If you spend any amount of time walking courses with other people, it seems like everyone has certain fences they like and certain fences they don’t like. Sometimes there’s a good reason for it, like perhaps you tried to stick your face through a rolltop once or you fell in a ditch and thought they may as well just go ahead and bury you in there. Other times there doesn’t have to be a real reason, it’s just a natural aversion.
Bobby, for instance, hates Trakehners. He can’t even look at one. Weldon’s Wall’s too. Basically anything with a ditch you can end up in, he’s not on board with it… can’t say as I blame him. I think he actually ended up in a ditch once, but I don’t remember the whole story.
If you walk the course with me, you’ll notice there are certain things I really don’t make eye contact with. While I don’t mind trakehners, like Bobby I really don’t like Weldon’s Walls. Horses tend to jump them great, but there’s something about combination of the width, the height, and the depth that has me wanting to vomit.
The other thing that I hate the most, always, unequivocally, are the big square tables. Especially with a square front edge. I can’t help it, I always imagine a horse catching a knee and flipping over it. Also they tend to be stupid wide, which my stomach still has a bit of trouble processing. For some reason adding brush to the top of it does make me like it more though, hoping it will help encourage a little more lift, even though it makes it look even Stupid-er Big-ger than it already was.
Those aren’t the most logical jumps to hate, really. Horses tend to jump them both really well, and you can just keep galloping forward to both and jump them out of stride. There’s nothing technical or tricky about either of them. My brain knows this, but it still doesn’t stop me from hating them. Logic doesn’t apply.
Also not the biggest fan of upbanks after I tried to kill myself on one at Chatt. I feel like pretty much everyone has a “falling up the bank” story sooner or later. I would rather jump down a bank a few dozen times than jump up it once, to be honest. I still clearly remember the show when there were 3, count em THREE, upbanks on course. Shudder.
For stadium, I cringe hard every time I see a big square oxer as the first fence, especially if it’s off of a long approach. Come on guys, I have a hard enough time with stadium already, throw me a bone.
On the flip side, there are certain jumps that I really love, also probably for no real logical reason. You can make a rolltop as big and wide as you want, and I’ll still jump it. I dunno why but that nice curved top just seems so inviting – in contrast to the sharp ugly death edge of a square table.
I also really like anything with a dropped landing.
If the ground falls away quickly on the landing side, or if the landing side is significantly lower than the take-off side, I love it. I have no actual reason for this except that I think they’re are super fun. It’s like WHEEEEE jumping down into the abyss. Extra bonus points if you’re landing in water, because splashing. Duh. Same goes for jumps IN the water.
I like brush too, because I can say to myself “the brush doesn’t really count” and ta-da, the jump is instantly smaller.
What do I like in stadium? I dunno, whichever one is the last freaking jump.
What about you? What types of fences do you love, and which ones do you want to burn to the ground (not that I’ve ever actually imagined doing that to a Weldon’s Wall or anything…)? H/J people, this totally applies to you, too. Let’s talk about how not logical our brains are!
21 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Favorite and Least Favorite jumps”
I’m still salty about a few years ago at Upperville, where the first class of the division started with a long approach to a big max height square oxer away from home. It was like ok you want to weed us out THAT quickly OK RUDE. I don’t get lizard brain over any particular jump type since they’re basically all variations of colorful sticks, but I have many strong and loud opinions about fairness and appropriateness of course design in the jumper ring. Now that we’re playing in the hunter/eq ring I just get giggly about all the pretty flowers and brush and hope Frankie doesn’t try to eat them on a fly-by.
Corners freak. Me. Out. The *idea* of galloping up to one makes me feel a bit light-headed, and I think they terrify me even more because there’s a part of me that now worries I’d freeze when I got up to it.
The Cottesmore leap has never bothered me; it always seems to jump well and looks like fun. The open, airy oxers/triple bars/whatever always make me a bit queasy when watching upper-level cross-country: I imagine horses getting their legs caught up in them.
Favorite: water and banks. Royal loves banks and especially likes to fly up an upbank.
Least favorite: ditches. Hate ‘em like nothing else
Favorite jump in particular: the scrabble jump at the dearly beloved Steepleview horse trials, which is sadly no more. Each level had its own scrabble jump, the BN one said “breathe” https://m.facebook.com/139625649439854/photos/a.373036509432099/373036566098760?type=3&sfns=mo
Sorry, wrong link. Here’s the correct link https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/fr/cp0/e15/q65/480239_373036566098760_4099443_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&_nc_oc=AQlUGG__bo829oAvxmjh4qjFywTfcr-und-MhA6jiCFQZqcNPLhcciiKh3NTSWyVNvY&_nc_ht=scontent-msp1-1.xx&oh=59880e0bfd3ed1c80f3b54ed71443994&oe=5DD4FD0D
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I love a nice simple log. Even if it’s a big ass log, there’s just something in my brain that says, it’s just a tree, nbd. I hate log piles though, the ones that are built so that the logs are placed perpendicular to how you jump it. Those just seem so dangerous to me with all the sharp edges of the logs pointing towards your horses legs.
My favorite stadium jumps is easy to answer: Catalpa Corner has a set of Harry Potter themed jumps that are gorgeously done and just magical. (See what I did there?) This has nothing to do with the actual questions/jumps. They just look really freaking cool. I took photos of them all last year: https://centeredinthesaddle.com/2018/08/10/catalpa-corner-ht-stadium/
For XC I typically agree with you about banks. I’d rather go down than up. I love water jumps because what’s more fun than galloping and splashing through water on your favorite horse? I also really enjoy coffin complexes because I think it’s a blast to ping through them, like wheeee! And on the other side I always feel like a total badass.
Holy crap, those Harry Potter jumps are gorgeous!
I want them for myself!
Favourite: trot poles on the ground
Least favourite: everything and anything off the ground.
Lol – I haven’t jumped anything higher than 18″ in my life, so maybe I’m not best suited to comment! 😉
I love rolltops. No shame. They’re my favorite. Them and coops. Yeah, you can build a XC course on variations of coops and rolltops, and I would be the happiest camper ever.
I don’t think there is anything on XC that specifically freaks me out… Colored sticks send me straight into my lizard brain though. No questions asked. No real rational reason for this, I just tend to do dumb things when the jumps arent solid.
I may puke in the Weldon’s Wall when walk – that thing gives me PTSD and I am never even jumping it!!
Um, I hate anything out in the cross country field cause I’m a big hunter/jumper weenie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But that’s not really what you asked… I think for me it depends on what I’m riding. I hated verticals when I had Cosmo because he would likely take them down. Especially if it was a plank on top. With Jampy it was anything with too much decor on the side of the fence. Didn’t much matter what was under it…
As for fill, I kind of hate roll tops. Though as you described if my choice was a roll top or a table, I’d definitely pick the roll top. I think width scares me a bit. At least right now while I have no eye to speak of.
I hate Trakehners. Idk why, but I just kind of walk by those keeping my eye on the ground and not making full eye contact. Pretty much any gallop fence is my favorite! Rolltops, tables, steeplechase style, etc. Oh and anything with water!! My horse loves going into water more than anything so that helps make water jumps extra fun!
Two-strides. Juuuust enough room to get into trouble, but not back out again. Three-strides are fine, so are one-strides. It make no sense, really. I also hate the long approach to anything (I’ll over think/ride to a stop). Give me a tight turn off the rail and I’ll get it done no problem.
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I think all of you eventers are slightly cuckoo, tbh, but that doesn’t stop me from watching ALL the cross country! 😛 My wimpy H/J brain really hates GATES of all shapes and sizes — but especially when they are the last jump in a gymnastic and Promise stops and then decides to jump 3 ft from a standstill, bucking after she lands, and sending me head first into a wall (I broke my wrist in about 6 places on landing, too). Oh, and I don’t know why but I hate coops…they get me every time.
Down banks, dropped landings – scare the crap out of me. My coach knows it too and basically every time we went xc schooling, guess what I was over in the corner doing on repeat until I actually came in at a decent pace and sat up. Sometimes that took multiple days, because I’m so in my head about it.
Everything else in my world is fine, but then again, I only school to the equivalent of BN-N:)
So many of the most disturbing-looking XC jumps have a jumping profile that is really just a coop. Including the Weldon’s, and those crazy stacked-wedge skinnies. Of course the human brain fixates on all of that weird scary stuff under the actual smooth jumping arc.
My first ever trainer taught “if the jump bothers you, don’t look at it, look up and past it”. That works for me. I glance at the actual square inch of the top that we have to clear and then look up & forward, and leave the rest to the horse. With some encouragement of course, pretending this is all cool. The wonderful horse doesn’t seem to know what the big deal is and it’s likely to be their best jump.
One year one of the online reporters asked some of the Burghley riders how they felt about walking the course at the Cottesmore Leap. “I never look at it” seemed to be the common answer! Even WFP said he doesn’t look directly at it. Apparently kind of walking hastily past it while looking elsewhere and talking about other things, is a 5* strategy. LOL
I used to have a mental hang-up about coops. For some reason, even though I’ve never fallen off over, in front of, or in the vicinity of one, I had a weird mental phobia that I would fall off *ON* one and break my back. My trainer has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR coops in her rings. Safe to say, I am now over my fear of coops.
Conversely, many H/J people seem to dislike/fear oxers. I love them. Square, Swedish, whatever. All cool with me. Although, my horse jumps really, really round over oxers, and I have a much harder time staying with him, and I usually end up hovering in the air over his back, like a bad Thelwell cartoon. Ahem, but that’s another issue…
This is easy… if I did XC it would be corners. No, no and NOPE. They just look impossible to clear from photos. Too narrow! Flags to snag your feet (and my toes turn out a lot when I jump)! UGH. Though I really feel ya on the Weldon’s Walls… I would have to point the horse in the right direction and shut my eyes. Tightly.
For the jumping I actually did, which was all hunters, I hate, loathe and despise gates. *shudder* Especially don’t like the one that are u-shaped, probably because the red-headed mare I used to ride liked to jump the sides of those. Hey, why not maximize your effort and try to unseat your rider, whoo-hoo! OTTH, I don’t care about rolltops at all.
I have never had to jump water. And therefore all things water seem very, very scary IMO!