As riders, we know that there are so many benefits to riding multiple different horses!
Everyone admits that riding different horses makes you a better rider, but exactly why? We know... There's many reasons! To name a few: different horses keeps riders focused and aware while in the tack, riders have to learn to adjust their style of riding quickly and accurately to best compliment the horse underneath them, and it also makes you think
. However, I have found most difficult thing about riding various horses is that every stride is different on every horse - Strides can differ in so many ways from movement and style to actual length.
Depending on what size your horse is, you may have an easy or difficult time getting down lines in the hunter ring, or counting canter strides from one obstacle to the other (whether that obstacle is a jump, poles, markers, etc.). We thought it may be helpful information to publish the United States Equestrian Federation's (USEF) actual measurement of what your horses' (or pony's) step should measure for competition. By USEF's standards, stride measurements are as follows:
- Average horse stride: 12' (this is normally adjusted depending on the height of the fence. 3'+ will be given slightly more room, whereas 2'6" is given slightly less room (i.e. plus OR minus 6" per stride calculation)
- Average SMALL pony stride: 9'9" - 10' (this is calculated on a smaller step to normal pace)
- Average MEDIUM pony stride: 10'3" - 10'6" (this is calculated on a smaller step to normal pace)
- Average LARGE pony stride: 11' -11'3" (this is calculated on a smaller step to normal pace)
Always remember when setting fences, you must calculate in ample enough distance for landing and taking off between obstacles. Plenty more information can be found on this subject at USEF.org
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