I noticed under this photo the following comment: “That looks too high and a little fake. What would you have to do to make a horse jump like that?”
The comment got me thinking.
What makes horses jump higher: joy or fear? In this discussion I am talking about horses that are turned loose or maybe being lead…I am talking about horses spontaneously leaping.
I have seen more horses spring straight up in the air out of joy rather than out of fear.
In a fear situation more horses tend to crouch down or explode in a direction; more of a flight response. Jumping straight up is just silly. It is not useful for fighting either. Knowing this may be why these photos make me laugh. They do look a bit like horse balloons!
Take a look at the series of photos I took of a particularly fresh young stallion that I turned out one day. The jump makes more sense when you see the rest of the series.