Canter stretch

Properties from Landhousefarm.com

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
5,050
3,105
113
...la la land
Just wondering how long peoples canter stretches are. The long one i used to do along the side of the road on the farmers field ive stopped doing as i got told not to ride along the grass strip. That use to be a good 800 metres. So my longest stretch now is about 150 across the top of the hill. But i have to stop half way to duck under a couple of trees.
There is one thats about 500 metres on a permisive bridleway but its so rutted i dont like cantering it.
I will only have one short canter on a hack so i wonder how people get there horses fit if they only have a short canter stretch on a hack. I know its the boys downfall if i go on a funride with them. The adrenaline gets them round 10 miles. But how do all these xc eventers get there horses fit and do all those big fences.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
52,420
12,903
113
50
On an island
At our old house there was a mahoosive field that farmer said we could ride in which linked to ours. That was quite long enough for us!! I always worried Storm would fancy jumping the gate at the top :eek:
like you say how do eventers get round?!!! Mega fit riders and horses for sure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
2,121
2,397
113
64
Obviously don't do it now with Hogan, but we have a stretch on the forest, called the pipeline, which is probably 3/4 of a mile to a mile, used to have lovely canters along it in Ramsey.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
7,028
3,982
113
Yorkshire
We don't really have any regular canter tracks, only a couple of places when ground conditions are right. We have to take the horses out to get them fit - usually to a 40 minute drive away amenity woodland with a hill, or hire some gallops. The eventers also do interval training in the school but I find cantering round and round the arena really boring and I don't think it's good for Raf's arthritis.

I'd love to live somewhere with canter spaces!

Btw my predictive text changed eventers to avengers which sounds even more exciting!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
52,420
12,903
113
50
On an island
We don't really have any regular canter tracks, only a couple of places when ground conditions are right. We have to take the horses out to get them fit - usually to a 40 minute drive away amenity woodland with a hill, or hire some gallops. The eventers also do interval training in the school but I find cantering round and round the arena really boring and I don't think it's good for Raf's arthritis.

I'd love to live somewhere with canter spaces!

Btw my predictive text changed eventers to avengers which sounds even more exciting!
Lol lol love them being called avengers!

I used to love cantering round and round the school on Storm lol
I felt safer than in a field! She was ace, never running out of puff. People used to see us and wonder if we'd collapse in a heap but she never stopped, she was like a Duracell Bunny!
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
7,777
1,409
113
London
Our local polo club has a canter track. It runs round the outside of a polo field. In summer the polo ponies are exercised there - three or four abreast. One girl riding and a cou0le of other horses on lead ropes with her. When two girls ride together there are 6 horses charging round so glimped through the hedge it is like a chariot race.
In winter we were allowed to use that track but my share assoiated it with hard work and disliked going there. It was where her owner the RI taught people to canter. Because the mare was so old, I never did a real canter on that track while sharing her. There were meadows elsewhere, where she really liked a canter.

Out hacking our longest straight wide stretch is a quarter of a mile. The RS horses became badly behaved there and I needed to calm Maisie right down before allowing any canter . I never fell off there but at my present yard we are not allowed to ride that track at all. In summer we canter alongside drainage cuts. That is lovely - but it means most of the places we canter are flat. You can see miles either side so the horses dont spook. But they dont accelerate either. (or not when I am riding) Last summer I cantered one of those tracks on Ella and it was bliss.

Cross country courses have slopes and trees to steer round. You can hire them and ride round and round. But it never occured to me that horses need to canter long distance to keep fit. I am a hacker of other people's horses and since London horses have limited turn out (often just nights) they go miles every day. But e ach ride under 2 hours.

If you look at the history of horse travel you wil see that horses did not canter long distances. People had to change horses. And if owners rode to far or too fast they killed the horse. Maisie used to be quite tired whenever I took her out for two hours - which I used to do to prepare myself for going on 2 hour trail rides in the USA..
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
17,627
5,584
113
60
Surrey Hills
Our area is great for hacking, but sadly a bit short of anywhere to canter or have a blast. There's a lovely, sandy track up a hill which has just been graded (flattened by a road flattener) because it is in fact a Road used as a Public Path and occasionally the postman drives along it, but mostly it is used by locals for a canter. I guess it is nigh on half a mile - it's uphill too, and Ziggy was always puffed before he reached the top. Then there's a riding track along the side of the hill at Newlands Corner which my friend Suzi remembers from her pony days never going at anything less than a gallop, and I guess that is half a mile too, though you hardly ever see a horse on it these days. A few more places where you can canter for a couple of minutes but nothing much more than that.

Right across the middle of our heath is a broad, flat track called The Gallop which must be at least a mile long. Sometimes people canter there early in the morning but there are so many people and dogs that you would have to have really good control. Steve was cantering there once, on a loose rein as usual, and a dog jumped out in front of Mattie. Mattie jumped sideways and carried on cantering. Steve carried straight on and landed on his bum. It was a long walk home, as Mattie cantered to the end of the gallop, turned right, and cheerfully set off back down the road to his field...
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
7,783
3,611
113
I don't have much within hacking distance of me, and none of it is legal. Many of the liveries will canter some of the tracks I ride, but the ground is too uneven and/or stony for me to canter Little Un on when he has foot problems. There are apparently some on longer hacks, including one I used when at another yard in the area (again a trespass but land owner turned a blind eye) but he's not up for an hour plus hack to go for a canter and then hack back :(.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
7,777
1,409
113
London
but he's not up for an hour plus hack to go for a canter and then hack back
That was exactly the same with my old share. She could hack to the Park gates and back but it was too much for her actually to go through the gate to the canter stretch. And she hated passing the secondary school on the way so I gave in and never took her that far. But I see I have been massively lucky with canter - that once I learned to canter, we could always canter.
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
7,028
3,982
113
Yorkshire
Mr T always fancied having a go on a proper gallop. Not me, I'd die of fright !!!!
I've always been more scared of cantering in arenas, due to the corners lol.

I'd love to have a go on a proper race course - I pass Pontefract on my way to work (or I did pre-Lockdown!) and it's a lovely looking course, with undulating hills and mist lying in the bottoms in early mornings - I think it's the longest flat course in England or something. There'd be no point going on my own though because Raf won't gallop properly unless he has some competition. And you must have to be super fit to get round the whole thing in gallop.

Top speed I've recorded on my Endomondo on Raf is just over 30 mph, which makes my eyes water, but racehorses go at 40 mph +, which just seems unbelievably fast!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trewsers

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
2,121
2,397
113
64
Mr T always fancied having a go on a proper gallop. Not me, I'd die of fright !!!!
Me too! Had an unintentional one on Ramsey once, on a track in the forest aptly named "the five furlong"! YO was riding her beautifully behaved ex racer, who took it into his head for the first and only time, to just "go". Ramsey was having none of it, and did his little 13hh3 best to keep up. Jings! Never been so scared in my life. Hers stopped at the end - Ramsey kept going - into some gorse bushes. If they hadn't been there, I think we'd have ended up in Bournemouth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bodshi and Trewsers

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
5,050
3,105
113
...la la land
Hers stopped at the end - Ramsey kept going - into some gorse bushes. If they hadn't been there, I think we'd have ended up in Bournemouth.
Now ive learned never to aim my horse at trees and hope he'll pull up when he gets forward. I have the life long scars to prove it dont work.

That video i put up the other week hacking, that first part of it is actually known as the gallops. Years gone by it was the main road for horse and cart, into the main town. It is pretty flat and the whole length is almost a mile. I wouldnt want to canter it all now as its uneven. But i do canter the bits where the footing is good if its soft enough. I can imaging years ago it was galloped along regularly. They used horse and cart on the hill for the quarrying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huggy

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
7,777
1,409
113
London
I'd love to have a go on a proper race course - I pass Pontefract on my way to work (or I did pre-Lockdown!) and it's a lovely looking course, with undulating hills and mist lying in the bottoms in ea
I did go for a hack on Epsom downs long ago, in the afternoon when the race horses are not exercising. One is not allowed to ride on the race course itself but there is an oppportinity to gallop (which we dont have at home). Although I was cantering fine and had passed their WTC test, I was on a horse I didnt know and in a new place and I turned down the chance even to canter. I was planning to go back but never did. Maybe after Covid.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bodshi

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
21,992
12,423
113
39
Suffolk, UK
We’re incredibly lucky in that respect, we’ve got 58,000 acres of forest all on sandy soil, the forest is split into blocks 250m x 250m ish and around each is a vehicle width fire break track which is sand/grass, so you can canter almost anywhere. Some bits are drier than others so no matter the time of year we’ve always got good ground somewhere. It was a real learning curve for me when I moved here not to canter on every track that you could (where I used to live had very limited canter opportunities so we always took them when we had them).
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
7,783
3,611
113
@Jessey I am soooooo jealous! Little Un would be in heaven - enough tracks that he could have canter ones and welsh cob trot (which I suspect is faster than his canter) ones.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Jessey
newrider.com