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Striding for smaller fences

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  • Striding for smaller fences

    Quick question:
    What would be the proper length (in feet) of a 2, 3 and 4 stride line for fences that won't be set above 3 ft?
    I'm used to walking/setting for jumps 3' plus, and am having a bit of a hard time getting the lines to work when they are a bit smaller.

  • #2
    How large of a horse are you riding? Do you want them to be forward, or a bit more collected? My trainer will set different lengths and have me jump a 4 stride *that's big for my guy, in three. Just figure out what size stride, and remember to take away 1 stride total for the landing/takeoff.


    • #3
      Can also depend on if you are in an indoor or outside.... Sometimes an indoor backs things up a bit also, especially smaller indoors.


      • Original Poster

        He's a normal-sized horse, with a normal stride. It will be outside, so the we will be on a flow.

        I have heard that you should cut the landing/take off distance in half, but keep the striding the same otherwise. Is this the case?

        Like I said, I know how to walk for larger fences, but as soon as they go smaller than 3 feet, I seem to walk them/set them too long.



        • #5
          Originally posted by kbear View Post
          He's a normal-sized horse, with a normal stride. It will be outside, so the we will be on a flow.

          I have heard that you should cut the landing/take off distance in half, but keep the striding the same otherwise. Is this the case?

          Like I said, I know how to walk for larger fences, but as soon as they go smaller than 3 feet, I seem to walk them/set them too long.

          Setting distances is more art than science, there isn't really a mathematical formula to give you exact measurements.

          Some things to take into account:
          • Which direction is the line ridden. (towards vs away from the ingate

          • footing (sand vs grass, hard vs soft)
          • Caliber of horse (schoolie vs A )
          • Indoors vs Outdoors

          Here are some distances I have used in the past:

          2' to 2'6"
          5 stride away - 70' 0"
          5 stride home - 70' 6"

          4 stride away - 58' 6"
          4 stride home - 59' 0"

          3 stride away - 47' 0"
          3 stride home - 47' 6"

          2' 9"

          5 stride away - 71' 0"
          5 stride home - 71' 6"

          4 stride away - 59' 6"
          4 stride home - 60' 0"

          3 stride away - 47' 6"
          3 stride home - 48' 0"


          • #6
            The lower jumps do not let the horse carry itself into the line like a bigger jump would and they end up having to rush out or add.

            So move them in. The chart above is good for reference but have a ground person watch and just set to where your horse is comfortable.

            Absent the chart I figure to either just shorten the stride up for the whole course and add or shorten the line about a foot for each 6" in height. So the 12' step at 3' becomes 11' at 2'6" and even down to 10' at 2'. But that depends on your ring and is never etched in stone.

            It's about letting the horse jump it's best, not creating a problem they have to solve by changing pace within a line. So you need somebody to watch you willing to move them in or out as suits you best.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.