Crazy Stunts with Olop - Jumping Backwards - Part 1
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   9th Jun 2012   •   13,977 views   •   25 comments
Horse Jumping Backwards

Who is Olop, you ask? Well, that is my new nickname for Polo. Read on, and I daresay the reason will soon become clear.

Those of you who know me will surely know that I am somewhat ‘lacking’ in the sanity division. In fact, at times I wonder if I have any sense of self preservation whatsoever. All the same, it serves me well. Henceforth, my ‘stunts’ have included just simple things – jumping tackless, or tackling bigger jumps bareback without holding the reins. Needless to say, once I had taken these stunts as far as I could, I needed something new to hold my interest. I remember that quite some time back, one of my Facebook friends shared a photo of Rodrigo Pessoa jumping backwards – and dared me to try it, as a joke, of course. At the time I laughed it off and thought nothing of it. But then, after a while, it happened again. A different friend, this time, shared the same image on my wall – and I simply could not ignore it.

It was right after the holidays, after my horses had been resting – meaning I’d hardly jumped in a month or more. The temptation was too great to resist...

Challenge Accepted.

Thus began my latest crazy mission: Jumping backwards.

Before I go on, I must say that I DO NOT encourage anybody to try this. It is dangerous, reckless and utterly pointless.

I repeat: DO NOT jump your horse backwards. The point of this article is not to inspire you to try dangerous and stupid things – the point is simply to share the dangerous and stupid things that I, in all my utter senselessness, have decided to try.

I figured that jumping backwards couldn’t be that much harder than jumping forwards, so one day after an outride, I decided to try it on Moony. I turned around in the saddle, and from the moment I walked him, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. I couldn’t even trot him. My balance was completely off, and I found it incredibly difficult to turn and halt him. After a few laps of the arena at a walk, I decided to give up and leave Moo alone before I confused the poor fellow. But as it turned out, I was not yet ready to throw in the towel. I still had an ace up my sleeve.

An ace called Olop (‘Polo’ backwards, if you’ve yet to work it out). Or Polo, if you prefer. For a long time, Olop has been my ‘fun horse’. She is too intelligent, and far too mareish for a competition horse. She simply doesn’t want to compete – so she doesn’t – and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. But I love her far too much to let her go, so I couldn’t care less if she competes or not. The bond we share is worth more than a thousand competition wins, and I think I can safely say that I trust that little mare with my life. She’s always got my back, and she’s always game for whatever crazy new scheme I came up with.

This time was no exception.

I got onto my Olop bareback, and turned backwards. Feeling far more confident on my trusty ‘partner in crime’, I took my reins in one hand behind my back (Never have I been more thankful that Olop knows how to neck rein), and clucked her on. She walked, reluctantly at first – waiting for me to catch my balance. Once I had, I asked her to trot, and she obeyed.

Within the first three strides, I realized that this was not going to be as easy as I had anticipated. Sitting backwards as I was, my balance was off, and her trot bounced me like a total little novice. I instantly began slipping backwards, and within a few strides, I had toppled off her rump.

Olop was utterly unimpressed when I got up, sandy and laughing, and remounted. But, patient as always, she let me turn to face her tail – and we tried again.
I found that I needed to sit higher up her wither to keep from slipping off backwards, and eventually I had the appropriate balance. Next time I asked Olop to trot, she soon figured out that my balance was much better if she proceeded in a slow, smooth jog-type pace.

And that was the first victory: I could stay on board while facing backwards, and trot without falling off. Some achievement, to think that I had begun thinking I’d be able to jump the first time! I began to think I’d never be able to do it, but still I persisted.

Horse Jumping Backwards

Horse Jumping Without Reigns

Stay tuned for Part II
Hopeful Haven  
Wow, let us know if you ever do it! It's a big achievement to jump bareback but you're really shooting for the stars. Good luck!
  Jun 9, 2012  •  10,004 views
No Walkin Farms9  
Oh Polo and Olop, you crazy pair. Can't wait to see what happens next. Tell me you have video of you jumping backwards at least. Right? Please.
  Jun 9, 2012  •  10,300 views
My God, I really do love you and your madness. I don't think I'd ever do this (Unless of course I find a horse who's willing to let me try this- such as your beloved Olop) but I do find it rather entertaining to read of your insane endeavours! I'll be looking forward to reading part two :)
  Jun 9, 2012  •  10,301 views
Que Sara  
LOL!! Although I've seen the photos I can't wait for the next article that includes them too. I still think you should seriously consider a career as a stunt rider. You have the skills and the balls to do it!

Odriew eht Olop!! You could pretend you are Dutch!!
  Jun 9, 2012  •  10,302 views
Deep as Rhubarb  
This is so awesome! Good luck! :) (And I can definitely assure you that I will NEVER try this. :P )
  Jun 9, 2012  •  11,155 views
Doodles Forever  
It has to be said: You are simply, unexplainably and lovably insane. xD
  Jun 9, 2012  •  10,465 views
Mesty III  
You're crazy. I love it. ^^ Cant wait for part 2!
  Jun 9, 2012  •  11,071 views
Valkyrie   MOD 
You inspire me :D I'm a returning rider (I'm 20 and hadn't ridden for about eight years when I took up lessons again a few months ago) and you give me the confidence to keep persevering.
  Jun 9, 2012  •  11,057 views
Sounds dangerous. :-)
  Jun 9, 2012  •  11,091 views
Sapphire Flames  
whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that sounds so scary....but so awesome at the same time! :D
  Jun 9, 2012  •  11,060 views
Solana Sonrisa  
I can do jumping tackless and jumping standing up...but jumping backwards? This I have to try.
  Jun 10, 2012  •  11,095 views
Let It Ride  
Hmmm part of me totally wants to give this a shot. The other part of me is still remembering my bruised tailbone from three weeks ago and says no.
  Jun 10, 2012  •  11,072 views
Carpe Diem  
I can only imagine how much skill it takes to jump backwards. I've tried backwards bareback numerous times (i did it bridleless so I didn't need to worry about the reins) and I could barely walk without loosing balance. Like, it doesn't seem like it would be hard, just like riding frontwards, but it's such a different feeling! Everything changes. It kinda feels like you're riding a camel. xD I almost fell off, at just a walk! I had to hold my hands on his croup just to stay balanced. xD so, jumping backwards must be soooo hard. O.O I should practice backwards riding more often. (:
Can't wait for the rest!
  Jun 11, 2012  •  11,098 views
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
wow! I am looking forward to part 2 :)
great article.. crazy..but good lol.
  Jun 11, 2012  •  11,090 views
I'm curious. What places you so high above everyone else that excuses you to get away with being "insane" or whatever nonsense you call it? Insane people are put where they belong: insane asylums. I have absolutely no idea how you are allowed to handle horses if you constantly claim to be "insane". Why post this if you don't want other riders trying it for themselves? Oh, for attention, of course. Every time I turn around, you seem to create another senseless act of destruction for both you and your horses for another round of applause for being this "epically awesome" person. I'm guessing this is another one of those hypocritical statements of "do as I say, not as I do". All the rest of us mere mortals must listen to our own common sense and rational ways of thinking, but, again, what puts you in a position that is apparently so far above the rest of us? You need to lead by example, which is clearly not at all what you're doing. This is definitely NOT the role model youn
  Jun 11, 2012  •  11,114 views
Que Sara  
Just for the record there have been trials done on the how a rider affects the way a horse jumps.

The results were that the horse jumped the same regardless on whether a novice or an experienced rider were on his/her back.

So you are in no way harming or potentially harming the horse.

Pure fun, if Polo didn't want to jump backwards it's simple, she wouldn't, she would run out or refuse, or even throw in a series of bucks and tank off afterwards. The fact she doesn't shows she is perfectly comfortable in what she is doing.

I, for one, wouldn't copy you because although I have ridden backwards, I never had the guts to attempt more than a trot so I definitely wouldn't attempt to jump. And I doubt more than 98% of members on here wouldn't either.

Carry on having fun!!

PS. Messaged you about the stunt riding.
  Jun 12, 2012  •  11,084 views
Thats cool!
  Jun 14, 2012  •  11,074 views
Run Free  
being able to jump my mare forwards is an achievement for me (she quite enjoys trying to throw me off) the craziest thing i have done with her is jump with no reins or stirrups (only small jumps though) so well done attempting to go backwards
  Jun 15, 2012  •  11,149 views
This sounds amazing, I hope you achieve what you're looking for! :) *mentally subscribes to this series*
  Jun 15, 2012  •  11,074 views
Summer Rain  
Your balance and trust with your horse is great!
  Jun 16, 2012  •  11,076 views
Deleted Accounts  
well done polo, you've obviously got a very good bond with your horse!
  Jun 17, 2012  •  11,088 views
Double Spur Ranch  
Great article!
  Jun 17, 2012  •  11,073 views
Hakuna Matata  
Wow, I love this :D I love how you actually work up to it, rather than going straight for it. Very safe!
  Jun 17, 2012  •  11,076 views
i will keep reading these!
  Jul 7, 2012  •  11,054 views
oh my goddddd i wish i could do that i have jumped bareback before but not backwards!!!!
  Nov 4, 2012  •  9,508 views
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