Horses strides? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Horses strides?

I am pretty sure I saw a thread about this somewhere but I can't find it. I read something about counting horses strides as you come into a jump or something? I have just started looking at jumping a little bit and I was hoping someone could tell me a bit about this. If I haven't confused you, thanks for any help.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 07:17 PM
Green Broke
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Counting strides is a great tool, be it for beginners or pros.

In the hunter world, lines are set up to be taken in a certain amount of strides. So say you have a 6 stride, a 4 stride, and a 5 stride line in your course. If you take out or add strides, you will be marked down.

For jumpers and eventers, they are going to have combination fences and lines. They can add or take out as they wish, but will need to know what the line is set up for. If there is a tricky turn or a fence on the other side, they might want to collect and add. In another line, they might be able to make up time by pushing forward and leaving a stride out.

The count starts the first stride after the landing. Land..1..2..3..4..5..jump. Once the fifth stride has been complete, your horses legs come forward, as if to go for another stride, but use it as thrust to get over the fence.

Counting coming into single fences is also a great excercise to help begin to develop your jumping eye. Say that you are on your approach, and you start counting what you believe is 4 strides away. Turns out you were 5 or 3 strides. So you go again and start at 5 and get 4 and a half...then you should have woahed a little, or pressed forward for the 4. It really helps after a while and a lot of practise, because you learn when you need to wait instead of jumping ahead.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks that helped a lot

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-03-2011, 05:50 PM
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There was a very good article in the June issue of Practical Horseman about seeing distances if you can get your hands on a copy.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-08-2011, 10:05 AM
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Counting a horses strides help him stay more consistent with his speed. My horse is one of those horses that would much rather run around like a maniac at some sections, and putter around like a fat pasture horse at others. Mainly it is a way of keeping you aware of your horses speed so that you can adjust them as necessary.

The time when it is most common to count strides is in lines, and often judges look at how many strides your horse is getting to make sure they are going to appropriate speed. A line that is supposed to be a "5", would not look very good if your horse got a..say 3. That would mean the horse is going way too fast and it is important to bring him back to you during that line.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-10-2011, 07:26 PM
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^ Velvet gave quite a good explanation.

However, to learn to see your distances you need to know how to develop and maintain a balanced, rhythmic, consistent and forward canter on the horse you're jumping. The better your canter, the easier it will be to start seeing a distance (because it will be consistent, not a 12 ft. stride then getting flat and low into a 14 ft. stride), and the better the horse will be able to jump.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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