During a prestigious equestrian event, a reluctant horse stops before a jump to measure the height, much to its rider’s dismay.
During the Olympics, I managed to watch a couple of equestrian events and was surprised how high (and long) the horses had to jump, made all the more difficult having a passenger on board. There were many near misses, a few taps of the bar on passing and the occasional and undesirable relocation of the bar with hoof power.
It must be difficult for a horse to judge the height of an obstacle, especially when it’s running at speed toward it. I would imagine a horse knows its jumping limitations, but having a rider insisting that an obstacle be jumped, it’s is under pressure to attempt it and hope for no injuries.
It could stop short and refuse to jump, but assuming horses can become embarrassed, that would be embarrassing and the rider would be simultaneously disappointed, annoyed and embarrassed.
I think the best thing for a hose to do if it wasn’t sure if it could make a jump, would be to stop, measure the height and if it’s a reasonable and acceptable height, it could then go back, get a run up and proceed as intended. Very professional. These jumping measures would be slightly less embarrassing than refusing to jump altogether.
It’s clear from this that I know much about horses and show jumping and I expect that should I apply for any positions of ‘Horse Whisperer’ the position will be immediately filled (by someone else).