23rd Oct, 2015

Equestrian Cross Country in Central Colorado

Equestrian Cross Country in Central Colorado

Some may think of Colorado like the old Westerns. Yet equestrian cross country competitions are alive and well in the Denver – Colorado Springs area. Cross-country equestrian jumping is referred to as cross-country or hunter trials. Cross-country is one of the three phases of the broader sport of preventing.

Equestrian Cross CountryCross-country tests endurance, it is the ultimate challenge. To be successful, the horse and rider need to be in excellent condition. Upper level Courses must adhere to very strict conditioning programs. Cross-country tests timing, speed, and jumping abilities as well as the synchronization of the horse and rider.

The course is 2.75 to 4 miles long and includes 24-36 fixed and solid obstacles.  It begins with a start box followed by some straightforward obstacles that will build confidence and rhythm.  Endurance is very much tested during long courses filled with obstacles. The obstacles may be unfamiliar to the horses and could be designed to test their courage.

Natural obstacles are found in the terrain. These include things such as waterways, trees, felled trees, gullies, and banks.  Good footing is imperative and therefore riders will thoroughly evaluate the course before the competition.

Obstacles placed along a cross-country course are specifically flagged and numbered. A red flag is placed on the right and a white flag on the left. Optional flags are marked with a black stripe on the red flags. Numbers are coded to signal the level of the competition.

History of Cross-Country Events

Equestrian Cross CountryOver the past couple of centuries, long format endurance test were used in competitions. Cross-Country was one of the phases that needed to be completed, usually the last phase. The first two phases provided somewhat of a warm-up leading to the Steeplechase and then the Cross-Country. So the last phase really did test endurance.

The more modern short format is comprised solely of the cross-country course which appeals most to spectators and riders.

Cross-Country Trainers in Central Colorado

Karen Paul is owner, manager and head trainer at Boomerang in Elizabeth, Colorado.  She has competed extensively and has made Combined Training her life’s work.  For more information about cross-country equestrian training and equine real estate, please call Michael Paul, Realty Oasis in Englewood, Colorado at 303-814-9546.

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