Post by Kelly Marks on Dec 14, 2011 18:28:16 GMT 1
Oh goodness - Sky Sports rang me today ... would I go to Olympia on Friday and do an interview with Claire Balding (I used to ride against her in my amateur jockey days) on the psychology of the horses in the puissance class.
Hmmm... probably as interesting thinking about the psychology of the riders. Generally speaking, show jumping riders not the most articulate lot - does that go hand in hand with the FOCUS that's necessary to tackle those big fences?
I'm going to watch the puissance tomorrow. Not really sure what I think about it tbh. I decided it's got to be better than my last experience of watching the PC and GP SJ classes which I vowed never to do again.
I have heard show jumpers talk about it. They said it is like approaching a house.
Some horses just have this crazy desire to want to jump things and get to the other side. Ian Stark once said that the most important quality in an event horse is the desire to get to the other side of the fence. How do they keep them in their fields? Or are they just inspired by their riders?
I wonder if horses like jumping because it is like flying? They must LIKE it otherwise they wouldn't do it, even if to start with they are obeying the rider's wishes, they have to learn to jump and if they don't want to, you can't force them. I think for a horse to take off over a huge fence they can't see over is putting their whole trust in the rider.
I've got slight mixed feelings about it ... it's always interesting being asked to do something like this because it gets you thinking a bit - and yes, something I'd like to know - what is the highest a horse has jumped without a rider? You would think if a horse can jump 7 feet 4 in with a rider there would be a record of a horse jumping without a rider - I've never heard of that though?
I have two ideas about why how - generally speaking certain aspects of horsemanship/competitive riding respond well to 'drilling' i.e. practising the same thing over and over until it's completely habitual and the horse doesn't question doing it any other way.
So let's say I criticise a circus person for lungeing a horse round and round so often that they can do it without a rope ... hmm but then I've got to admit that Pie didn't get so brilliant at gate opening by reading a book about it ... We had a gate in the field that we practised on most days (in the early stages) and now when we don't even practise for 6 months he knows exactly how to canter round, wait and position himself.
I've got to go to a meeting now! But I'm practising on you lot so I will be back with part 2!
Post by Kelly Marks on Dec 15, 2011 14:30:28 GMT 1
Sure - 'what have we the right to ask horse's to do' but then that is so wide - we're back to should we be riding them at all?
Appreciate the mule jumping (I think!)
Back to ethics (sort of) I listened to a really interesting interview with ballerina Deborah Bull about the 'hardship for ballerinas' and she pointed out - something that is rarely pointed out is the joy of having a tremendously fit and capable body - it's a joy in itself. That really struck a chord with me because ... from time to time if I get myself fit I know that lovely feeling (not this week!) and one wonders if there is a pay off for the athletic horse in this way?
I'm going to ride now! I have lots of thoughts on this!