To those of you who say "oh well I would never deal with THAT on the ground" think about this:
These horses learn 3 disciplines. They have to be as fit as racehorses and usually calmer than racehorses. Sometimes, that just doesn't happen. We do not know these horses personally so we cannot pass judgement on whether they have truly good ground manners or not.
These horses THRIVE off of competition. They know the routine. Many upper level horses get bored with the jog and like to play around a bit. You see the riders smiling during the whole thing. They aren't necessarily doing something naughty just to be a nuissance. They are feeling GOOD.
Opposition Buzz in particular is known to be high strung. My future trainer in Kentucky has his sister, Opposition Lady (the only Opposition filly in the world as far as she knows) who is the same way... and she's only 2! During the jog at the FEH presentation at Rolex last year, she reared. It wasn't because of lack of handling, it was because she was feeling particularly frisky that day.
You've also got to account for the fact that these horses usually aren't shown in snaffles. I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) that you are required to jog in a snaffle. Some of these horses do not respect anything less than what they are competed in.
We don't know how many times these particular horses have jogged, what the atmosphere was like, or what went on before the jog.
These horses are more of atheletes than we can ever dream to be. Yeah, they like to show off.
Great post Eventerdrew and thank you for sharing.
These horses are not our everyday, average horse that is in our backyard, that we go and play with on a daily basis. These horses are not our average horse that we know at our levels. These horses are not the horse we drive to daily after work out to the barn, or after school - they aren't what we hop on to go play with Pony Club, or do some Gymkanna, or some H/J show over the weekend - these are horses bred for their sport, to be the best of the best.
These are top athletes, bred for what they do, with alot of energy, power, spunk and "go get er" attitude, which is what Eventers who are serious in this sport, want.
Have you ever been to a GP Jumper Barn? Same attitude with these horses. Take Big Ben for an example *R.I.P* he was very powerfu, strong and no one, not even Ian, coud handle him at home - but his Groom.
These horses are all big, beautiful, and powerful- everything I aspire to get my horse to be. Energy at an event is something great, IMO, and it's not like their handlers don't know how to 'deal' with their horses. None of them looked mad, even when that big, beautiful horse reared, or knocked over the flowerpot. =] I wish my boy was that powerful
I agree - these are horses who need to be powerful, spunky, strong and show how much they enjoy the sport they are involved in. I would far rather have my horse spunky like that, then drained and droned into what I think he should be.