How fast for XC?
 
 

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How fast for XC?

This is a discussion on How fast for XC? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How fast is a 350 bpm canter
  • Horse gaits +travel meter per minute

 
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    06-29-2010, 07:25 PM
  #1
Trained
How fast for XC?

Basically due to a combination of no money and no way to get to shows, my horse and I have been goofing off lately. Instead of ring work, we've been going out into the fields and trails a lot and running around like a pair of idiots. I'm getting pretty good at a nice even hand gallop, but as we haul butt around the fields, I picture having jumps in the way and start to wonder if I could ever jump at that speed. I know there are different paces for the levels and increase as you go up, but what you say the pace for BN is? Medium canter? Hand gallop? We've been kind of going at the speed of "streets have no name" by U2 if you need a visual of what we've been doing. I'm just curious.
     
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    06-29-2010, 08:10 PM
  #2
Trained
Beginner Novice should be cantering around 350 beats per minute.

What you can do to learn galloping speeds is to measure out "speed traps" if you can.

Put a marker down at a starting point and then measure out 350 meters and put another marker down right at the end point of that measurement.

Use a digital watch *I personally have a Timex with the option to go to a timer* set it at 00'00 and start it as soon as you pick up a canter. Canter between the two markers and ride the 350 meters you measured out.

It should take you approximately 1 minute to canter a BN to N pace in that 350 meter marker you set up. Ride it a couple of times so that you can get the feel of what that canter/pace should be, and then start riding it without keeping an eye on your watch.

I would say it is a nice medium canter.
     
    06-29-2010, 09:13 PM
  #3
Trained
Thanks MIE, but I have no way of measuring out meters. I don't think they have one of the wheel measuring thingies at the barn. I'm just trying to get an idea for pace. I always associate gaits and speeds with songs since it helps me maintain steady paces. Any song you can think of that would match the pace you travel at when you're riding XC? Hopefully it doesn't involve a bathroom!!
     
    06-29-2010, 09:25 PM
  #4
Trained
Well - how about vids instead? If you watch my ride at the last HT - watch myself and the other riders on course to try to establish what rhythm/pace you need to be doing.

Would that help?




Search on Youtube for other BN riders and try to get their rhythm locked down.....?
     
    06-29-2010, 09:28 PM
  #5
Trained
That's perfect! Thanks. PHEW! That's a good few gears slower than what we've been doing when we're goofing around in the fields. I could jump at that speed without too much concern...I think.
     
    06-29-2010, 09:32 PM
  #6
Trained
You can, if you solidify your "Functional Two Point"! :) :)
     
    06-29-2010, 09:38 PM
  #7
Trained
I'm at work and bored again, so here's another question. I've been seeing two schools of thought about XC jumping. One side says that you should stay in a consistent rhythm throughout and jump in stride. The other side says to half halt and settle the horse about 10 strides out before the jump. Logic tells me that thought process #2 developed only because they couldn't canter in a balanced manner between fences and the half halt was put in to cover the fact that they let the canter go flat. I'm thinking the ideal would be thought process #1, keep a good balanced canter going and you're good to go whether you're traveling or jumping. What's your take on that?
     
    06-30-2010, 01:02 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Well, what I've been taught is to balance back up before jumps. I tend to do it too far away though, and that makes Geof second guess the jump. I'm a good enough rider and he's a good enough horse and we have enough XC experiance to gallop and jump novice level fences without much set up BUT if you're just starting out, then setting up before jumps is a good idea. Sometimes, especially towards the end of the course, your horse will start to gallop more flat, just because they're tired, so you have to bring them back into your hand before jumps more than you would at the begining of the course. So for you right now, taking time to set up before jumps to ensure that you're going towards the jump with a nice, even, balance canter is a good idea.
     
    07-01-2010, 07:23 PM
  #9
Yearling
Personally, I find it depends on the type of jump I'm approaching. There are some that when I'm walking, I've noticed are a whole lot bigger than they look. Willie is a bit of a goober in that he can get sloppy sometimes on cross country. Sometimes he needs a good half halt to say "Hey, you need to pay attention to this jump." There are also jumps that are more "gallop-y." They're jumps that are ones that are actually easier to take in stride without too much half halt. Sometimes it'll also depend on the horse I'm riding, especially if they're built a little downhill. When they're built downhill it's easier for them to get on the forehand while cruising around course so I'll always give them a good half halt before jumps.

I feel like just saying "Hey, I'm going to maintain one pace the whole course" is a little naive. You should go in saying, "Hey, I want to stay on pace, but I know I will more than likely have to adjust my speed throughout the course because of other factors." Weather, shadows, lighting, people, other horses, terrain changes, spooks, etc. will all affect how you ride the course.
     
    07-01-2010, 07:43 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange    
Personally, I find it depends on the type of jump I'm approaching. There are some that when I'm walking, I've noticed are a whole lot bigger than they look. Willie is a bit of a goober in that he can get sloppy sometimes on cross country. Sometimes he needs a good half halt to say "Hey, you need to pay attention to this jump." There are also jumps that are more "gallop-y." They're jumps that are ones that are actually easier to take in stride without too much half halt. Sometimes it'll also depend on the horse I'm riding, especially if they're built a little downhill. When they're built downhill it's easier for them to get on the forehand while cruising around course so I'll always give them a good half halt before jumps.

I feel like just saying "Hey, I'm going to maintain one pace the whole course" is a little naive. You should go in saying, "Hey, I want to stay on pace, but I know I will more than likely have to adjust my speed throughout the course because of other factors." Weather, shadows, lighting, people, other horses, terrain changes, spooks, etc. will all affect how you ride the course.
Wow, thanks for the input. This all makes perfect sense to me. I'm all about doing whatever works for the specific moment, and your thought process is very easy to understand. Very well said.
     

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