Keeping XC in the Heart of Eventing

An interesting conversation that is happening a lot right now:


That is one of the best conversations about cross country I have ever listened to. Real thought and consideration about how to design tracks that go cross country and ask the horse and rider to NOT be dressage or jumper riders.

They hit the nail on the head about what separates eventers from everybody else. XC needs to affect the standings and not just be a happy lark, even at the lower levels. The horses and riders should come across the finish knowing they accomplished something unique and having the confidence to want to go back out and do it again.


That was a good listen. WFP has a good sense of humor.

I enjoy listening to Lucinda Green. Her discussion about seeing strides XC was very interesting.

I wonder how many people will be falling at airport escalators after listening to this. :joy:


What she says about medium canter and plug in reminds me of comment from Bill Steinkraus that a rider’s eye for distance is in the seat of their pants.


There is a goldmine of videos from her there…I will be having a marathon watching them all this week haha

I’m so interested in this conversation. The fact Bobby Upton had never evented on hills before going 4/5*??? That just absolutely blows my mind. I guess I have always taken my landscape for granted, we have always ridden over seriously varied terrain.

I also thought it was interesting how they discussed why we went astray from timber fences and painting them and decorating them over the top etc.


I can honestly understand the concept of painting fences in terms of added safety. It’s not like when the fences were not painted no accidents happened. I look at that as akin to wearing a flak jacket. However, the unintended consequence may be that certain paint schemes may make an obstacle even less readable.

As for seeing strides, even in the jumpers the best rides are based on the feel. The walked striding only gives you an initial plan. The rider must be able to change that plan based on the horse underneath them coming into or upon landing after the first fence in a related distance. That is why I walk even the 14 or 20 stride lines as that count tells me where we are in the space and lets me adjust for how my horse is riding at the moment.

For example, last weekend the first line in stadium walked a short 7 strides. Most folks assumed that it was going to be a 7 because it was fences 1 and 2 and most horses won’t be carrying the step yet. I watched 4-5 riders and each were getting 6s pretty easily. So, I rode the line planning a 6 but ready for the 7 if we landed weak after 1.


I’m impressed you are even thinking about that as you go around…I’m just praying we make it over hahahahaha

Another article on the topic today;

Once again rider responsibility comes into play. I just read a CoTH article about the lady who showjumps and does eventing. Her goal was to do 2 4L so she can qualify for 5*. Isn’t that exactly what the issue is here? Yet it’s almost celebrated in the article. The top riders are consistently saying riders need MORE qualifying runs and not just for the paper trail but for their own experience and ability. We shouldn’t be praising people who are doing bare minimum to move up the levels, especially when talking about the hardest and most dangerous level of them all.


I believe this goes towards the removal of XC as a real phase unto itself as was discussed in the video. You are right, to celebrate a rapid rise of a rider while making it harder to move up is completely contrary ideas.

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