the hunter/jumper ring.
                            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                            • #15
                              The "fixed object" seems to be key. In the video above posted by Mouse&Bay, that certainly looks like a very bad distance.

                              I guess in show jumping, the "fixed object" would be a rail. When a rail gets caught up between the horse's legs? As long as nothing gets caught up, they seem to be able to right themselves. Or just shovel straight into the ground, not flip.

                              So my best guess is bad distance + fixed object.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by gumshoe View Post
                                The "fixed object" seems to be key. In the video above posted by Mouse&Bay, that certainly looks like a very bad distance.

                                I guess in show jumping, the "fixed object" would be a rail. When a rail gets caught up between the horse's legs? As long as nothing gets caught up, they seem to be able to right themselves. Or just shovel straight into the ground, not flip.

                                So my best guess is bad distance + fixed object.
                                Rails in show jumpng are not 'fixed objects'. In Eventing the jumps are solid and the horse rotates or flips over the fence because the jump does not give way.The difference is show jumping rails fall, eventing rails do not.

                                With the safety jumps required at USEF shows the possibility of a rail being caught between the front legs is greatly reduced.

                                I have certainly seen falls approaching a rotational fall in low level jumper courses. These are caused by too much speed and poor course design.
                                Fan of Sea Accounts

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                                • #17
                                  I didn't say they were.

                                  What I said was, when tangled between the legs, they ARE a "fixed object".

                                  Originally posted by PINE TREE FARM SC View Post
                                  Rails in show jumpng are not 'fixed objects'. In Eventing the jumps are solid and the horse rotates or flips over the fence because the jump does not give way.The difference is show jumping rails fall, eventing rails do not.

                                  With the safety jumps required at USEF shows the possibility of a rail being caught between the front legs is greatly reduced.

                                  I have certainly seen falls approaching a rotational fall in low level jumper courses. These are caused by too much speed and poor course design.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I had a rotational fall with the mare in my profile pic. Still not quite sure what happened and we had a good distance, but my guess is that it was mostly due to the horrible, mucky footing. Lots of people scratched that day, and there had been several falls (slipping, not flipping) earlier in the day. We dropped down a level (1.20 instead of 1.30) because of that, but in hindsight i should have scratched. She was particularly sensitive to footing and never was terribly quick with her front end. I think it was a bit of a slip on takeoff that slowed her front end down more than usual, caused her to get tangled in the front rail of the oxer, and at the end of the day was an error plain and simple.

                                    I don't think either of you we're right...or maybe you both were. I think rotational falls happen over non-fixed obstacles due to mistakes on the horse's part. Same as a person falling while walking on flat ground. The mistake may be caused by a bad distance or exacerbated by poor form, or caused by an oddly set line or bad footing, or a hundred other factors. But I've had it happen a few times in my life, and all but one were on horses with very good form in their greener years at fences with good distances on good footing.
                                    __________________________________
                                    Flying F Sport Horses
                                    Horses in the NW

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by gumshoe View Post
                                      I didn't say they were.

                                      What I said was, when tangled between the legs, they ARE a "fixed object".
                                      You said I guess in show jumping, the "fixed object" would be a rail.

                                      I guess that's not what you meant to say?
                                      Fan of Sea Accounts

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                                      • #20
                                        A quick thought

                                        A "Rotational Fall" means the horse "rotates" over the jump in a full heels over ears (a*** over teakettle) summersault. So to flip the horse has to meet an inmovable barrier.

                                        The crash on this thread while equally frightening is a "crash and fall" but not "rotational fall" or Flipping because horse does not ROTATE in the air

                                        Neither technique is desired.

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