Bad Jazz and Joe Cool: Johnson & Johnson Heiress Under Fire After Kicking Horse During Exhibition

images-4download-4Johnson & Johnson heiress Jazz Johnson-Merton is unlikely to be on the PETA holiday card list.  The 36-year-old heiress shocked onlookers at theHampton Classic Horse Show when she kicked her horse Joe Cool after she was thrown during an exhibition.  She is the author of the tongue-in-cheek “Social Climber’s Bible” which will now likely be followed by the “Social Exile’s Bible.”

 

According to The Chronicle of the Horse, she dragged the horse away but was not seen further abusing the animal.

There are few things that trigger most people than to see an exceedingly wealthy person kicking a defenseless animal in a fit of frustration.

28 thoughts on “Bad Jazz and Joe Cool: Johnson & Johnson Heiress Under Fire After Kicking Horse During Exhibition

  1. I normally don’t resort to foul language but
    This one is a total batch.
    Should be suspended for a season at least.
    The ASPCA should take a serious look at this.

  2. I could not watch the video. She is a bitch, she’s a bitch, she’s a bitch all the way. From her first and last name to her last dying day.

  3. The earlier comments said it all, explaining how the rider, by her bad riding, invited the horse to pull her forward and thus over his shoulder. Most events like this, in any horse discipline, are due to rider error, not horse nonsense. She’s probably jumping fences too high for her skill level, tho would make the same mistakes over lower fences. He seems a lovely and tolerant fellow and deserves a better rider with a more respectful and humane attitude. Sadly, there are many like her in the horse world. What a pity someone of her wealth and social standing does not set a better example of self-awareness and kind behavior, especially toward those stoic creatures who give us their all, uncomplainingly. I hope she was severely sanctioned by the show judges–maybe she will grow up.

    • It seems like riders are in a hurry to jump higher. Those with a lot of money get trainers who push for “results”. So they start them jumping, and then keep raising the rail, instead of spending all those “boring” hours on equitation and flatwork.

      Even the way I was taught was first in a Western saddle. Within a very short time, months I think, I was in an English saddle. The first day in that English saddle, they sent me over very low fences, holding onto a “jumping strap” to haul me over the fence without hitting the horse’s mouth. It was a long long time before I could take care of a horse over a fence. That was the old fashioned way of doing it. Looking back, I cringe at what I, and all beginner riders, put those sweet, saintly school horses through. At least they didn’t raise the rail until you could actually ride the lower one. Out of respect and love (and an act of contrition) for those long gone school horses, my little boy is taking lessons from a dressage trainer on her saintly school horses. She started him out on a lunge line with no reins to learn an independent seat. He’s got his reins now but he is absolutely, positively, not allowed to touch the mouth.

      It’s so true that there is a lot of bad riding, especially in jumping. I’ve seen riders who have shown for years haul and jerk the reins, bicycle turn, bounce in the saddle, and even, I kid you not, flap their elbows leading up to the fence. But in jumpers, all that matters is time and if they’re clear. Maybe all jumpers should be eq over fences.

      • Karen – I went to the 1984 Olympic in Los Angeles and attended the cross-country where I saw several Olympic level riders get thrown by their mounts. One, right in front of us at a water jump. I was sitting next to Princess Margaret of England who was sweet enough to give the crowd a running commentary on what we should be looking for, God love her. She blamed it on both horse and rider. Stride was too long coming to the jump and take-off was too late. As a matter of fact, several horses balked at that water jump. And the rider had to swing back and try it again.

        • Oh, I hated water jumps. Especially the ones with blue tarps. Every single horse alive is born thinking blue tarps and plastic bags are equicidal maniacs, although they can be convinced…eventually, not to freak out. The general rule for jumping is that as long as you’re not going to the hospital, you get back on. And getting back on to face the same jump is really hard sometimes.

          What an amazing experience to hear Princess Margaret discuss the rides. That was really lucky.

          • CV Brown – small hat, jumper, and boots. Looked like she was ready to take over for one of the riders if she had to. 😉 There were other celebrity horse owners, whom I have forgotten, who were on the course that day, but since I was sitting next to her for awhile she was unforgettable. It was a challenging course.

        • Riders are never “thrown”. They fall off. Rider error, miscommunication or inexperience. Even the cowboys riding rodeo bucking broncos fall off. A horse “throwing” a rider is akin to a car going “out of control” and the only one of those that is legitimate is “Christine”.

          • Joan – I grew up in rodeo country and bronc riders are thrown off, they don’t fall off. You need to attend more rodeos. 🙂

          • Well, when I’ve gotten bucked off, it’s with quite a bit of force. “Falling” sounds so gentle, like you just fall down a few feet, compared with getting catapulted at mach 1. If you fall off, perhaps you just lost your balance, and the horse had nothing to do with it. Or the horse runs out and you keep going. If you get thrown, it was the horse’s decision to get you off of his back tout de suite.

            If you ever get thrown from a horse, you will never confuse it will falling off again.

  4. That spoiled brat needs to learn how to ride.

    Equestrian sports are the great equalizers. A pauper and a princess can both learn to be excellent riders.

    There are two basic classes of rider, true for all experience levels. The kind who always, correctly, blames herself for problems. She is, after all, the leader of that team. And the one who always blames and frightens the horse.

    As she approaches the fence, she has no seat. Her seat bones should be lightly resting in the saddle, following the motion. You can see she is bouncing in the saddle, not coming down to hard, but certainly not following. Her hands are not following the mouth. The reins go slack, tight, slack, tight. That means she is rhythmically catching her horse in the mouth. The bit rests on the bars of the mouth, which is the area behind the teeth. The metal rests on the gums. The bit is usually some sort of jointed snaffle or higher, so activating the bet breaks the bit in the middle, creating a nutcracker effect, with the joint also pressing up to the palette. A lot of jumping bits are harsh, like a double twisted wire. That horse looks like a hunter, with good breaks, not a roaring jumper. So hopefully he didn’t have a harsh bit. But she is not sitting the horse, and she riding with tight hands catching the mouth. So the horse is not forward to the fence. He should have a steady, relaxed and forward stride. I thought he was going to either chip (throw in a really short stride because he did not have the distance) or run out, but he moved forward a stride before.

    She also had little crest release. When you jump a fence, the horse arcs over the obstacle. They can clear 6 feet on either side. So the rider her is riding an arc about 12 feet or more long. She has to follow the mouth, so her hands can either do a crest release, which is where they smoothly travel up the crest of the horse’s neck, giving him rein to stretch his head over the jump without catching him in the mouth. Alternatively, riders can bring their hands forward on either side of the horse’s neck, straight to the bit. Some riders do that, but that does leave the rider’s head and neck more vulnerable if the horse refuses and throws his head up into her face. Instead, her hands moved very little, again catching her grey in the mouth. Plus, she landed sloppily, which, again, caught her horse in the mouth and didn’t feel very good.

    All of the above hurt.. The kick was just the obvious injury. Her horse objected strongly, but he is clearly a very sweet grey. I think he’s a gelding. He landed with his head down, and then pulled her over when she was still forward in some sort of sloppy recovery from her two point. (The two point is when the rider rises in the stirrups, feet under hips, and breaks over at the waist to clear an obstacle.) A lot of horses will buck upon landing, bolt, throw their head, or otherwise shout at you that you are doing it wrong and to knock it off.

    He did pull her off. She deserved it. Instead of blaming herself, she kicked the horse in his belly, which is one of the most thin-skinned, sensitive, vulnerable places on his body. And still he showed zero aggression or fight. He avoided her, bumped the fence, looked scared, and avoided looking her directly in the face the way that horses do to calm down an angry dominant horse.

    And then, she dragged him improperly off the field, hauling on the reins hard, which activated the bit with no release, which, again…wait for itcaught him in the mouth and hurt.

    Another common problem to investigate is navicular. The effect of constant toe first landing of a shod horse is seen especially in jumpers, because all that weight comes down on the toe instead of the heel where it belongs. That jams the navicular bone into the supporting tissue, damaging it. It’s hard to tell with all that crappy riding.

    If some trainer doesn’t take the trouble to check her, hard, she is going to sour that horse and ruin his mouth.

    You know what the all time most famous, and simultaneously feared, hunter jumper trainer George Morris might have done? (I say might because I would never presume to say what he would have done. I am unworthy to .) He would have put tacks on the seat of her saddle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Z0XSaW1z4) to teach her to sit lightly and off the back of the cantle, while also requiring her seat bones to make and maintain contact. He’s the most highly sought after clinician ever, and he chews up spoiled princesses and spits them out for breakfast. After telling them to stop eating. You need to ride, not eat. And if you don’t need to go to the hospital, you get back on the horse.

    She has a very sweet little grey whose trust she needs to earn back. But she probably won’t.

    Bad form.

    • Also, this can grow into a very unsafe habit. If he gets into the habit of pulling the rider forward on landing, she can fall forward and break her neck. Christopher Reeve went over his mare’s neck on a bank. His hands tangled in the reins so he was unable to break his wrists or collarbone breaking his fall.

      The grey’s learned that landing is her vulnerable moment. She needs to turn her horse over to a trainer who is not afraid of insulting his paycheck, rule out navicular and other medical issues, and sweeten his attitude back up. Then she needs to not jump until she’s gone back and mastered her skill set. He’s got cute perky ears beforehand, so let’s recapture his willingness and get him relaxed and forward.

      People who tended to tense and grip the reins like, and not have a following seat, were made to tie their reins in a knot and jump without them or their stirrups at the barn where I grew up.

      • Karen S, I agree with the other commenters, great analysis. I only rode Western saddle when I was young, but even my untrained eyes could tell the whole event was her fault, and the horse clearly knew how she would react once she came off (as in he would get the abuse). If she’s very fortunate, she will get the proper training. If she is too vain to change, I recommend someone give her therapy with a 2×4.

    • What you said about the horse backing to the fence in fear means it’s not the first time he’s been treated with cruelty. The animal is expecting to get more punishment. So much for the neo-aristocracy.

      • Thanks, guys. I love horses. They are wonderful creatures, but they are prey animals, not predators. These large animals are so incredibly vulnerable to their riders. Whether they have a good life, a bad life, or a short life, is entirely up to us. There are so many horses who shut down and stop talking. The horse is always communicating, it’s just nonverbal. And you want the horse to keep offering solutions to the questions you give him. You present a combination of weight, and aids, or jumping elements, or trail obstacles, or even working cattle, and you wait for him to offer up what he thinks you want. And then you say good try but that’s not quite right. Repeat, and when he gets it right you throw such a party that he’s pleased and can’t wait to solve another problem for you. A horse needs to know you will listen to him when something is wrong. You want him to keep trying. And you need to respond when he says you’ve don’t something wrong. There are horses who just shut completely down. They turn inward and try to ignore the people around them. It becomes surviving. Just get through it and they’ll be back in their coral soon. It’s like the horse is dead. They tune out the rein aids, the leg aids, and you can pose question after question and they just plod on like you’re not there, because in the past no one has listened and responded to them.

        • Oh, and I forgot to add, that horses who become “problem horses”, often through poor handling, still end up in slaughter today. They get shipped to Canada or Mexico to go feed people in France or dogs in Europe or other places overseas. I get emails all the time about horses who need to be bought ASAP from a feed lot. And the slaughter rescue business has actually created a source of revenue for slaughter buyers.

          The story of Black Beauty still applies today. Anna Sewell’s love story to horses, written as she lay dying, should be read and understood by anyone who rides. Ginger could be any horses today, too sensitive for rough handling who finishes with a bad end after a series of misery and changes of ownership.

          If you really want to be outraged, look up the Big Lick in Tennessee Walking horses. There’s just…no words.

  5. She didn’t hurt the horse and the horse could have killed or paralyzed her. Having been bitten by a horse, I will tell you from experience they are not defenseless. They also have hooves that they use on occasion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: