I had this talk about it before I test rode Big City today, so I'm taking him while knowing this problem. He will jump, I've been told, and he's not bad at it. The issue is that he tries to, as my friend said, "straight leg it." Not sure what that would look like, can't find videos on YouTube. I don't know how to try to find information on Google either. Anyone have some experience and/or tips on this kind of thing?
To be totally honest, I'm not totally sure, but I haven't had time to ask my friend, who is the one who told me about it. It can't be a major issue if she told me he could still jump. Been trying to look online, but. *shrugs* o.O Just wanted perspectives in the meantime.
Or, maybe since he's doing it over jumps, something more like this
If that's the case, then I really wouldn't consider that horse as a jumping prospect. Their reluctance (or inability) to pick up their front legs not only limits the height you'll likely be able to do, but it poses a risk to both of you. A horse with legs hanging down like that is more likely to knock a rail or hang a leg, which could send both of you to the dirt.
Not every horse has the talent to jump. This horse could be hanging a leg, jumping off the the front end (hence throwing itself over the fence, or any number of unsafe things. The saying "just because you can, doesnt mean you should" sounds appropriate here. I would leave the horse shopping to your trainer , hoping that they are not one to set their clients up to become a yard dart.
I too am having a hard time understanding what "straight legging" could mean but if it is as simple as hanging forelegs there are some exercises that you can do that might help *some* horses. The best jumping horses arcs their body over the fence (bascule) AND tucks their legs. Some horses are "splinter belly jumpers" and only tuck their legs but have a very flat jump. This (assuming they get over well) actually can be a desirable thing for equitation horses because they are so flat in the air it is easy for the rider to stay very still with their horse. Some horses hang their legs and launch their body. As a previous poster said, can be extremely dangerous because if they hang a leg it is possible for a rotational fall. I very occasionally will see a horse that can get over the jumps with hanging legs. In fact, I saw a grand prix a few years ago where this horse dangled his legs so bad I was terrified of a flip but he launched his body so hard and high over the jumps he didn't even come close to touching a rail! VERY rare! The most you can do is 1) good solid flatwork with lots of lateral work to help strengthen your horse's back and hind end, 2) lots of poles to help them know how to place their feet, and 3) lots and lots and lots of gymnastics. Bounces in particular can be helpful.
If you can post a pic or a video maybe we can help you more specifically.
Okay! LOL. I got some clarification today because I finally remembered to ask. He hasn't been really worked on since he's been off the track, other than doing trails for 8-9 months before going back to doing pretty much nothing besides lunging. Friend says he does what a lot of OTTBs do when they first start jumping and gave me an example of a TB I knew back in the day. He did the same thing City has done the handful of times he was ridden by someone in the arena, I guess. Knowing how things sometimes go, he was probably jumped without doing a lot of pole and gradual work, which I plan to do with him.