Crazy Stunts with Olop - Jumping Backwards - Part 2
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   17th Jun 2012   •   9,803 views   •   16 comments
Horse Jumping Backwards

Let me begin with a note to any of you who scorn this idea: I first got this idea from seeing a photo of Rodrgio Pessoa, an undeniably brilliant rider, trying the exact same stunt: Jumping his horse backwards. It isn’t just some harebrained scheme I concocted on my own.

Next, let me mention my motivation for persevering with this dangerous and surprisingly difficult challenge. I am unlucky enough to have reached that stage in life where I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do with my future; and one of the careers I’ve decided to look into is stunt riding. This ‘backwards jumping’ is my way of seeing if I have what it takes, and I’m hoping that it could open some opportunities for me in the stunt riding world.

My point is: Mad as this scheme may be, there is method in my madness. Oppose me all you like, but as Einstein would say, "Madness is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result."

And on that note, allow me to continue with ‘Crazy Stunts with Olop – Part 2’! Where we left off in part 1, I had just managed to trot backwards for the first time without falling off.

Throughout that week, I did short sessions of backwards riding nearly every day. I practiced bending poles in a walk to try to master the steering, which proved unreasonably confusing for my ‘forwards’ mind. I kept getting muddled with left and right, and I admit I never quite mastered it – but I began to get the hang of it, and found that I could direct Olop in the general direction that I wanted to go, if not give her precise, direct instructions.

Horse Jumping Backwards

I managed to complete full laps of the arena in trot, keeping Olop slow and smooth to preserve my balance. By the second ride, I managed to sit a few strides of canter on a 20m circle. Believe me when I say that sitting a buck forwards is FAR easier than sitting a canter stride backwards! It was amazing how different the movement felt – like riding a totally different animal! All it took was a couple of strides for me to lose my balance and topple forwards. Thankfully, Olop – who always has my back – would slow right back to her smooth trot when she felt me falter, and wait for me to regain my balance.

By the end of the 3rd ride, I was successfully completing 20m canter circles on both reins, and only losing balance slightly in the transitions. By the end of the week, I decided I was ready to try a small jump. For safety’s sake, I waited until my instructor (Who is awesomely crazy enough to support this scheme) was there to oversee my first attempt. She set up a tiny cross pole for me while I warmed Olop up (Backwards, of course) and then I presented her to it.

It was so confusing trying to keep her straight, face backwards and see where I was going at the same time that the first time I presented, Olop trotted quite happily past the jump – utterly clueless as to what I was asking. The next time, I approached in a walk, with my instructor calling out directions to guide me (You’d swear I was reversing a truck!) and put my legs on a stride out. Olop popped sweetly over, and out of habit, I leaned forward.

That was a mistake.

Ever tasted a horse’s rump? If you haven’t, you probably don’t want to. For the record; it’s furry, and tastes rather like dust. It also hurts somewhat when it smacks you right in the face... Like a giant, furry hand giving you the most epic facepalm of your life. Needless to say, I dropped my reins, and ended up hugging my mount’s rotund behind while my instructor laughed her head off from the arena fence. Olop kept trotting off while I floundered around trying to get my balance, but eventually I managed to get my reins and bring her to a walk.

Horse Jumping Backwards

That was when my instructor called me over, and when I tried to turn to reply, I slipped right off the side. That was the second fall. Trust me to sit out the jump, then fall off at a walk just because I turned to look over my shoulder! I remounted after that, and we tried the jump a few more times – slowly starting to get the hang of it. As Olop learned what we were doing, she began to lock on to the jump; making my job of steering her a great deal easier. I also remembered to lean back over the jump, and each time I found myself a little more balanced. Still, by the end of the session, I was still struggling to get my balance back quickly after landing – and the cross was still barely high enough to be considered a jump!

I admit, I began to feel somewhat disheartened. I wondered if I’d ever be able to sit out a substantial jump backwards without falling off... It certainly seemed that my goal of reaching 1,20m by the end of the year was an utter impossibility. But just as I was starting to lose hope, a brilliant idea occurred to me!

Read on in Part 3 to discover this revolutionary new idea!
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
I love it,
So intense lol
a brave soul I recken haha
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,886 views
You're so amazing! I showed the pic of you jumping like that to Lori, and she said if I'd ever tried, it, well, I would regret it. :P Such an awesome little Olop, and you're amazing! (Wait. Said that already. But it's true!)
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,535 views
Double Spur Ranch  
Good article!
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,561 views
Starlight Farm  
you must have a great support system. if anyone could be a trick rider it would be you :)
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,650 views
Sapphire Flames  
wow.......this is so cool! can't wait to read the next part! :)
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,542 views
Summer Rain  
I can't wait for the next part!
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,559 views
Valkyrie   MOD 
Lol these are good articles.
  Jun 17, 2012  •  8,551 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Glad you're all enjoying them. :)
  Jun 18, 2012  •  8,553 views
Let It Ride  
This is very amusing. You're awesome!
  Jun 18, 2012  •  8,562 views
This is incredible!! I wish I had the nerves to do this!! :O
  Jun 18, 2012  •  8,546 views
Polo dear! I've missed you! I absolutely adore this, and it seems you've come a mighty long way. I still insist you should be riding for your country's team!
  Jun 18, 2012  •  8,759 views
Sweet Hearts  
That's pretty cool.
  Jun 20, 2012  •  8,894 views
Hopeful Haven  
Keep it up! you're really putting in a lot of hard work towards your goal.
  Jun 21, 2012  •  8,784 views
yesss!! *cheers* Go Olap! And good job to year, that took some guts!
  Jun 22, 2012  •  8,612 views
Deep as Rhubarb  
This is so awesome...
  Jun 23, 2012  •  8,590 views
  4 days ago  •  8,760 views
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