r/Damnthatsinteresting Oct 01 '22 Wholesome 2

Horse Diving Sport in 1923 Video

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11.0k Upvotes

2.7k

u/PathRepresentative77 Oct 01 '22

...why?

Also, how do you even train a horse to do that?

1.8k

u/MacCaswell Interested Oct 01 '22 Wholesome

I don’t think that’s something you “train them to do” as much as it’s something you just repeatedly do to them…

719

u/milworker42 Oct 01 '22

I agree, those horses have blinders. I wonder what their heart rates must look like when they do that.

348

u/irmadequem Oct 02 '22

I believe that it averages pretty low because of how many must have reached 0

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u/cannibalzombies Oct 02 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

It's the internet and I'm probably wrong but I think I recall reading that after a certain point the horses seemed to enjoy it. I guess if they have a few under the belt and know they're safe a splash in some water isn't all that bad, possibly refreshing

57

u/babidibabidi Oct 02 '22

horses love diving into water, but not like in this video, head and front feet first or from such a height. Instead, they love to dive in a river and swim in it, in a hot summer day to cool off

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u/trust-me-i-know-stuf Oct 02 '22

Yeah no way I believe that.

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u/jwhaler17 Oct 02 '22

But I WANT to though!!!

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u/Ialreadylove_you Oct 02 '22

I mean, you don’t start off having them jump off tall towers. You probably just start with a pool and build up from there. It seems plausible they could enjoy it, if they’re used to it

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u/UnholyDragun Oct 02 '22

The things us humans tell ourselves, in order to feel okay about some of the fucked up shit we do...

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u/Agreeable-Yams8972 Oct 01 '22

The definition of insanity

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u/Zalensia Oct 02 '22

... with spurs digging into then and men beating them the whole way.

It's not training, it's conditioning through abuse.

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u/MacCaswell Interested Oct 02 '22

Exactly! Like how they’ve always “trained” circus animals

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u/Straight_Ocelot_7848 Oct 01 '22

There was a movie about a girl who lost her sight who became famous for it

166

u/ViciousTrollop19 Oct 01 '22

It's called, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. Part of Michael Schoeffling's short career.

97

u/miketoc Oct 02 '22

Man I instantly thought of this movie when I saw this but it was so many years ago I had no chance of remembering what it was. Thank you kind sir. Bless you.

6

u/Pascalica Oct 02 '22

I experienced this exact same thing and was scrolling through this in search of the name. I loved that movie.

17

u/AllThoseVapors Oct 02 '22

I love that movie. It's so good!

15

u/Straight_Ocelot_7848 Oct 02 '22

Thanks I’m going to watch it now

16

u/Jbusbus Oct 02 '22

That was one of the 5 movies that we had as kid loved that movie

16

u/c010rb1indusa Oct 02 '22

I think that movie was required viewing for every elementary school in the 90s.

13

u/Th3Batman86 Oct 02 '22

My mother in law was a horse person and loved this movie. I would refer to it as “blind horses can’t swim” just to drive her nuts. “THE GIRL WAS BLIND NOT THE HORSE” was always the retort.

6

u/Mogwaier Oct 02 '22

I remember my aunt referring to it as Wild Horses Can't Jump

4

u/IhaveaBibledegree Oct 02 '22

Why such a short career?

11

u/ViciousTrollop19 Oct 02 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

He left acting and decided to live a quiet life making and selling handmade furniture. At least, that's what IMDb and Wikipedia say. Supposedly, it was due to lack of future roles?? No idea why though.

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u/WingedShadow83 Oct 02 '22

Was just coming here to mention this! I remembered watching it as a kid. I think she didn’t close her eyes when she hit the water or something.

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u/Rivendel93 Oct 02 '22

Lol, it's obviously not funny she went blind, but the idea is definitely funny.

19

u/Jono391 Oct 01 '22

I do remember watching this when I was a kid.

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u/crystalsorrow Oct 02 '22

Wild hearts can’t be broken. It’s based off the story of Sonora Webster. I love that movie so much.

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u/haleyhair Oct 02 '22

I still love this movie!

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u/Straight_Ocelot_7848 Oct 02 '22

Say we’re old without saying we’re old

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u/jbcraigs Oct 01 '22

And how was the jump scored? What would be considered a good or a bad jump?

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u/TheBoondoggleSaints Oct 01 '22

I don’t think these were diving competitions. I believe they were part of a traveling Wild West show. Supposedly the horses were never forced to jump but I’m sure they were mostly always strongly encouraged to. I don’t quite understand what the draw is to watching a horse and rider jump into a pool of water but it must have been popular enough at the time to warrant making it part of the show.

5

u/Apeiro_phobiac Oct 02 '22

I will say this, yes you can force a horse to jump. But in my experience, you are more than likely going to be thrown off that horse before it will ever jump. Even the best trained horse in the world won’t do something if they don’t feel it is safe. So I’m willing to believe that the horses enjoyed this to an extent. I of course could be wrong, so please don’t come at me. I’m just talking from personal experience with many different horses at varying points in training.

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u/Which-Pain-1779 Oct 02 '22

This was a show at the Atlantic City Steel Pier for many years. It was never a competition.

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u/2IndianRunnerDucks Oct 02 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

I don’t know about training them, I had a crazy welsh mountain pony cross that used to jump off a pretty high creek bed into the creek below rather than walk down the track that the other horses would use.

91

u/TheLubber Oct 01 '22

Beat it mercilessly I’d imagine.

15

u/tallmantall Oct 01 '22

While it’s alive of corse. Can’t exactly do it when it’s dead now can you

19

u/DylanV1969 Oct 01 '22 hehehehe

I dunno. I've seen people beat a dead horse too many times to count lol

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u/YouShoodKnoeBetter Oct 02 '22

This comment is absolute gold. You took it and ran with it like an absolute champion.

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u/dogedude81 Oct 01 '22

They trained them by literally pushing them over the edge lol

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u/uglypaperhaver Oct 02 '22

Don't laugh - very likely platform titled down to dump them until they learned...

...or died.

12

u/dogedude81 Oct 02 '22

You can see the horse clearly trying not to fall the entire time. They are clearly forced over by whatever means.

I'm not laughing at the act. I think it's disgusting. I'm laughing at the stupidity of the question.

2

u/uglypaperhaver Oct 02 '22

Okay - sorry. Agreed.

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u/Tiny_Cranberry_7365 Oct 01 '22

What in the absolute hell!

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u/mackinoncougars Oct 02 '22

Reminder how weird horse people are.

83

u/welpHereWeGoo Oct 02 '22

I think horse people don't condone this abuse

35

u/MedusaKali Oct 02 '22

Horse people put horses through a lot despite what we believe. In comparison to if it was just left in nature and was free.

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u/LoaMemphisZoo Oct 02 '22

One time they had some horses for a football game I went to and I swear I saw this man punch the horse right in the face because it didn't want to move

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u/SmolSpaceExplorer Oct 01 '22

There is a movie based on this called Wild Heart's Can't Be Broken. I remember it being good.

134

u/voilatardigrade Oct 01 '22

https://youtu.be/ew3S69fcRq0

Michael Schoeffling was the actor that made me forget that boys had germs.

17

u/wayneforest Oct 02 '22

It was his last movie ever! Apparently he does woodworking somewhere in Pennsylvania if I remember correctly. No updated photos since then either, except one rumored to be him, but who knows.

3

u/TemporaryPassion289 Oct 02 '22

The real “Al” was like 20+ years older than Sonora Webster. That’s why dr Carver had such an issue with the relationship. The movie is great, but not too factual. Great choice going with Michael Schoeffling though.

3

u/AllOutOfCornflakesFU Oct 02 '22

HOW DID I NOT KNOW HE WAS ALSO JAKE RYAN???? I watched both of those so many times! My mind is blown.

63

u/Heretic_Red Oct 01 '22

That movie was a favorite of mine when I was a kid

21

u/1107rwf Oct 01 '22

Same! My friend and I used to practice along with the movie and say “Snora Webster” to try and sound like her. Although the movie made it look a lot more fun for the horse than it looks here.

2

u/CheesusHCracker Oct 02 '22

My sister used to watch that movie all the time

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u/kobayashi_maru_fail Oct 01 '22

That movie was the moment I realized as a kid I didn’t have to agree with filmmakers, and by extension authors, teachers, or anyone expecting you to swallow their story whole. The narrative is she’s brave and good and overcomes a huge obstacle, but why TF is she doing this to the poor horse?

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u/[deleted] Oct 02 '22

Hunger and poverty is a good motivator.

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u/CitizenJustin Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

Excellent point. I see an abusive, ridiculous and unnecessary sport, not bravery.

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u/Middle_Manager_Karen Oct 01 '22

I agree that was a great movie. Told the story well

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u/MaddRamm Oct 01 '22

Thank you! That was the movie I was thinking of. I enjoyed it as a kid but couldn’t believe how scary it was for horses to dive into barrels. Lol

2

u/Compendyum Oct 01 '22

Such an obvious title. Who wouldn't know it's about diving to pools mounted on a horse?

2

u/campninja09 Oct 01 '22

That movie is so good

2

u/Dragoon9255 Oct 02 '22

came here for this

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u/Dull_Beautiful4966 Oct 01 '22

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u/BlueLightBookWyrm Oct 01 '22

Duncan was the first thing I thought of when I was this

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u/recycled_dinosaur24 Oct 01 '22

Look, all I want is for him to find a good home or be dog food.

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u/jerk_hobo Oct 01 '22

Came looking for this. Have an upvote.

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u/Pretty-Benefit-233 Oct 01 '22

Life was so boring back then they’d do stuff like this and pole sitting for entertainment

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u/stereocupid Oct 02 '22

There was also “human zoos” where the zoo owners would just bring people from various “exotic” locals, put them in a small fenced in pen and let people come observe them like animals. Shit is fucked up.

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u/AtlanticPacific69 Oct 01 '22

Horse diving at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ.

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u/ihaventanyidea Oct 01 '22

Yup. They stopped doing this in the late 70s. I remember seeing this as a kid, before there was gambling in AC.

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u/Takilove Oct 02 '22

I remember seeing “the Diving Horse”, in Atlantic City, back in the 60’s & 70’s. It was a huge sensation on Steel Pier, that was the place for all kinds of entertainment.

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u/Ryl0225 Oct 01 '22

I. Hate. This.

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 01 '22

The way Hollywood treated animals back then was even worse than this.

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u/FlippedToFlat Oct 02 '22

It’s literally why there are bison on Catalina island. They took them there for a movie and simply left them

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u/AverageBoringDude Oct 02 '22

There are wild hippos in Colombia because Pablo Escobar had them in his personal zoo/backyard. They just kinda...wander around.

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u/just_one_random_guy Oct 02 '22

That’s a REALLY nice way of phrasing the situation in Colombia with the hippos

30

u/GhostBussyBoi Oct 02 '22

Just like Disney with the lemmings :(

Where they freaking chucked them off of the cliff to make up lies about them....

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 02 '22

We'll have to ask Walt Disney's cryogenically severed head why they did that, once they reanimate that is.

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u/GhostBussyBoi Oct 02 '22

Sadly his death isn't really that interesting, there is actually a record of him being cremated. He was never cryogenically frozen, He had expressed interest in that but he died before he ever actually signed the documents to have it happen.

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 02 '22

Maybe it was Ted Williams instead?

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u/YouGurt_MaN14 Oct 02 '22

Milo and Otis killed like 20 kittens I think I remember hearing

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u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

bro people come out of nowhere with this stuff

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 01 '22

Why did that get a down vote? Early Hollywood did all kinds of things to horses that we would find appalling todzy

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u/GimmeDatSideHug Oct 01 '22

They’re still doing shit to horses that’s appalling.

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 01 '22

Don't even get me started on horse racing, it's sick.

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u/GimmeDatSideHug Oct 01 '22

Most animal sports should be outlawed. Competition and greed generally lead to overlooking the well being of the animals involved.

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u/iandyah Oct 01 '22

It makes physically sick

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u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

There was actually a movie about this. I believe in the movie the girl rider is blind and does this. Also they blind the horses eyes. It's about trust apparently.

The movie:

Wild hearts can't be broken.

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u/cereal_guy Oct 01 '22

"Lemme blind this horse so it trusts me" - Some Genius

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u/Uruz2012gotdeleted Oct 02 '22

No, you convince the horse to trust you enough to do things when blind. The blinders are there so it wont get too scared or distracted at the wrong moment. Keep in mind that a trash can or person wavig a hand is enough to spook some horses. Blinders (not this extreme) are a normal part of being a horse that is doing something that requires no distractions.

Edit: also, these kinds of stunts are dumb. Dangerous for the horse and rider for no reason other than to maybe get hurt for an audience. Terrible.

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u/Austoniooo Oct 01 '22

Leave the horse out of it

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u/LocalBreadOfThePast Oct 01 '22

The fuck is up with humans 💀

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u/EnvironmentalCook389 Oct 01 '22

That’s fucked

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u/HullSplitter Oct 01 '22

How many people and horses died before they figured out this was a bad idea ?

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u/Kitorarima Oct 02 '22

They stopped after a rider went blind from hitting the water too hard

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u/Obieseven Oct 01 '22

Don’t think it was a sport as much as an exhibition that people paid money to see at Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

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u/TheStarsFell Oct 01 '22

I'm very glad I'm not a horse in 1923.

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u/Complex-Intention-43 Oct 02 '22

i think you glad you didnt live 2023 as human either.

otherwise you wouldnt se this clip today and comment about it

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u/PhilaTesla Oct 02 '22

It’s not a sport. I’m old enough to have seen it live. At the beginning of the clip you can make out a part of the sign saying “Steel Pier home of the diving horses.” They would lead the horses up a long ramp and then at some point the end of the ramp would be pulled away. So not really “diving “ as much as plunging to the ocean in Atlantic City. Pretty sure the horses wore blinders around their eyes to make sure they weren’t completely aware of what was happening.

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u/Nice_Dragon Oct 01 '22

Another show of humans asking more then they should from animals.

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u/Let_Thm_Eat_War Oct 01 '22

That women was my former neighbor.

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u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

Thank goodness it doesn’t exist now.

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u/RealRichOne Oct 01 '22 Wholesome

That’s animal abuse.

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u/osktox Oct 01 '22

I'd love to hear the excuse for those who don't agree on that.

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u/Ok_Pomelo7511 Oct 01 '22

It was the 1920s.. there were human zoos to show aborigines to the "civilized" peoples. Human rights are still quite young, let alone animal rights.

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u/QuoteGiver Oct 01 '22

Like how do you decide who did it best? Gravity is going to place the horse into the pool, yes. And they’re not doing triple backflips or anything on the way down.

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u/EssentialParadox Oct 01 '22

Did Horse Diving Hurt Horses?

Opinions differ with regards to whether horse diving hurt horses. Animal welfare organizations such as PETA claim that diving horses suffered internal organ damage, bone fractures, bruising, injuries to the legs and spine as well as other areas. However, there are no records of a diving horse ever getting injured from a jump.

While the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ferociously claims that diving horses suffered injuries, history books mention no incidents of horses ever getting injured.

Gold Levi, the author of the book “Atlantic City: 125 Years of Ocean Madness”, concurs. He stated that it was the riders who sustained injuries from diving, two a year on average, including bruising, broken bones, and even death.

What’s more, Gold Levi was close friends with Sonora Carver’s sister Arnette Webster French, who was also a diving girl. From conversations about the sport, the author concluded:

”There was never a question about whether anyone involved with the act loved these horses. . . . They were like their children. I remember her [Arnette] saying that if a horse didn’t like diving, then it wasn’t trained to do it. They were never forced to jump.”

Opposers of horse diving claim that the damage to horses couldn’t be proven with the veterinary technology available at the time. Thus, with our modern perception, we can safely assume that horse diving did result in both physical and mental damage to the animals.

When Did They Stop High Diving Horses? Over time, activists speaking up against horse diving grew in numbers. PETA and its supporters were among the loudest voices, calling for an end to this cruel exhibit.

Atlantic City’s Steel Pier stopped high diving horses in 1978 due to declining demand and pressure from animal rights advocates. Attempts for reviving the act were made in 1993 and 2012, but failed as a result of backlash from the public.

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u/voilatardigrade Oct 01 '22

They trained them until they no longer cautiously jumped like the first one is. This must be some jerk's blooper footage.

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u/[deleted] Oct 01 '22

Steel pier, Atlantic city NJ.

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u/Bored_Overlord Oct 01 '22

This has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen

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u/ETERNALXDRVID Oct 01 '22

Human race for the win again 🤦

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u/dibocookie Oct 01 '22

Dam morons since ages ago.

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u/randomlife2050 Oct 01 '22

I hope all those people died agonizing deaths

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u/Zuzara_The_DnD_Queen Oct 02 '22

Humanity will never fail to surprise me in how stupid we can be

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u/Sheepdoggy6969 Oct 02 '22

How is this a sport how do you improve a horse’s ability to jump into water

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u/--Gravedigger-- Oct 02 '22

So thats how seahorses are made

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u/PristineBaseball Oct 02 '22

Fuck humans . They had cars in 1923 why didn’t they go diving in those? Assholes .

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u/Puzzleheaded-Set204 Oct 01 '22

So scary and cruel

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u/itsactuallyme1 Oct 01 '22

Multiple animals were harmed in the making of this video.

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u/balsadust Oct 01 '22

There was a movie about this back in the day. I don't remember what it was called.

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u/dukedevils32 Oct 01 '22

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken

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u/PandaPuffNskate Oct 01 '22

What tf is wrong with humans!?

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u/neddog_eel Oct 01 '22

Sigh....at some point ...let's be honest .. We're just gonna have to leave horses alone

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u/LiquidMetalSloth Oct 01 '22

I prefer watching reverse horse diving, where the horse forces a human face first into water.

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u/Eternal_Flame24 Oct 02 '22

What the fuck is this???

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u/against_the_currents Oct 02 '22

This is so fucked fr

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u/w3zcvddl3z Oct 02 '22

actually this is just called animal abuse

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u/brdybb Oct 02 '22

God I feel sorry for horses.

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u/adept_ignoramus Oct 02 '22

Humans are the stupidest.

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u/PteromyiniMA Oct 02 '22

That is fucked up. Those poor horses

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u/Big-Caterpillar-60 Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

This and cat juggling, you just don't see these anymore, its an old Steve Martin bit from his comedy days.

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u/Mallbert Oct 01 '22

"damnthatsinteresting"? "damnthatsinfuriating" is more like what this video is.

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u/Ryan0101010101 Oct 01 '22

Sadistic mother fuckers

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u/MichiganRedWing Oct 02 '22

Humans are so fkin weird

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u/lagadama24 Oct 01 '22

I’m sorry but that is not interesting . That’s dumb af lmao . How many horses and people died doing that ? I bet a bunch

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u/ignorethesewordz Oct 01 '22

Fucking savages

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u/CitizenJustin Oct 01 '22

Sometimes you really have to wonder what the hell our ancestors were thinking.

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u/neermif Oct 01 '22

This is just awful

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u/Day_psycho Oct 02 '22

I can see why this is no longer in practice.

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u/Dinosaurshad_feather Oct 02 '22

Great movie: wild hearts can’t be broken

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u/Saracartwheels123 Oct 02 '22

Omigod, what is wrong with people.

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u/daysleaper430 Oct 02 '22

We’ve been barbaric from the start. Who would do that to a beautiful animal?

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u/bocachicalounge Oct 02 '22

They used to do this at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City NJ. IIRC, once the horse wore a Timex watch

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u/SwimmingBeneficial93 Oct 02 '22

Horrible. Poor animal.

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u/Naive_While_6177 Oct 02 '22

This is insane

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u/Horned_Elf Oct 02 '22

What the fuck

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u/Euclidian1 Oct 02 '22

Another perfect example of animal abuse. Pathetic that human beings are so bored with their own existences that they feel compelled to inflict fear and pain upon captive beings for their enjoyment. Bull fighting, Dog fighting and Chicken fighting along with animal “experiments” that have little to no useful increase in knowledge come to mind. Sick fucking humans.

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u/Wi1d-potat0 Oct 02 '22

Poor horses…

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u/Shine1630 Oct 02 '22

People are dumb and cruel

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u/DustBunnicula Oct 02 '22

“Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” Fabulous coming-of-age girl movie. Right up there with “Tuck Everlasting”.

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u/Crackerpuppy Oct 02 '22

Why animal cruelty is considered “damnthatsinteresting” I’ll never know.

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u/Ok-Engine8044 Oct 02 '22

I feel way more about those horses then the cruel humans that put them through this.

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u/WSDreamer Oct 02 '22

That’s terrible.

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u/Zippier92 Oct 02 '22

God people can do stupid and evil things.

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u/Camryn42 Oct 02 '22

This seems more like an 'activity' rather than a 'sport'. I'm guessing it's an activity the horses could have done without.

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u/BowlerBeautiful5804 Oct 02 '22

Omg those poor horses

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u/acewavelink Oct 02 '22

For any of those wonder, yes Disney DID make a movie about Horse Jumping called Wild Hearts Cant Be Broken about Sonora Webster Carver, the first female horse diver which she dove incorrectly and went blind. She, for some reason, continued doing it for 11 more years. The horses were rarely hurt and typically it was the riders who were got hurt the most. It took until the 70s for this to stop being a thing, not because people realized “wow this kinda lost its luster in the 20s” but because animal rights groups.

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u/handler207 Oct 02 '22

I used to see this at Steel Pier in Atlantic City as a kid

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u/5danish Oct 02 '22

Animal abuse

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u/snailshit Oct 02 '22

What the motherfuck?

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u/Suilenroc79 Oct 02 '22

This is too damn stupid lmfao

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u/normanjim Oct 02 '22

Animal abuse

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u/Binx75075 Oct 02 '22

I would consider that animal abuse.

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u/marlinmarlin99 Oct 02 '22

Cough Animal abuse

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u/keeppresent Oct 02 '22

Fucking idiots!

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u/NewBuddha32 Oct 02 '22

So animal abuse is interesting now?

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u/Quizzelbuck Oct 02 '22

Wild hearts can't be broken.

This is a movie that existed about a girl who wanted to do this sport. She is blinded by the end of the movie.

You may have seen it around the same time Cool As Ice was released - The hit film staring none other than Robert Matthew Van Winkle, AKA - Vanilla ice.

yeah the 90s were a dark time when my sister had control of the VCR. If you'll excuse me, im going to sooth my ruffled feathers and watch Ninja Turtles the movie and The Wizard

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u/pawel001984 Oct 02 '22

Poor horse.

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u/Upnorth2180 Oct 02 '22

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it swim.

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u/Famous_Mood_9480 Oct 02 '22

That's just wrong! That poor horse!

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u/1LungWonder Oct 02 '22

Humans are trash.

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u/norainforest Oct 02 '22

Grandparents: when I was your age we didn’t have phones.

Meanwhile in 1923: