Several of the activities we do with horses involve making them jump obstacles - in the arena as a sport or on the trail just because something's in our way.
So, is it mean or even cruel to make horses do it? Especially in an arena when, surely, a sane horse will go around an obstacle rather than over it?
The answer is actually: It depends on the horse.
Some horses hate jumping and will do anything to get out of it. Others love it and think it's a fun game to play. Needless to say, good jumping horses that compete at higher level shows generally love their job - because you'll never get them to that level if they don't.
In fact, some sport horse farms select horses by turning weanlings or yearlings out in a paddock with low jumps in it and picking the ones that try doing it on their own.
Image source: Ronald C. Yochum Jr. via Wikimedia Commons.