Horses spooked by sumo wrestler statue at equestrian Olympic event

Originally published at: Horses spooked by sumo wrestler statue at equestrian Olympic event | Boing Boing

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Scott Brash and Martin Fuchs need to retire from equestrian sports and start a law firm together ASAP.

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“We’re Brash, and we don’t give two Fuchs about anything!”

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This crap is hard enough for the horses, without building fences that will spook hell out of them.

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Why no pics of the mentioned buttocks? We demand pictures of the buttocks!!

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I mean, it looked real to my eye at first. I suspect they get spooked seeing a person vs an obstacle or decoration and are like “Whoa there!”

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If you thought the sumo was your next rider, you’d freakout too!

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Can’t say I don’t blame them…

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Semi-off topic, and contains hysterical, nsfw language:

Horse crip walking is now an olympic sport.

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Lord a mercy! That’d spook me, too!

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Right? One horse already died this year in the cross-country course, and there were some other scary close calls.

In general, I found that visual design of the various courses have been pretty wonderful. Lots of fantastical and whimsical elements. I was a big fan of the geisha hairpin combination used in the show jumping qualifiers:

While it was all really cool to look at, it was clear that some of the horses were really not happy with some of the visuals. I saw way more refusals and early retirements than I would expect at this level of competition.

I enjoy the equestrian events at the Olympics, but they can be hard for me to watch. I respect the athleticism and skill of both the animals and riders, but I find myself being incredibly stressed out for the horses themselves. While I intuitively understand they aren’t being made to do anything they don’t want to do (as was evident in some of the refusals), it still cuts me deep to see them get hurt.

I got a huge laugh out of that. There was also the “rave horse” meme:

There’s the age old joke about how dressage is for those who find watching paint dry to be too stimulating, but there were quite a few fun moments this time around.

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Forget how hard it is on pure equestrian, what about the poor pentathletes? At least the equestrians have familiar mounts where pentathletes get luck of the draw!

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Some of the fences are gorgeous, with beautiful graphic elements - that fence based on The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai!!! ferinstance - and I love seeing those. However…

Whenever fences are designed to be damn near impossible for the horses to see (e.g., a four or five bar upright, w/standards and rails the same color as the arena’s footing, and nothing on/near the ground to help the horses see the takeoff point), or contain spook-inducing elements, I’m not into it. Like you, I don’t want to see anyone get hurt, no matter how many legs they have.

Dressage is certainly not everyone’s cuppa, esp when everyone’s performing exactly the same test (a list of specific movements which must be performed in the same order as on the list). I can understand attendees’ falling asleep when 30-40 different riders and horses do the same test 30-40 times. The freestyle (there’s still a list of compulsory movements, but their order is up to the riders) and musical freestyle are more palatable, especially at the higher training levels, which feature movements which are more exciting. Half passes (AKA horse crip walking) and tempis (flying lead changes every stride so the horses look like they’re skipping) are much more fun to watch than, “Oh, that was a perfect 20-meter circle!”

I have empathy both for the pentathletes and the horses! Being stuck w/a strange rider can be as scary as being stuck with a strange horse!

Back in the day, women riders were forbidden in some equestrian events, esp at the highest levels. This didn’t stop the Powers What Am from requisitioning the women’s horses to give to male riders for the duration of the olympics or whatever. Needless to say, many horses were ruined by the way they were handled by those unfamiliar riders, and the women had to start over with new ones.

Typical.

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I’m a fan of the extended trot myself. It’s so cool looking, especially on the specialist dressage horses with the extra spindly legs.

In any event I thank you for your valued perspective here as a rider. I’m definitely not knowledgeable or experienced - everything I know I learned from Mrs Ficus who used to ride competitively. Last time I was on a horse was when I was a teenager and I can still vividly remember the resulting soreness from it some decades later.

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Like you said…

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Coulda been worse…
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