View Full Version : Canter strides/distances between poles
27th Jan 2004, 09:45 PM
Just a quick question here (sorry feel like I have been dominating NR recently with my incessant questions!). I am going to do some grid work tomorrow but I've never set one up before my instructor always does it. My ultimate aim is to have 3 trotting poles say then a cross pole then an upright. Can anyone tell me the distance (in human strides I cant get my head round metres as it says in all my books) between them all. I think I am right in allowing 1 stride for landing, 3 per canter stride and 1 more for take off for the x pole and upright so 5 in total but just want to check.
27th Jan 2004, 09:46 PM
Sorry should mention horse is 15.1 TB with a tendancy to go into fences flat/long striding so whilst I would like to use the poles to help collect him a bit I dont want to completely throw him off stride.
28th Jan 2004, 12:01 AM
I'm not sure how big your steps are, but in feet in inches, here's a general guideline:
4'5" between trot poles
9' between the last trot pole and the cross rail
18' between the cross rail and a small vertical for a one-stride.
These distances may seem short to you, but remember that they'll need to be shorter for a trot-grid than for a line that you were cantering into.
I normally take a 3-foot step when measuring fences, so the distances would be three steps between the last trot pole and cross rail and 6 steps between a cross rail and small vertical.
28th Jan 2004, 06:41 AM
Heres what they told me at pony club:
4 human strides=One average canter stride
1 human stride=average landing
2 human strides=average take-off
If i walked a sj course i would measure it that way as those are the approx measurements as given to me by very good instructors at my pony club.
Set up a grid to those measurements, and try your horse over them, i'm sure you'll be fine-i've seen horses of many sizes do well with it.
L J M
28th Jan 2004, 07:58 AM
This is a fairly long reply - and don't quote m eon it - this is what i have picked up from courses, a coursebuilding friend and the distances i use on my horse - who is 16.1 TBx but gets so excited when jumping that he tends to bounce and take tiny little steps - he has been known to fit in 5 strides in a 2 stride PONY double. :rolleyes:
I was asking a friend of mine this the other day (he is currently 3/4 of the way through his training for his BSJA coursebuilding exams or whatever they do ) so im hoping he told me right!!
Trot poles are between 4 and 5 feet depending on the length of your horses stride - so about 1 1/2 human paces.
one canter stride or for a placing pole in front of a fence you are cantering to - 3 human strides out. I think you can do the same for a bounce, although i tend to move the back fence out a little to begin with just to give the horse more room.
For a one stride double - or to fit in one stride between fences - 6 human strides.
I think a two stride is 12 human ones - although i may not be remebering correctly so try it out over some small jumps and adjust as needed - you might need one more or less before your horse is comfortable.
A three stride is 19 human paces - palthough coursebuilders ot BSJA run showsoften build it to 20 human paces (60 foot) as horses going forwards more at shows so can make the longer distance - i think 60 foot is official but 57 for practice???.
It works out at roughly one human pace = 3foot - you can always lay out a tape measure to 3 foot long and then practice making a 3 foot long stride - then you know your striding will always be about right.
1 horse canter stride is about 9 foot - hence 3 human = 1 horse canter stride.
If you measure your distances with a 3 foot long stride - i use the folowing - bearing in mind that all horses are different and whilst the ultimate goal is for them to be able to make any distance, and lengthen or shorten as needed - play around with these distance over small fences and get them the right distances apart for your horses strides - when your horse has got its confidence and is listening to you and responding to commands to lengthen or shorten then you can start to move them to their "official" distances - you could always walk the course at shows to get an idea of what the correct distances are.
Trot pole --- 4-5 feet --- 1.5 human strides
Canter pole --- 9 foot --- 3 human strides
Bounce (i use 12 to begin with, but this could be too long so it can be moved in to 9) --- 12 (9?) feet --- 4 human strides
1 stride fences --- 18 foot --- 6 human strides
2 stride fences --- 24 foot --- 12 human strides
3 stride fences --- 57(60) foot --- 19 human strides
28th Jan 2004, 09:00 AM
Once you've got your "one stride" distance, you just add another stride in to get 2, 3, 4 etc
ie if your one stride jump is "6 human strides" and your canter stride is "3 human strides" (from LJM's post), then your two stride would be 6+3 = 9, 3 strides = 6+3+3 and so on.
I have a 15.1 mare who is western trained so this jumping lark is quite new. She hasn't quite worked out how to adjust her stride for jumping (loose). So I set up a one stride at 6 of my strides, and a two at 10. But when she's been crazy I've seen her do 10 in one stride :eek:
I have to shorten the distances up for our Fell pony (13.3) - to 5 and a short 9. He loses confidence easily so needs to feel "safe" about the distances.
28th Jan 2004, 09:20 AM
Gosh so many numbers!! :D Think I will print this out and take it with me or I'll get it all confused.
cvb - mine loses comfidence quickly too, you say yours needs to feel 'safe' - do you mean make sure they are long enough or short enough or does that depend on the natural striding of the horse, ie if mine is long striding will I make him lose confidence by making them too short?
28th Jan 2004, 10:08 AM
Yes - if you set up a line of jumps and he doesn't feel he can do it, he just won't go anywhere near it. So I build his confidence slowly by building the line up a step at a time, using small jumps only. and making sure the distances are comfortable for him.
He's really a little poo bear so I can't expect him to be a rocket scientist like my old guy is/was (who would work out any jump combination and go for it).
By making sure that he gets to be successful at what I ask him, I've even got him down a line of 4 one stride jumps (small crosses) which is a major deal for him.
(When he started jumping (about 5) we went to a local instructor who turned out to think grids were the best way to deal with anything - this person sometimes does articles in magazines and has written/co-written books. It just blew his mind and she didn't seem to be able to adjust for him - ie he had to do her 'set' lesson regardless of whether it suited him or not. Needless to say we didn't try that very often - but having lost his confidence we had to rebuild it really slowly and he is still not really sure of himself - and he's 17 now !)
Some horses will happily drop in short or long strides to sort out a jump - others find this difficult and worrying, and will get stressed if the stride is either too long or too short. You can teach them to adjust but you have to get them jumping confidently first. So I would not want to pose any difficult questions in terms of striding until I felt the horse was confident at a basic level.
Of course competition courses are at a standard distance, so it can be difficult if your horse has a 'non-standard' stride and gets worried. Especially as they tend to whack a spread in as the second element :eek:
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