How to Walk a Course

Walking the course is arguably the most important part to get right on the day of the competition. In utilising this time well, you will be able to successfully prepare for your round on an unknown horse and course giving you a great advantage!

Course Walking Basic Maths

  • 2 human strides are equal to a horse’s take off and for landing
  • 4 human studies are equal to roughly one horse stride

Using these simple rule of thumb tips, you will ensure that you are well prepared for any upcoming fences and prevent uncomfortable moment where you get too close or too far from the jump as this puts you at a great risk of knocking down poles and loosing points. It is also wort thinking about the type of fence that you are approaching, for example you would want a more collected canter coming into an upright than an over.

Figuring out striding in between jumps aside, the cause walk presents other useful opportunities to get ahead. Make not of where the start and finish are for example, so you know when to put on the gas at the end of the course!

Lastly but not least, take a look around the arena. Take note of things like flower pots, banners, spectator stands , and where the gate is. While the horse may find things like banners and flower pots spooky, confident riding should fix this. Likewise, make sure you are aware of what jumps are near the gate as some of the more cheeky horses may feel like going to see their friends early!

Once, you have done all of this, ride the course in your mind a few more times before going off to relax until it is your turn to ride 🙂


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