I think I will agree with you on that point. When I lost weight and got fitter I felt healthier. It could be the same for horses. I always knew when Jack felt good cause he was always more enthusiastic and just seemed happy. He is a very easy horse to read his emotions.
Another point to consider is that we humans can all run and jump but that doesnt mean that we are all professional sprinters or hurdlers. Is a horse jumping that high in the puissance similar to a human getting fit and competing in the long jump (or any sport).
If you wanted to avoid the ethics thing, since most people watching will be pro puissance I guess, how about either getting audience to spot when the horse locks on ( ears and eyes) or when he puts an ear back to check in with rider etc, also making the point that all sjers know how important it is not to overface a horse and to build their confidence incrementally. I know I for one used to be awfully "keen" the day after watching puissance with anything I was riding! Also could talk about finding the niche job the horse loves, I know I read some puissance horses don't make good grand prix sj because they are only consistent over one fence. But I think puissance horses (like rda ponies, trek, dressage, endurance) are both born and made- you need the right talent and temperament AND then the right training. Half the fun with a young guess is discovering his natural job by understanding how to apply his natural temperament. V exciting, good luck ! X x
Oh also we used to play this game to get better at reading the horse and judging a stride, as you watch you have to count down 3,2,1 jump! with the strides, and we actually used to guess the faults too but that might b not so tactful on tv! But predicting how the horse will do on the way in makes for more intelligent/ engaged watching. I guess I'm assuming it's all kids watching tho which is far from true so maybe games are not so hot! Lol!
Post by Derek Clark on Dec 16, 2011 10:23:49 GMT 1
Just seen this, so I hope it's not too late...!
What about the human psychology aspect? You know, "whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right", and all that.
There's a lot of scope for talking about how sensitive the horses are to what their rider is thinking, never mind what he/she is doing with the aids. To clear the biggest obstacles the horse has to know that his rider is physically, mentally AND emotionally (... some might even go as far as saying 'spiritually') committed to the jump. If the horse doesn't make it, was it the horse or the rider 'failing' to commit?
I love watching rugby on TV (in all my spare time, lol ) and often find myself 'knowing' whether or not a kicker is going to be successful with a shot at the posts just by observing his body language as he gets ready. You might even suggest that the TV audience study the rider's body language before approaching the jump...
Post by Kelly Marks on Dec 16, 2011 11:37:39 GMT 1
Smashing ideas Rosie and Derek! I'll do my best to not let you all down. OOops! Positive thinking! I WILL be a credit to IH on this interview! Seriously - if anyone has to do an interview - you go prepared with all these intelligent things to say and then the interviewer asks you such an obtuse/off the wall question that you get completely thrown - I think I will do what the politicians do - and ignore the question and just say what I have to say! xx
Gosh what a tough one, im not a huge fan of the pruissance, im sure a healthy body goes with a healthy mind for horses, but not to the degree where they have to jump 7ft plus, how do you get your point across without skirting round a few facts?
Post by Kelly Marks on Dec 17, 2011 13:24:28 GMT 1
First of all it's on BBC 1 - I think at 1.30 am today Saturday - not Sky at all! I got about a minute to speak (!) I think I just about managed to get out about how horse's need to raise their head to see the top of the fence (which nobody ever seems to mention).
Well, I was there last night - annoyingly I saw Kelly talking to Claire Balding in front of the wall but they didn't broadcast it so those of us there couldn't hear it!
Before the puissance was the speed stakes, and most (possibly all) of the puissance horses were in the speed stakes first and there were some thrills and spills in that class with some seriously tight turns and jumping at sharp angles. What was blindingly clear to me was that the horses who did that successfully were calm and relaxed and able to make those turns carefully and clear the fences. The horses who were wired would make the turn then knock the fence or refuse.
The puissance was much the same. I didn't see a single rider use a whip to get the horse over the wall and only one had to kick on on one jump, mostly once the horse locked on the rider's job was to ask the horse to wait.
Laura Renwick chose to retire her horse despite qualifying for the 4th round on the basis that she didn't think it were in her horse's best interest and she got a big round of applause for putting her horse first. John Whittaker did the same before the 5th.
It was a very enjoyable evening, I didn't see anything that made me feel uncomfortable, I'd rather go back and watch that again than the PC finals that I saw 2 years ago where nearly every rider kicked with spurs at every stride and hung onto their pelham or gag tightly all the way round.
Just watched it and your message came across very well. Clear feel of what the horse and rider need to do to approach and get over the fence. It was interesting to note the horses that did as you said, got in close and the ones that tried to 'take off' like they would for a normal big fence.