Counting Strides

I’m trying to teach a friend to count strides between fences and am having a hard time in explainning it. Does anyone have an easy and simple way to do it that’s easy to understand?

Take your friend to a show and just watch the rounds and count the strides out loud so she/he can hear you and follow the horse in the ring at the same time. Do this a bunch of times as it will help. I count simply… One… Two… Three… Four… One… Two… Three… Four, etc. but it’s easy for me since I’ve been riding since the early 70’s and have literally jumped hundreds and hundreds of fences. Heck I even count strides between mailboxes, telephone poles, etc. while driving - can’t help it. :smiley:

My first response is, “Um, I don’t know. Just…Count them?”

If she can’t feel when a horse launches into a new stride after completing the old, though, how about just encouraging her to sing, maintaining a consistent rhythm, so as to create a consistent pace to the jumps? If she’s new to jumping, this might be more useful than attempting to have her count to, say, 6 in a line then pick or kick when she gets nervous about whether or not she’ll get to her spot. Especially if she’s having trouble knowing when to count, just working on establishing the pace you know will get her there and having her sing to maintain that pace could be a good way to go.

Backstreet Boys got a lot of airplay in and out of my lines circa mid-90’s…

It’s easiest to just have her start counting strides without jumps involved. Maybe as she’s cantering, someone can start off the counting, then she can get the idea and continue on. Once she can do this, counting between the jumps is easy, just make sure she knows not to count the take off or landing stride. (Assuming you’re going for “how many strides did you get in that line?” vs rhythm.

Also in addition to the good advice above have her say “land” after the jump or ground pole then count. Lots of beginners accidentally count the landing as a stride.

I would start with having her count strides over ground poles. Once you work in jumps, use the words “and, land” over the jump so she gets the idea that the air time is not a stride and allows for both the front and back legs to land.

Illustrate what you want her to do OFF the horse. She will basically become the horse and each one of her steps = one stride.

Put out two poles a couple feet apart. Explain the concept of counting, including the landing. Teach her to call that “land” or “0” or “1 with an extra number added to line length” (<- that one can be hard to explain to a newbie :slight_smile: ). then walk them, the first step is 0 or land, then 1, 2, 3 until the step over the “out” pole. You can do this with lines on the sidewalk or whatever you have to work with. that should solidify what she needs to do on the horse.

Maybe I didn’t explain my question well. I mean walking a distance and counting out the strides between the lines. How to count the strides between say a five stride line?

Use a yard stick to show her how to take a 36" step, and then teach her to take one step after the fence to represent the landing stride, 4 steps for each stride, one step for takeoff. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I see. I would call that “walking off the strides”. My trainer has 12 feet marked on the arena rail so we can all practice walking that distance in 4 steps. This has taught me how I have to walk in order to get it right.

When i was a barn rat i used chalk to mark off the barn aisle in 12 foot chunks and i spent an entire summer learning the feel of “4 steps to a stride,” also known was three fit steps. Now 20 years later it’s still a natural feel.

This. ^^^^. Additionally, when I’m teaching someone to count:
I hold my hand up in a fist
Account for the landing
As I count out loud “one, two, three, four” then I put 1 finger up = 1 stride
Start over, keep walking (1,2,3,4) hold two finger up.

Just don’t forget take off and landing.

[QUOTE=Pennywell Bay;8516516]This. ^^^^. Additionally, when I’m teaching someone to count:
I hold my hand up in a fist
Account for the landing
As I count out loud “one, two, three, four” then I put 1 finger up = 1 stride
Start over, keep walking (1,2,3,4) hold two finger up.

Just don’t forget take off and landing.[/QUOTE]

You - this is what I do. Start at the back rail of the in. Count out ONE two three four, TWO two three four, THREE two three four, FOUR two three four, FIVE two three four. Stop at the front of the out.

So if I end up with 5 fingers up I subtract one (6’ for take off and 6’ for landing) and it’s a 4 stride.

Learning the distance is the first step.

For actual counting, I count (and teach) One two three ZERO, one two three ONE, one two three TWO, one two three THREE

This way if you land on the full number, that’s the actual number of strides. If you end on a half stride, it’s just the last full number you said plus some. I like getting the landing and takeoff out of the way immediately instead of trying to get students to remember to subtract anything at the end.

[QUOTE=Wonders12;8516629]Learning the distance is the first step.

For actual counting, I count (and teach) One two three ZERO, one two three ONE, one two three TWO, one two three THREE

This way if you land on the full number, that’s the actual number of strides. If you end on a half stride, it’s just the last full number you said plus some. I like getting the landing and takeoff out of the way immediately instead of trying to get students to remember to subtract anything at the end.[/QUOTE]

I like this. I actually like this better than the way I do it - as far as teaching people how to do it, at least. I do think it makes more sense! I may steal this.

However, 20 years (Whoops - 24 years!!??!!) into it I’ll keep my way for myself in my head personally! :wink:

Wait…are you trying to teach her how to walk a line or how to count strides while riding a line? They are two different things. I obviously answered on how to count strides as did a few others…and then some also answered about walking lines.

OP updated - post #8. She wants to know about walking lines.

I am guilty of this! Had an incredibly hard time keeping enough power behind my horse through a grid during my lesson 2 weeks ago so we’ve been really trying hard in practice over ground poles. I couldn’t figure out why I just could not get the strides in. At our last lesson I was determined to get it and felt disappointed when I thought we added but then my trainer was like “wow I didn’t think you’d get it in 4 the first time!” not that she doesn’t have faith in me, we were just having such a hard time the lesson before. Sometimes its good to clarify things, even if you think you already understand :stuck_out_tongue: