FLUENCY, FLUENCY, FLUENCY!!!
Watching the very best eventers going around a XC course is like watching a wave of water flowing over rocks. The horse rider combination looks totally in control, simply unflappable in every way. The canter is pacey between the jumps, rhythmical and thinking forwards on approach to jumps, powerful and energetic, yet smooth over the jump.
Riders who get this feel and produce these sort of xc rounds on all their horses are not just brave, taught well and experienced but are truly talented. It’s very similar to dressage in a way in that the you’re looking for your horse to be balanced and regular but also in front of the leg and thinking forwards.
He needs to be able to put a short one on if he get a bad stride or be able to take a long one in his stride.
To me, the masters of this have always been Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd, Blyth Tait, Bryce Newman, Andrew Hoy and Vaughan Jeffries. The one thing they all have in common is New Zealand. I’m bound to be a little biased towards the Kiwis as I spent part of a season there a while back (when NZ won everything), competing for Bryce and Michelle and it really opened my eyes up. Nothing phases them. They have an unusually natural ability on a horse that is extremely rare.
A few tips that come to mind…...
There’ll be many more I’m sure but these are the key points. Schooling and training for XC is a whole new post!!
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