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charismalover
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:34 PM
Do you have to wear a whatch if you are in the lower levels? One of my friends was 10 seconds off because of it? Should you use it every time you do cross country?

Kementari
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:10 PM
You do not HAVE to wear a watch at any level, and you should always know your pace without one. A watch is just a double-check on your own feel.

Some people wear a watch at the lower levels, and some don't. I like to wear mine (though I don't have an eventing watch, just the ol' Timex ;)) because, as above, it allows me to double-check that we really are going the speed I think we are going. I spent a good deal of time learning to feel my pace, though, before I competed in a place where time was a factor (many unrecognized events don't time). I am confident that if my watch were to vanish in the middle of xc, I would still come in under-but-close-to optimum time (all other things being equal).

Some people feel that watches at the lower levels encourage people NOT to learn to feel their pace, and rather to rely on the watch - which leads to drastic changes of speed, particularly later in the course when riders discover they are going dramatically too fast or too slow. This can be quite unsafe, especially if people are going too fast to "make up" time.

Ultimately, at this point, the decision of whether or not to wear a watch is up to the rider, hopefully made with the advice of a good trainer.

JWB
Jan. 11, 2011, 08:06 AM
From my previous post, it seems to me that there are some people who think you don't deserve a watch until you know your pace well enough to not need one!

Personally, I think of it as a tool. If the only place where you ever have an option of being timed is at a horse trial or on XC schools, it's going to take a bit (and cost a lot in entry fees) to figure out your pace with no sort of feedback!

I never used one when I was young. My old barn had a measured out gallop track and my TB was more of a "keep on rolling" kind of horse. She had three speeds.

These days, I'm at a smaller barn with little room to gallop, riding on a WB/TBx who would much rather be an equitation horse.... She can collect up or stretch out and go - She's my 10 speed - and I'm finding it a lot trickier to figure out if I'm at one that is appropriate (fast enough). So I've been riding with a cheap watch, and we're getting a good GPS tracking watch so I can figure out my pace galloping in the state park near our barn....

Auto Be A Storm
Jan. 11, 2011, 08:33 AM
My trainer usually said we don't have to wear a watch at lower levels, but it can't hurt to get into the habit of doing it. I wear one at BN b/c Storm is so fast that I have to eat time.