Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
• Horses: 0
Well, not all horses jump in the hunter ring. Perfectly groomed footing that is absolutely level with the striding already planned doesn't need much input from the rider, maybe.
In the XC world, you are dealing with difficult terrain with strong up and downhill galloping, crazy striding, all kinds of footing. And, the jumps don't just fall down if the team makes a mistake. If you simply allow the horse to approach and make all the decisions, disaster will, eventually, happen. A horse should be given an idea when and where they might want to start the jump. A strong downhill will suck the horse into the jumps base. He must be cued from further back to make the jump well. There are too many examples to write here. XC is no place for a horse, who has no depth perception, to make all the decisions. A rider who just sits there letting things happen is no team player, IMHO.